This week I made the semi-annual trip out to Chesterfield Mall to buy spring and summer clothes for the boys. I visited exactly one store: H&M. I left with two huge bags (31 items, to be exact) and a mere $300 dent in my pocketbook. I felt so good about my thriftiness on a season’s worth of cute, trendy clothes that I celebrated with a $30 lunch at Annie Gunn’s. (A note to fellow recovering foodies: Morel mushrooms are on the menu!!)

dragon shirt Financially, it’s probably for the best that the only H&M kids’ department in the St. Louis area is a good 40-minute drive from our house now that I-64 is closed, Annie Gunn’s notwithstanding. I am a huge, huge fan of the Swedish discount clothing company and have been for about a decade, ever since we lived in Germany — which happens to be H&M’s biggest market. Here’s an example of how omnipresent it is there: In our “hometown” of Stuttgart, in the main shopping downtown shopping district alone, there were three H&M stores in walking distance of each other, two of which had extensive kids’ departments, including nursing booths, changing stations, etc. — and all of which had different selections. Pure nirvana.

My kids, without really knowing it, are huge fans of L.O.G.G., which complements the H&M brand in the kidswear section — for example, M. was over the moon about this new shirt yesterday.

snoopy shirtBeing the second son, S. gets stuck with a lot of hand-me-downs; this is one of his L.O.G.G. favorites, a hockey-playin’ Snoopy montage. Refreshingy, the chain doesn’t carry a lot of pop-culture-driven merchandise, but it does have a few cartoon characters scattered about. However, most of the graphics are generated by 60+ in-house designers. I wanted to get a nice picture of S. in the Snoopy sweatshirt to insert here, but while I was distracted in the kitchen, he was in the dining room raiding the cupcakes that were supposed to be for dessert … so I settled for a cute-but-naughty shot! Another piece of good news is that pretty much everything at H&M is easy to care for (machine wash warm, toss in the dryer) and more durable than one would expect for an average of $10 per item.

Of course, H&M has women’s and men’s clothes too, but you can get those at the Galleria or West County Center. That’s what I reminded my husband when he wondered why he didn’t rate one single item from my binge! And his cupcake got eaten too. Life is hard for dads sometimes!