Sporting some gorgeous hand-me-down dresses for Easter 2022

I started a clothing-focused mini-series over the summer wherein I managed to devote two ENTIRE posts to the topic of just me and my clothing alone:

Riveting as that was, a number of you requested I write about the clothing of the other people in my house. In response, today I bring you a deep dive into the closets of my children, Kidwoods, age 7 and Littlewoods, age 4.

The Hand-Me-Down Train Continues

We’ve been on the used/hand-me-down train since before the girls were born and haven’t disembarked yet. I get the bulk of their clothing (and shoes, toys, books, puzzles, etc) from three sources:

1) Garage sales.

Hello and welcome to my garden. Let me show you which plants we can stomp on.

The vast majority of their clothing (and everything else) comes from yard sales because it’s often one-stop shopping AND they have the best prices. If I happen upon the yard sale of a family with girls slightly older than mine, I typically buy 90% of what they’re selling. The clothes, toys, books, shoes–if the ages and styles/tastes line up, I stock up!

The advantages of doing this are many-fold:

  • I get a massive bargain. The more you buy, the more inclined sellers are to offer you a bulk discount. $20 for a pile of clothes, toys, books, boots and coats has happened to me many times.
  • I don’t have to go to every single garage sale on earth. While I enjoy yard sale-ing, I don’t do it every weekend. Point in fact, garage sales only happen in the summer/fall here and I don’t need to go all season long.
  • I get a nearly complete wardrobe in whatever size(s) they’re selling. I get the snowpants and the coat, the boots and the sweaters, etc. Sometimes it even matches! Winning.

2) Hand-me-downs.

Second-hand ski gear!

I gladly and gratefully accept all hand-me-downs offered to me. I have several local friends with older daughters who graciously pass along their old clothes to me. Yay!

3) Thrift stores.

This is last because it represents the smallest percentage of their clothing. I love thrift stores, but too often, the kids’ clothes are overpriced. Each individual item has its own price and, while $10 for a dress for me feels like a great bargain, $10 for a dress for my four-year-old that’ll only fit her for one season doesn’t feel like a deal. Hence, these purchases are few and far between.

The “System”

As you may now be wondering: yes, my system of clothes acquisition for the kids is haphazard at best. At a garage sale I might buy snow pants for Kidwoods to wear next winter at the same time as a swimsuit for Littlewoods to wear that week. Since I’m at the mercy of whatever I find/is handed down to me, I realized early on that I’d need an ironclad System-Of-Organization. It’s not actually ironclad and it’s definitely not worthy of being a Proper Noun, but it works. Mostly. Here’s my secret:

I have plastic tubs labeled by size and season stacked on shelves in our basement.

That’s it. Not magic, but very functional. When the kids were younger, I had everything grouped by size, such as: “3-6 months,” “9 months” etc, but as they got older, the addition of seasonal subdivision has been helpful.

At the start of winter and again at the beginning of summer, I remove all the clothing from their rooms and divide it into categories:

  1. Last year’s hand-me-down Halloween costumes

    Give away:

    • This is anything Littlewoods has outgrown, anything Kidwoods detests and anything we have too much of. For example, Littlewoods–for unknown reasons–had 20 t-shirts in last summer’s wardrobe, so I donated half of them.
  2. Keepsake box:
    • This is anything Littlewoods has outgrown that I can’t bear to part with. So far, I have just one box of saved clothing and I’m trying very hard to keep this at a minimum.
    • Since my kids are both girls and only 27 months apart, they’ve worn all the same clothing so I get two for the price of one when I save an item!
  3. Might fit next year:
    • Anything that’s big/roomy/seems like it’ll fit again goes into an appropriately labeled box, i.e. “Winter, Size 4T, Might Fit Littlewoods Again Next Year”
  4. Kidwoods outgrew:
    • Anything she’s outgrown goes into another box labeled as such so that I don’t get confused, i.e. “Summer, Sizes 5-6, Kidwoods Outgrew”
Sisters in second-hand dresses

This is a bit laborious, but I only do it twice a year (fall and spring) and it’s the only way I know to keep track of what we have for each kid for each season.

As I receive hand-me-downs, and score garage sale finds throughout the year, I sort them into the appropriately labeled boxes. Thus, those snow pants I bought for Kidwoods to use next winter are already in the “Winter, Size 8” box.

This system also enables me to hand-up clothes to friends whose kids need a specific item in a particular size. And yes, they do joke about going shopping in my basement and yes, I deserve it. BUT, I love being able to pull out a complete wardrobe for each kid for every season for an absolute fraction of the cost of buying new. We’ve saved thousands of dollars–easily–by not buying our kids new clothes for the last seven years and we will continue to reap these savings for as long as possible.

What About Kid Preferences?

This was not an issue when the kids were babies and, honestly, I sometimes miss dressing them in adorable outfits with matching hair bows. They do not let me do that anymore. Now, both kids select their own outfits and dress themselves every day, which is fine by me and results in some very unique fashion choices. I encourage them to wear whatever makes them comfortable and happy.

This is the arm-twisting sister pose… They no longer let me dress them like this with the matching bows 🙁

The only “rule” we have is that you have to make sure you’re warm enough in the wintertime. At four years old, Littlewoods doesn’t have many opinions on her clothing and is content to select from whatever I put in her drawers. All of her things are in the lowest two dresser drawers so that she can select everything herself. Her mantra at age two was, “I DO SELF!!!” and that still rings true for her.

Kidwoods at seven years old, on the other hand, has very specific notions about what she’d like to wear. Up until last year, I just put things in her drawers for each season (as I do now for Littlewoods) and she’d choose what to wear every day. But, she let me know last year that she categorically did not like some of the clothes I’d put in there for her. And so began the routine of letting Kidwoods select her own wardrobe from the hand-me-down box.

Now, our process is that I bring up all the boxes labeled with her size range for a given season and she goes through them selecting the clothes she wants to have in her room. I gather up the cast-offs and re-box most of them for Littlewoods and donate anything that doesn’t seem worth keeping. Then, Kidwoods puts away her own clothes, dresses herself every day and also puts away her clean laundry each week. I did happen to look in her drawers the other day and discovered that her opinion of “folding” perhaps differs from mine, but, it’s her clothes, her room, her chore. Thus far, she’s been able to find clothes she likes out of the hand-me-down boxes for every season.

Why We Buy Used

Christmas 2018: rocking those hand-me-downs!

