They aren't outrageously expsensive but their prices are more than double that of several other brands and the total cost quickly adds up if you buy everything at full price. When my baby was born I received a lot of clothing as gifts to add to all the clothes I had bought for her in the months leading up to her birth. I never paid much attention to the brands until she arrived and I had to dress her. As I looked through them I realized that there were several other brands also made by Carter's with similar sizing and fabric as the main Carter's brand. There are 5 brands in addition to the main Carter's line, they are Precious Firsts, Child of Mine, Just One You, OshKosh B'gosh, and Genuine Kids. The first three clothing lines listed below are made exclusively for Target, the fourth is made exclusively for Walmart and the last is readily available in stand alone stores.
I've tried clothing in all the brands listed above except the OshKosh B'gosh. At first glance they all appear to be of the same size and quality. They all had the "made by Carter's" stamp of approval so I was pretty pleased with them. However when they were put to the test, they revealed their true colors. All her clothing gets washed before she wears it the first time (every parent should do this!!) and even after the first wash it was apparent that not all the brands were equal. Not to mention the fact that babies are messy little creatures and can go through multiple clothing changes within a few hours, so their clothing needs to withstand being washed, over and over again, and again and again... you get the point. One thing I love about the original Carter's brand is that even after repeated washing, the clothing still feels soft and maintains its shape. It basically still looks new even after several months, and we do not use fabric softener.
After a few weeks of using these brands this is what I discovered:
The Precious Firsts brands is the lowest quality and my least favorite. I bought her a few packs of plain white long sleeved onesies when the temperature started dropping. I wanted to layer these under her summer dresses and sleeveless tops. Within less than a month, every single one of these developed a hole or rip in the stitching, especially under the arms. This hasn't happened with any other brand in her closet. Aside from the low quality stitching, the fabric itself isn't as soft or thick as the others and now after less than 3 months, it looks old and tattered like she has been wearing it for years. I most definitely will not be buying this brand again. Ever.
The Just One You brand is the one I get the most access to since I am a Target Addict. I mistakenly thought that this brand was the same as the Child of Mine line from walmart which I like a lot. So I bought a lot of clothing especially 'sleep & plays' but I realized later on that I don't really like this brand much either. Despite the fact that they are all made out of cotton. The clothing by Just One You are much thinner and less soft than other brands, especially their sleep &plays. So my baby is not as warm in these at night.
The Child of Mine brand is my favorite sub brand. I find that a lot of the clothing she has in that brand are just as soft, thick and durable as the original Carter's line. I don't really like shopping at Walmart because their customer service is appalling but every now and then I'll go there specifically to get a good deal on the Child of Mine clothing. The prices are much better than the full price Carter's clothing.
The Genuine Kids brand is just okay. I don't go out of my way to buy it or avoid it. If I see something that fits her style in that brand and it seems worth the price then I'll get it.
Overall the Original Carter's brand is one of my all time favorites for her entire wardrobe, I try to only ever buy it on sale or from outlets like Kohl's, TJ Maxx, ... etc. This way I never have to pay full price for it!