Our kids know that their clothes are used and I’ve explained our philosophy to them for why we get clothing (and just about everything else) second-hand:

1) It costs SO MUCH LESS to buy stuff used.

Hence, it’s a situation where we’re able to get the same product for a much cheaper price. Other examples in this frugality category: MVNOs for cell phone service, generic brands, etc. Explaining the value of money is a central tenet in our early financial literacy education with the girls and, as Kidwoods earns, saves and shops with her own money, she very much gets why it’s preferable to buy a pair of used shoes for $2 as opposed to a new pair for $40. I explain to her that, just as she wants to save and find deals for her money, daddy and I want to do the same with our money.

2) It’s MUCH MORE environmentally-friendly.

Thrift store coat, hand-me-down pants, handmade hat, boots from the town dump’s free table. Angry chicken sourced from the coop.

We discuss how taxing it is on the planet to manufacture, produce, ship and market new clothes. We talk about how nice it is to pass our old clothes along to other families and how thankful we are for the clothes that are passed along to us. My girls LOVE seeing younger kids in the community wearing their old clothes and seem to understand the cycle of sharing and handing down things we no longer need.

3) It’s more FUN!

We never know exactly what’ll be in each box since the items are added over time and from many different sources. We laugh over silly shirts and put wild pants on our heads. There’s a lightness around it because we’re not invested in these material objects.

4) It puts WAY less pressure on me and saves times.

I’m not concerned with getting them “the best” winter gear or “the most beautiful” matching Christmas dresses. This saves me a tremendous amount of time. I don’t research which snow pants to buy–I buy whatever I find at a yard sale.

We get what we get and, you know what? No one cares. I have very little stress surrounding their clothes because I’m not beholden to the endowment effect of considering the stuff I own to be more valuable than it actually is. It’s just clothing, which also allows me to engender an…

5) Easy come, easy go attitude.

“Easy come, easy go” in practice

Since I didn’t hunt for, pay top dollar for, and otherwise invest a lot of time and money in these clothes, it doesn’t bother me when they come home from school stained with purple paint. It also doesn’t bother me when they (primarily Kidwoods at this point) refuse to wear a gorgeous dress that I love, but they demonstrably do not. I’m sure we’d have arguments over what Kidwoods should be wearing if I was invested in the contents of her wardrobe.

6) It helps remove the focus on outward appearances.

I don’t know if this is actually true OR if this will hold up for the tween years (I’m sure it won’t); BUT so far, I’ve been able to engender a mode of dressing that’s focused on:

  • Comfort
  • Fun
  • Being activity-appropriate:
    • For this I rely upon the Daniel Tiger song, “think about what you’re gonna do and pick the clothes that are right for you!”
    • All hail Daniel Tiger
  • Being weather-appropriate (mixed results here; Kidwoods wore shorts and a t-shirt on Thanksgiving day. It was below freezing… ).

Since these are the elements we emphasize about clothing, we don’t focus on:

  • How we look in our clothes
  • Whether or not we’re fashionable
  • Anything related to our size/body shape

7) They can be fancy anytime they want.

Kidwoods stacking wood in style

Alongside my “easy come, easy go” attitude is my “let them wear whatever they want” attitude. Both of my girls have been known to wear ballgowns to school and I’m not concerned if they come home stained or ripped (both of which have happened). I want them to enjoy their clothes and play freely with abandon. I don’t want them to restrict their activity or their fashion sense because they’re concerned about protecting a material possession.

In general, my hope is that my kids won’t have deep-seated attachments to material possessions and I hope that this is a good way to start. By removing some of the inherent “importance” from their clothing, my hope is that they view them as necessary tools for life, but not things to obsess over, spend tons of money on, or consume themselves with. Who knows if this’ll work. I’ll report back in a few years.

Also, shockingly, despite how hard they are on their clothes, we throw very few items away. Most live to see another family! Or two!

Does This Mean You Don’t Buy ANYTHING New?

Nope. As with all things, I try not to be a hardline zealot. While 98% of their clothes are sourced used, a small fraction are purchased new.

Yeah, those clothes are a tad stained now, but still in rotation!

Here’s everything I bought new for them in the last year:

  1. Cowgirl boots for Kidwoods as a birthday gift to replace the pair she’d outgrown (affiliate link).
  2. Jean jacket for Kidwoods as a birthday gift to replace the one she’d outgrown (affiliate link).
  3. These underwear for both girls (affiliate link).
  4. Our matching dresses (affiliate link). Awwww.
  5. These Snowstoppers mittens for both girls (affiliate link). I’ve never found mittens used, probably because all kids–mine included–rip them to shreds by dragging their paws over every single rock, twig, piece of bark and sharp object they find. These are the absolute best brand for staying on kids and keeping them warm.
  6. These base layers for ski season.
    • In the past, they’ve worn their regular clothes under their snow pants, but our increased ski schedule this winter made me think I should probably get them some proper non-cotton base layers.
    • Who am I kidding, none of this occurred to me, my friend texted me to say that Land’s End was having a mammoth sale on these base layers and that I should get some for the girls. She was correct and I did.

Two summers ago I bought these swimsuits/rash guards for them, which thankfully fit again this past summer (affiliate link).

As you can see, I rely primarily on Walmart and Amazon for new items since they’re cheap, comfortable and durable. 

When Shopping Used: Focus On Depreciation

The used snow gear in question

A few years ago I wrote about the value of focusing on depreciation when buying second-hand, which has only become more relevant as my kids have gotten older and new clothes in bigger sizes are more expensive. I used the example of snow gear in that post, which is still the most apt illustration of my point.

Here’s the math:

Cost for a New Set of Winter Gear for One Kid: $175.49


Cost for a Used Set of Winter Gear for One Kid: $13

Littlewoods’ personality in one photo

I reference those specific brands and sizes because I happen to have purchased those specific brands and sizes from garage sales. Here’s what I paid:

  • USED Land’s End Little Kids Waterproof Snow Bibs (size 4T): $5
  • USED Land’s End Little Kids Squall Waterproof Winter Parka (size small/4T): $3
  • USED Kamik Kids’ Snow Boots (size toddler 11): $5

Total saved by buying used: $162.49

I like to get everything used that I possibly can, but, if the thought of doing that overwhelms you, consider focusing on sourcing used for only the biggest ticket items, such as winter gear.

The Revolving Door of Donations

The Toddler Ennui

Another aspect of my “easy come, easy go” approach is that I donate all the clothing my girls have outgrown. I don’t feel the need to try and sell it because it was free or cheap for me in the first place. So, I hand it down to friends and donate the rest to the thrift store. Again, since I don’t have an attachment to the process of clothing procurement, I’m not obsessed with where the clothes end up. I don’t need to recoup my costs, I don’t need to have pristine dresses go to the “right” family, I don’t need to be recognized for my good taste, etc. I just need to move stuff they’ve outgrown out of the house.

When they were younger and changing sizes nonstop, I kept boxes on the floors of their closets in which I’d drop anything they outgrew. Now, I identify outgrown stuff when I do the twice-a-year seasonal swap-out. This is also my chance to donate any duplicates/triplicates we have, as in the case of Littlewoods and the 20 t-shirts of the same size.

In addition to my love of decluttering, it’s important to me to donate their clothes while they can still be used by someone else. Clothes do not last forever and if I held onto them for, say, my possible some-day future grandchildren, the elastic would wear out, the styles would be abominable and the fabrics would be scratchy. I see a lot more value in donating stuff now so that other people can get use out of it while it’s still relatively “new.”


Kidwoods climbing a tree in our woods

In conclusion, I get almost all of my kids’ clothing second-hand because it:

  • Saves money
  • Saves time
  • Reduces stress
  • Engages my kids in the process of learning about money
  • Enfranchises my kids to select their own clothing and dress themselves
  • Is way better for the environment
  • Keeps stuff out of landfills
  • Is more fun
  • Decreases the focus on appearances
  • Allows me to freely donate clothing when they’ve outgrown it

What questions do you have about shopping used? How do you source your kids’ clothing?

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  1. This is basically the exact same method I used while raising my boys… with as exception-1) I would resell anything they’d outgrown that was a “valuable label” for a bit of side money! Since I bought everything 2nd hand at thrift stores, and both boys would use the clothes,much of it was ruined by the time they were done with it, but some was still in perfect shape. Much of what we got was free from hand me downs or buy nothing groups. This bring sback memories of all my carefully labeled bins,and the twice a year fun of ‘shopping’ from our own stash… as they got older, they had opinions about what they did/didn’t like, at some point I had them shop (thrift) with me so I could buy the things they liked,to avoid wasting time and money (teens). Even as adults now, they go to the thrift store FIRST when they need something,buying new only if there is no other option.

  2. I’m with you on all pieces except used shoes. I avoid anything with signs of wear, as they’d be molded to some other kid’s foot shape and way of walking. I’ll put my kid in 50cent pants to balance out a new or resale unworn pair of everyday shoes. Kid consignment stores always seem to have some never worn shoes for sale. And sure, one needn’t be quite so stringent about one time/rare occasion shoes.

  3. I started buying used clothing for my first child in the early 2000’s. I was pregnant and would budget $10-$20 a week for garage sale baby items. I was able to find all their clothing (including several snow suits) my firstborn needed for the majority of their first year as well as a changing table, dresser and other items before my daughter was even born. I continued to do this with all of my children and even as they entered school, I continued to buy their clothing items, shoes, etc. predominantly from garage sales and used thrift stores as a back up. I saved thousands of dollars a year and would even get compliments on my children’s clothing and how nice they were dressed. My kids liked their clothing and would get excited about the “new” clothing, shoes, accessories that I would find at garage sales. I remember my daughter getting the deal of a lifetime at a yard sale where we found her a couple pieces of clothing and a big stack of Magic Treehouse books. When she was only charged seventy-five cents for everything, we were both amazed! I learned with that one amazing deal, that anytime my kids paid for something at a yard sale, they always got a better deal and when I would have garage sales, I too will give kids great deals and free items.

    I also learned to always accept any clothing, etc. given to me and show thankfulness for the person thinking of my family. There were times where we could use the hand-me-downs and orher times I would donate them. I learned that if people know you will appreciate what they give you, they will continue to give you things they don’t want or need and you can get some really great stuff that way for your family or others.

    Now that my kids are young adults and teens, I continue to find them used clothing at garage sales and my new favorite place the Goodwill Outlet. I find my best deals at the Goodwill outlet since most clothing items end up costing me fifty cents or less per item
    ( usually 25 cents or less) and the majority of the shoes I get are under a dollar. Since everything is weighed and charged by the pound, I have found brand new undergarments for pennies ( Some from VS with tags!), a new pair of Birkenstock sandals and lots of new and barely used clothing for my entire family for very little. I often buy extra items that are new or in like new condition and sell them to a local consignment shop. The money I get from the consignment shop is always more than I spent on both the items I purchased to resell at the Goodwill outlet, as well as what I also bought for myself, family and friends. We do let our kids pick out brand new items online or at stores when needed but they generally don’t need much since the Goodwill outlet has clothing that is both in their size and their style.

    I’ll end this “book” of a comment to say that buying used for the last 20+ years has helped my family to live very well on one income, drive vehicles we own, have a cushioned savings/emergency fund, 401k, etc. and also give abundantly. Most of my friends shop this way as well, so we’re looking out for each other and picking up each other items we know our children would like or fit. Take care everyone and enjoy your day!

    1. I hadn’t put two and two together about the kids getting better deals at garage sales, but it’s true! I usually leave the kids in the car because I don’t want the extra stuff they get handed. I didn’t think about working that charm in our favor, haha.
      I’ve never heard of Goodwill Outlet. That’s awesome.

  4. Loved this. So happy to see you writing this down for the new generation of moms. This is exactly what I did for our kids in the 1980s and 90s. Used to send my daughter to preschool in the expensive Polly Flinders dresses back then and never worried about them, since I had just paid a few $$ for them. Good memories.

  5. When I became a stepmom the first thing I learned is that the kids clothes are essentially a proxy war for the breakup of the parents: what a kid wears one place or another, who buys nicer clothes, etc.

    Seeing this “war” going on with my stepmom peers online (not as much at our house, but a little) I resolved to buy mostly used and just let it go. And for the most part, I’ve kept to that. I like to have one “fancy” outfit for both kids at our house so that if we’re going somewhere I’m not scrambling for khakis for SS12 or tights for SD10. But other than that, I just learned to let it go.

    Do I get annoyed when the cute Hannah Anderson or Lily Pulitzer dresses I bargain hunted for SD10 go missing after they go to their mom’s? Of course. But those dresses still cost about $5 each and I know I’ll be able to find more. So I just let it go. It’s not worth the argument.

    One last pro tip: we keep a bottle of spray and wash hanging off every hamper. DH and I are pretty good at getting our clothes. And when either kid notes a stain or spot I ask them to throw the piece on our bed for me to hit with the spray and wash. It’s saved a lot of clothes.

  6. Great post! I use a similar system, but we currently have three kids and plan to have more, so the bins of clothes are very rapidly accumulating 😳 Having both girls and boys (and obviously unable to predict what will come next) makes it all add up quickly as well.

    Garage sales have been a largely untapped resource for me, mostly because I never have cash and the idea of taking multiple young kids to garage sales can be a lot. But you’ve inspired me to get some “car cash” and make it happen next summer!

    1. Agreed! I’ve always been too lazy to go to garage sales but Mrs. FW has sold me. I think I’ve previously gone to them without a plan but picking ones that specifically mention lots of kids stuff and in size ranges above my kid sounds more doable! Facebook marketplace and Poshmark are so much easier but you don’t get these INSANE deals!

      1. Know your neighborhoods..go to the expensive houses with lots of kids.. community yard sales are the best.. done in all once.. go to neighboring community’s if worried about bumping into people you know

      2. I also do the “quick out” if a yard sale clearly doesn’t have anything I need. I usually go with a girlfriend of mine and she and I have gotten pretty good at vetting sales ahead of time based on how they’re advertised. If it doesn’t mention kid stuff, we typically don’t bother going (unless we’re looking for furniture or household goods). And, she and I will divide and conquer–she’ll start at one end, I’ll start at the other–because we know what sizes/types of toys the other is looking for. We have a good time too, which makes it all the more enjoyable!

    2. I have two young children and it’s so overwhelming, I use Facebook marketplace on Thursday to map out my path. I look only for sales that have what I need, if they only say kid clothes, I message and ask gender/sizes. You get pretty good at looking at the toys they are selling to get an idea of the age group of clothes lol. And I will only go to one or two and we end at a playground so the kids can play. I can only get them in and out of a car set so many times! Also I bring reusable bags for them to carry and I put (non gift) items in, kids feel like they are helping and it keeps their hands occupied.

  7. I am so lucky to have a FREE thrift store/church in my town. I volunteer there and we re-donate clothing and shoes back. It’s a magical place- I have furbished wardrobes for myself, my partner, and my 2 kids with quality nice stuff for FREE. I think it’s such a lovely thing to do for the community- we have a lot of need in the area in contrast to a lot of affluent summer residents and vistors. However we get so much stuff that there is tons to go around. It really astonished me when I’m hanging up clothes with the tag on or that I recognize from seasons past. It’s really sad that we have such a throw-away clothes/fast fashion culture here in the US.

    I’m not as organized with my kids clothes- I have a bin for clothing my oldest has outgrown or for past seasons to try again the following season and a bin for clothes to grow into. I have a boy and girl and my younger daughter is picky about clothes so it’s hard to reuse a lot of stuff. The hardest thing for my to find are sneakers that aren’t worn to pieces so often I will buy those new on super sale or on Mercari used but used minimally.

  8. I did this when my kids were little, but I can’t buy second-hand clothes any longer because of the smell. EVERYTHING is perfumed to the point that I can’t stand it, even after soaking in vinegar and hanging outside to dry. 🙁

    1. That was always my biggest issue….trying to find stuff that didn’t smell like a horrid mixture of super perfumed laundry detergent and fabric softener.

    2. Ohhhh…I detest that smell! And you know they douse everything to try to mask other smells because thrift stores don’t wash them. Another reason to seek out yard sales.

  9. The older my kids get, the harder this has become. They’re 8 and 10, and it’s a rare day when I find second hand clothes that don’t have rips in the knees (even athletic pants, which don’t lend themselves to cute patches), stretched out collars, faded shirts, pilling, etc. They’re also starting to have preferences, and I’ve brought home some duds from Goodwill, ha! I’ve become a little more laid back, and let my boys pick out shirts with Mario or Sonic on them… they turn out to be a nice and practical gift.

    1. Exactly! After around age 8, it’s hard to find clothes at garage sales! And if you DO find them, it’s not matching in style as 8-9 year olds are starting to get picky! And we don’t have anyone to get hand-me downs from either! So it’s been harder for us the last few years. My girls are now 15,12, and 9 and VERY different styles (one wears predominately boys’ clothes) and unfortunately, around 14-ish, my oldest was outgrowing clothes about every 4 months. Good luck Mrs. Frugalwoods! – hope your success continues in this area but I’m a little pessimistic, sorry! We basically buy new from Target and Kohl’s and do consignment at Plato’s Closet and others, and just hope that some clothes will be enjoyed by the younger sisters.

  10. When my son was young, particularly as a baby and toddler and preschooler, I bought nearly everything from an Amvets store (sadly, now closed); this was before the internet and widespread groups for sharing clothes or selling them cheap. This definitely eliminated getting upset over ruined clothing; I still remember when his daycare provider informed me his diaper had leaked in the sandbox and his pants were now encased in what may be best described as “organic and bad-smelling concrete” and I didn’t blink at throwing the entire mess in the trash – because the pants had cost $2. Another benefit of buying already-washed clothing that often had tags removed was that my sensitive son was comfortable in them which also eliminated some battles. As an adult he has little interest in clothing beyond, is it comfortable and does he like it. However, shoes were always purchased brand new and good quality so his growing feet could grow properly and so feet problems didn’t develop (I spent more on shoes than on the rest of his wardrobe combined!), and I once bought a brand-new snowsuit for him as a young toddler because it had double zippers that made it so easy and quick to get on and off (e.g., diaper changes) that it was worth every cent.

    I do have one question but it relates to buying clothing for adults rather than children: any tips on finding good used clothing in plus sizes? I haven’t been able to find plus-size clothing that’s comfortable and nice-looking; anything I find either isn’t my style or especially is ripped or stained. If I were a size 10 again it’d be easy (but maybe that’s just as well, so half of Goodwill doesn’t wind up in my closet…).

    1. I was at a local consignment store (it was similar to Plato’s Closet but more “grown-up”) which had a pretty decent plus sized section. They’re usually between a thrift store and a TJ Maxx price range. I’m sure it varies depending on your location but may be a good place to start.

    2. Hi Laura,
      One thing I can suggest if you are looking to buy NEW but cheap and cute plus size clothes is to look into Shein (online). They always have sales, and free shipping with a minimum buy (often it’s 10$), and really since I found this I am much happier buying clothes (and paying a fair price, as opposed to in stores!). ** You have to check sizing because it’s not ‘regular plus size sizing, it’s from China. **, so it’s made smaller.

    3. If you’re open to online shopping, I recommend using ThredUP! It’s more expensive than a traditional thrift store, as everything is pre-sorted and vetted, but it’s a great resource for gently used or even new with tags clothing in a huge range of sizes. I really like it for the excellent search filters, which allow you to control for size, color, material, style, etc.

      (I’d also like to lend my support to the commenter who urged against shopping at Shein. This kind of fast fashion company may be cheap financially, but the high cost comes in the form of environmental and human exploitation.)

    4. Check out @selltradeplus on instagram or facebook, it’s an online consignment store specifically focused on plus-size fashion. Lots of cute stuff!

    5. I second Diana’s comment on Shein!!!

      online thrift shops like ThreadUp or direct-to-seller shops like Poshmark are fantastic for all sizes!

  11. This is similar to my approach but I never do yardsales for clothes. It has simply never worked for me! I do thrift stores and also those clothing sales events aimed at kid’s clothing. The names vary from state to state, the one I often did in Colorado was called Just Between Friends. All the thrift stores I go to have a tag color on sale each day so I take note of that and try to find items that are marked down. If something is really good I’ll get it anyway because it’s still a heck of a lot cheaper than retail. For the clothing sales events, I would always wait til the final day because most things are half off. I’d show up right when the sale opened and go to town. Some items I try to buy a little large. I had to buy a new jacket for my kid this year so I got it a size bigger than he actually needs. In my experience most kids are somewhere on the spectrum of “this jacket is too large thru this jacket is too small” so perfect fit is not required and I usually get 2 years out of a jacket this way. I also shorten pants into shorts in the summer, particularly those that get the knee blown out. I admire the folks who resell their kids clothes but I honestly don’t have the time so I donate back what is still in good condition and consider that it’s good for the environment! My kid wore it used and passed it on so when another kid gets it that’s at least 3 kids who wore an item.

  12. Being a mom on the other side of raising kids, I can attest to the benefit of buying used, passing down to other siblings, and teaching kids that the brands they wear don’t define worth. Three boys within 4 years of each other allowed clothes to be passed from one drawer to another. Short sleeve shirts were layered with long sleeve ones to extend their usage. Jeans with holes were patched for play pants and then cut off for summer shorts when the length was too short but the waist still fit.
    As adults, the boys do have certain things they prefer, but none are going broke buying name brands to try to impress anyone.
    Excellent post!

  13. I’ve always envied the freedom your girls have in regards to their clothing choices. How much different would I feel today about clothes if I had grown up with that freedom and no judgement. They are very lucky children.

  14. Our daughter was initially fostered by us before turning into a surprise adoption. ❤️ She and her birthmom stayed at a mum&kid home for a while and the home receives donated clothes. This made it very easy to define clothes as something we received from my friends’ older daughters and then brought, outgrown, to the mum&kid home a couple of times a year. My daughter is 16 now and, if I can say so myself, makes very conscious buying choices at an age where most teenagers seem to be about the Bigger Better Faster More approach. 😄 This was a very fun and interesting article as usual, Mrs FW, and the pictures of the girls are priceless, you’ve got such an EYE!! 😂

  15. I have the same clothing storage system for my 4 and 6 year old girls. I learned about it through the book Tightwad Gazette way back in the late 90’s when I had my first round of kids. It’s so amazing when my kids grow over nite just to go to the closet and pull out a bin and grab the clothes without stressing out over affording a shopping trip right then. I thrift all my girls clothes as Goodwill has them for $2 a piece. I look for half price tags and will buy up to 2 sizes bigger to store. I do the same with shoes but I need a better system as I just throw them all in a box on the top shelf of the closet.

    1. Ahhh yes, shoes! I have shoe bins labeled with the size range on the outside. Then, inside the bin, each size is in its own plastic shopping bag with a label on the exterior. This mostly works although I get lazy and just throw shoes in throughout the year…

  16. My frugal hack is living in Florida, lol. We don’t have to buy any heavy winter gear and my kids can wear the same shorts and t-shirts for 90+% of the year. Our one “splurge” is that I buy my older sons running shoes from the running shoe store. They are both on the track team, and I think it’s important for them to have good shoes that fit. Because they don’t run *that* much at track, they wear the shoes every day to school as well, so I feel like they are really worn out by the time they have been outgrown.

    1. On the downside, I don’t have an attic or basement, so clothing storage is at a premium. Clothing storage has to fit in the same linen closet as all my holiday decorations, lol. Right now I keep it to 2 bins that contain the best stuff my older two sons have outgrown that I’m saving for the third.

  17. I didn’t have many used options (and no internet) when my kids were young, but I happily accepted hand-me-downs when I could. Unfortunately, I had girls and my siblings had boys. Some of the boys’ clothing was unisex of course, and a tee-shirt is a tee-shirt, but there were no dresses, nightgowns, ballet flats, mary janes, leggings or ruffled skirts in those clothes – all of which my girls definitely wanted. A friend or two had girls, so I accepted what was available there.

    I hunted for bargains and relatives preferred to give them clothes for birthdays and Christmas, rather than load us up with too many toys, so we managed.

    My biggest problem with hand me downs at home was that my oldest was a short-for-her-age child of normal weight and my youngest was tall for her age and very slim. For example, the winter clothes that fit the oldest didn’t fit the youngest when she reached about the same age in winter – they were too wide (the pants fell down) and too short (sleeves half up her arms, high-water pants and dresses that showed the underwear too easily), so we weren’t able to re-use all the clothes of the oldest. I still believe hand me downs and second hand are the best way to go if possible for young children. Once they get older, well, all bets are off. Some still are happy to wear used, some most definitely aren’t.

  18. I buy about 80% of my daughter’s (7 years old) clothes through second-hand or consignment groups and sites. I love KIDIZEN for a lot of her clothes. I am also in a Tea resale group on FB and she loves their dresses/shirts. They’re very $$$ to buy new but I have scored some amazing finds through this group. I line-dry all of them so I can sell/pass them along to the next person. She doesn’t care that they’re used – she just (currently) cares that they are pink or have unicorns/butterflies, etc on them. The only things I buy new for her are underwear and shoes (unless they are NWT). Plus I feel like a lot of the clothing out there for kids is rubbish and has ridiculous messaging on it, so I would rather take extra time to find things that are appropriate for her age and that she loves.

  19. This is my method too, except my #1 source by far is dumpster diving. This varies by where you live obviously, but where I live, the rich foreign students at the college throw EVERYTHING out. Some have little kids here with them, so now that my kids are older those tossed kids’ clothes are washed up and given to the neighbors with little kids (they know where the stuff comes from and they are totally down for it!). If nobody has a kid that size, another neighbor takes the clothes to the homeless shelter where they volunteer.

    The real jackpot is for my teens and their friends. A lot of the time, these students toss stuff with the tags still on or in like-new condition. Wash it up and you’re good to go. Dumpsters for the win! Obviously stuff like undies and socks is a no-go unless it’s new in the package still, but pretty much everything else is fair game. My #2 is garage sales (Florida, so these are year-round here). #3 is thrift stores. I also find them to be overpriced a lot of the time, but some can be winners (like the thrift store that sold my daughter’s dream homecoming dress for $1). I couldn’t tell you the last time we went shopping in a retail store unless it was to use the free panties coupons from PINK lol. I am huge on environmental impact so pulling items out of the waste stream is probably the biggest motivator, with the secondary motivator being financial for sure.

    1. Woohoo! Rock on with your dumpster diving self!! We loved dumpster diving back when we lived in Cambridge–SO MUCH GOOD STUFF. Out here, people do leave free piles by the roadside in good weather and I have scored some fabulous things, but it’s definitely not as reliable/consistent a source as it was in the city. Go dumpster dive for me :)!!!

  20. Like all your posts, I feel like I could have written this same thing, twin. We too shop for used lots where we can easily find boxes of clothes for $0-20. Soooo many free kids clothes listed on our Buy Nothing Group. We happily welcome hand me downs and don’t care about brands, style, fashion. Our 4.5 yo can’t stand jeans which we chalk up as a win in our books – she’s already focused on comfort first.

  21. My mom kept a number of articles of clothing (including a couple of Halloween costumes) I wore in the early 60s/60s. Both my kids wore those clothes (except for the awful, stiff baby dresses – what were people thinking?). Kind of neat having pictures of myself and my kids wearing the same article of clothing. Not sure if the costumes are packed away but the clothes are. These might get passed along now since I don’t see any future family wearers of said items. Clothes, particularly material, were much better made in that era.
    My kids also wore a lot of hand me downs and absolutely nothing wrong with letting kids dress themselves. They do come up with some interesting combinations though lol

  22. An additional resource I’d like to point out is Facebook Marketplace! I have bought “Lots” of clothes for my kids, and after covid, a lot of sellers will leave the items right on their doorstep for me to grab, no interaction needed! I have also tried being more cognizant of what I get for my daughter, especially outerwear, so it’s “gender neutral” and my younger son can also grow into it. Marketplace also has a shipping option, so I’ve ordered, say, winter boots for my kids in the exact size I need, for around $15 and they ship it right to my door!

  23. My 3 year old only wants to wear the same yellow flower dress even though I have several other dresses in various colors for her.

    I found another yellow dress with flowers. She said that one had flowers that were too big.

    Most of our clothes are second hand. Our library has a resale shop that I love!

  24. I tend to just buy anything we need from our local kids consignment store. they have a huge stock and great selection. I may end up paying $3 for a pair of pants instead of even cheaper yard sale prices, but it’s a one stop shop and WORTH IT for me. Anything I can’t find there or don’t get as a hand me down, I’ll shop for new, but usually that’s a few specific items. Pajamas are hard to find second hand for some reason…. I also often sell back to the same consignment store when i’m done with the items if they’re still in sellable shape, or give away as play clothes on my buy nothing group 🙂

  25. The phrase “shopping in the basement” took me back, as that’s exactly what we called it when we went downstairs to find “new” clothes or shoes from the stash. My boys (now young adults) are nearly 4 years apart in age but were about 1-2 sizes apart. As for shoes, I watched store clearance sales and bought any size sneakers they were likely to fit into within the next few years. Great post, great system, and great values!

  26. I’d posit that $162 per winter snowsuit per kid per year is a HUGE amount of money saved over time on just that one item. Multiply that across many items and many years, and it is a LOT of money that can be applied to literally ANYTHING else in your life. Yeah, as they get to the point where the same outfit can be worn year over year, it may be worth the time and money to find something that is the perfect fit/color/quality, but for a small child that may grow out of it quickly, i would have a hard time justifying that cost when i can find something used and in good condition.

    And I can’t speak for Ms. Frugalwoods, but I do buy a good bit of my own clothes on the used market. it saves so much money. Plus I don’t have to replenish an entire wardrobe every 6 months like I do for my kids 🙂

  27. With kids, it’s usually outgrown in a season. She plays hard so it’s possible leggings get ripped or a dress gets muddy. I do get a lot of my clothes used, but I generally stay about the same size so I won’t outgrow something after a season. I got several used dress shirts for cheap recently for my husband. I bought them from someone who now works remotely permanently and they are in great condition (less than $5 a shirt!)

    My kid’s shoes are used now (things like winter boots that get worn for a few months are great!). I try to get sneakers new if I can but I send used shoes to preschool as backup.

  28. When they were babies it was all thrifted. Then they grew up and developed their own sense of style, which I support, so we mostly buy new but on sale as much as possible. I still try to get some hand me down (Buy Nothing group) but it’s very hit or miss. Also, they don’t have a ton of clothes so they rotate, and they wear school uniforms (tops), which helps. (they are almost 11 and 13 btw)

  29. This feels so regionally dependent! In our area (large northeast city, not a generally affluent one) the secondhand clothes I find at thrift/consignment shops and yard sales tend to be already worn out and/or so pricey that’s it isn’t a savings. Shoes have been nearly impossible to source used…they often have totally worn down soles and rips in the uppers. Instead I pick through clearance racks and wait for major sales, so I end up sourcing new fairly often but still for 1/4-1/3 of retail price. I will also use Mercari for big items like winter coats and have been able to find high quality options for very little $. We are planning on 3-4 kids eventually so I hope we’ll get good mileage out of hand me downs even within our own family!

    On the other hand I have found pristine mittens secondhand very easily.

    1. Same for me. We were able to yard sale / consignment pretty easily in the Mid-west, but here in NC, most used items – are about used up. My son has a specific style (hoodie + Tee + shorts), so I usually end up cruising through the kids (now men’s – sniff) section at Target/ Kohl’s for clearance goodies at seasons end, and have a tote I stock with the “next size up” so I don’t have to emergency buy. My biggest win was that he doesn’t care about the brand – just comfortable. I did start a list on my phone of what was still missing, so that I didn’t end up buying more of something than he would need.

  30. I really wish I had the time to go to thrift stores and yard sales, and become friends with rich people! It’s totally different when you work full time.

    1. What needless snark. I work full time and still have time to go to yard sales and thrift stores, just like I have time to go to the grocery store and the drug store.

  31. teaching kids to love thrifted clothes is a great thing to do! I have 6 neices and 5 nephews and all love thrifted clothes. It’s like finding a treasure. Prom dress give aways are common these days and save hundreds of dollars. They need a tuxedo give away for the guys though.

  32. I also source about half our children’s clothes secondhand – either hand me downs from friends or a seasonal trip to a children’s consignment store. These are excellent ways to save money. But I want to point out the amount of time to find, wash, organize, label, etc this takes as well as large amounts of storage space. How many bins of clothing do you have and how much space does it take up? It’s a resource trade to do this – less money but usually more time and definitely more storage space (which also costs money – storage bins, larger house, etc). Doesn’t negate the point, but worth pointing out. I have run out of places to store our kids clothes (we are saving for future kids too) and I have spent a good bit on storage bins.

  33. I just bought those same base layers for my oldest in the same sale – where we live a lot of people don’t use base layers so it’s almost impossible to get as hand me downs/garage sale unless you happen to know someone with similar winter hobbies. Thankfully they don’t get torn up like mittens so they can get passed down to younger siblings.

    9m and 12m pants however seem to get absolutely shredded!

  34. I really loved this post. My kids are growing up in Silicon Valley, I wish so much that they had the opportunity to get muddy and hang out with chickens!

  35. Visiting with my best girlfriend of 50 years ago, we talked about getting our kids clothing at rummage sales. There weren’t nearly so many thrift stores where we lived then. Our girls were getting into the double digits. We bought what we liked and would hang them on closet doorknobs. Girls would be somewhat interested…But the interest would really escalate when they were told that those clothes weren’t for them. We were cutting them up to make quilts. Nearly every time, the clothing was rescued by the girls and happily worn from then on. It brought back laughter to us and good memories!

  36. Love the mittens! I even looked online to see if they had adult size as an option — unfortunately not.

    And what a great mindset to bring up kids around consumption, clothing and “keeping up”.

  37. That’s pretty much how we did it when our daughter was small, except for a few Hanna splurges that I always resold when she outgrew them. And as she hit junior high, she was taller than some of my friends who were the beneficiaries of some of her winter coats and shoes. And now at 20, the kid loves to thrift!

  38. Loved this post.

    We have 6 kids 12 and under w twins on the way (wow that looks even more shocking written out), and I’ve thrifted most of the clothes from the beginning. We live in Denver and the metro area is sprawling and fairly affluent, so I regularly find nwt items at Goodwill or Arc, especially for younger kiddos. Thrifting, in my experience, is generally not accomplished as a one off success.You learn which locations are best for which items, and it really can become as easy as popping in one or two times a month and checking the inventory, spending 15 minutes or so walking through the store just before closing time if that’s when you can get away. We’ve also had great luck finding big ticket outdoor toys this way (think ziggles, rip sticks, plasma cars, razor scooters) which is so nice bc we can stock the garage for the whole neighborhood to play for 5/pop.

    Finally, we have absolute open door policy w any and all hand me downs. I have a large local extended family and a big social network, so anything we can’t use I can easily find a home for. A neighbor recently dropped off some Sorrel snow boots, a stack of adidas athletic pants, and a bunch of like new Under Armor hoodies. My 10 and 12 year olds were thrilled, and I calculated the pile to be close to $200 worth of clothes.

    I do keep a pretty minimalistic inventory on hand because my experience has been the Lord constantly provides and I’d rather match something I’m not going to use in the next 6 months w someone who can use it today.

    Pro tip: keep a running inventory and a breakdown of kids’ current sizes (especially shoes!) and any wardrobe gaps in your phone so you can grab what you need if you happen upon it.

  39. Great post! I try to get second hand clothing when possible, and if I can’t, I buy a year ahead at the end of season sales. You’re fortunate with your girls, Mrs FW. I can usually find great second hand clothing for my daughter (10), but boys stuff is a different story! Hardly any and if there is something, it’s often quite shabby.

    1. My sister (who has 2 girls and 1 boy) says the exact same thing about second-hand boys clothing! My sister’s hack is to buy used “girly” clothing that fits her son and then remove the lace/pink/buttons/etc OR cover them up with a sewn-on patch of fabric in a pattern he likes. She reports this works especially well with pairs of jeans.

  40. I love getting hand-me-downs for my kids! I also go shopping in my garage at the beginning of spring and autumn to see what I’ve got for the coming season, and what gaps there are. I’m lucky enough to have 2 friends with girls who are 3 years older than my daughter, so I get all their clothes when they’ve outgrown them. My son has an older male cousin who passes his things on, as well.
    We always buy shoes new, unless the ones that have been passed on are in almost new condition. That said, my kids only have a pair of sneakers and a pair of sandals, as we are pretty minimal with our clothing and don’t get extreme weather here in Sydney, Australia.
    I’ve found that since starting school, my kids now only have 3 school uniforms and around 4 other outfits for wearing on the weekend and on holidays, so we were able to get rid/ of heaps of clothes.


    And never under-estimate the power of the local family group chat for finding or passing on used stuff! Almost all of my kid’s stuff has come from 4 local families with older kids and all of our stuff goes to a family with a kid two years younger than ours. It’s a wonderful little local economy!

    1. I would be a MUCH worse parent if I didn’t have DANIEL TIGER!!!!! I need a shirt that says, WWMTD (what would mom tiger do?)

  42. For my son, yard sales were the bedrock source of his wardrobe and his toys for many young years.
    One thing I developed for myself was how to measure baby clothes, as the sizes in the “month” range are very inconsistent across brands. Often things had been washed and shrunk.
    The key measurement is crotch to chin. Legs might still fit, but there if the body is wrong, it is wrong. Periodically, I would measure a onesie or sleeper that fit him well to use as a guide.
    The measurement was based on my hands: One hand up, or two hands sideways, or one hand up and one sideways, or one hand with fingers stretched, etc., as he got older. That way, I could judge if something in a store or at a sale would fit.
    Onesie extenders were a huge budget saver for me, (small squares that snap on to add a few key inches).

  43. I am a long time reader (as in before you had children or moved to the country) and this may be my first comment. Thank you for the years of wonderful content!
    I have to comment here because your system brings back tender memories for my similar system years ago. Garage sale kids clothing shopping started when my newborn son was strapped in a front pack, I was taking a walk with him in the neighborhood, stopped at a yard sale and found a pair of Levi’s size 4T boys jeans for a quarter. It was a life changing moment! My relatives turned up their noses at my way of shopping but my kids wore high quality clothing that we could not have afforded otherwise. Decades later, I now shop garage sales for that newborn boy’s three children. And no one is scoffing any more.

    1. Oh, I so hear you! My mom could not believe I bought at garage sales, but I was (and still am) enjoying it and found really nice things, for like a quarter. I still remember a cute applique sweater for our son that I found literally for a quarter.

    1. Yes, for business clothes, know your brands and sizes and go on Thredup or Ebay. I have an office job and need to look halfways civilized, and that’s been my way to go for many years. Also, mix old things with jewelry or scarves, looks always nice. Have a black skirt with colorful tights or a black sweater with a colorful necklace. I find the jewelry at craft fairs, on Etsy and at garage sales. I am 6ft tall, so it’s difficult to find clothes that fit right. My go-to has been the gap for basic T-Shirts and jeans, always waiting for sales & specials, they last forever, the quality is really good.

  44. Not sure if it’s been mentioned already, but I have had luck finding cute used clothing at “Just Between Friends” consignment sales and church rummage sales.

  45. A really good and inexpensive base layer is fleece lined tights or leggings.

    Have done some yard sale finds and online consignment shopping for specific things like a winter coat or dress up clothes for a wedding. Have also found some things in my Buy Nothing Group. I have an only child so all the other kids we know are all around the same size. This made it hard to get hand me downs.

    Now that he’s a teen, he’s starting to wear things that don’t fit my husband anymore.

    Also, my husband is now full time work from home and does the laundry. We just don’t need as much stuff because everything gets washed in a more timely manner.

  46. Same way I raised my kids in the SF Bay Area with two rather modest incomes. Best yard sales where in fancy neighborhoods where I found brand name clothing at amazing prices. My mentor at work back then handed me down an entire box of almost unused Hanna Andersson clothes, I was in heaven and after my daughter passed them on to a friend with a younger daughter, still in great shape … now, the kids are teens and love thrifting. Our son works at a nice gym as a side gig in HS, and he gets a lot of items when they give away their lost and found after three months – the employees can go through the pile before it goes to the Goodwill; most recent a brand name puffer jacket that fits him perfectly and is like new. Never bought ski clothes – people here don’t use them that often, so I received everything almost untouched, including ski snowboots, bibs etc.; books are from the library sale or used bookstore, and I purchase my professional clothes (J Crew and Banana Republic where I know the sizes) mostly on Ebay or Thredup and people at work have asked me how I can always look so well dressed … haha, you just need to know your size and you can get the best things at amazing prices. I give away what I don’t need through the local Buy Nothing Group. That’s also great for giving and receiving plants, planting pots etc. and I do both. Have not purchased a plant for my yard in quite some time …

  47. A random tip from a former elementary school office manager- ask your school if you can take the lost and found to the goodwill before each school break and you will get pick of the lost and found items and brownie points from the office staff who often end up dealing with the left over lost and found. I was a particularly frugal/environmentally aware office manager who would wash clothes , find homes for what I could and then take the rest of anything usable to Goodwill but many don’t have the energy for that and it just goes in the trash. So many expensive water bottles, lunch bags and jackets!! (Bonus points if you are willing to go through it a few weeks ahead of time to look for names on things and post on a parent group page about your time frames (ie: all items in lost and found will be donated at the start of Winter Break) so they can search for their own kids stuff- if a parent doesn’t take this on, again, it ends up being staff- if they have the capacity).

  48. I used the same approach when my kids were small, really up until about age 12. Now that they’re teenagers, I’ve transitioned toward a combination of scouting free clothes for them to consider, and giving them a budget of $50 per month per kid for clothing, which they can spend or save as needed.

    This was based on what I was spending out of pocket, and scaling up a bit to adjust for the reality that teen boy pants and shoes and coats are quickly outgrown and hard to come by, plus that teens have more specific preferences and are determining their own style. I wanted to put an upper lid on spending, and motivate them to seek out good deals, knowing that they’re living in an environment where most of their peers come from affluent families who spend a small fortune on teen clothing whims.

    The result is that my teens do have strong opinions about their clothing preferences and choices, but they’re extremely price conscious and hunt for good deals. They occasionally splurge on an expensive piece, if they love it, and if the novelty wears off fast, then it’s a good life lesson because the money is gone.

    Both kids have accumulated more savings than the average American household has (!) and still manage to have appropriate wardrobes, so I guess we’re doing something right. I’d estimate their actual spending is somewhere in the neighborhood of $200/yr per kid, including shoes and coats, and they pocket the other $400.

    1. That is a fantastic approach!!! I love anything that enfranchises kids to manage their own money. Brilliant! You are giving your kids an amazing gift of financial literacy!!

  49. It gets much harder to find used clothing as they get older. When my kids were young, hand me downs were abundant! My older boys are teens now and taller than their dad, bigger feet too! I’ve tried Thrift Stores but it can be quite time consuming looking for 4 kids and after leaving multiple times with nothing I’ve kind of given up! My youngest (7) gets some hand me downs still and we always pass her clothes along to friends with younger kids! I didn’t have time to hit any garage sales this summer (I usually work on the weekends) but will need to try next year! We spent much more that I would have liked on clothing and shoes this year!

  50. I have a boy followed by 2 girls. One trick that has worked well is buying snowpants and winter boots in black or maybe gray with no patterns. 2-3 kids will go through each pair and since they are not clearly a boy or girl item, it works for all 3 and goes with any winter coat.

  51. We were lucky to have a daughter that slotted in right after our friends two daughters, and in the middle of a pack of cousins. With two families of hand me downs and one family to return outgrown clothes to, it has been a dream! Now my daughter is 11 and big for her age we’ve caught up to the older girls so we’re buying clothes. But she also has much stronger opinions on clothes (black leggings EVERY day? And what do you mean the winter coat is “too thick”?) so it is working out well to buy what she’ll actually wear. And we can still hand down the outgrown or not-to-our-taste clothes.

  52. Thanks that was a great article and close to my heart. The two main points for me are the environmental impact and the impact on the kids identity/moral compass. Too much emphasis has been for a long time on how you look and what brands you wear. Not much thought is given to the seat shops behind the brands, the impact on your environment and the waste once the clothes go out of fashion. Here is hoping articles like this raise the awareness and make a difference…

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