I’m often writing about my own second-hand finds, but I rarely talk about my childrens’ clothing, and where I source it from.
Having three girls means we have relied a lot on donations from other families, hand-me-downs and second-hand sources. I have scoured NCT sales, charity shops and specialist second-hand stores, as well as online sites, to pick up clothing for my girls. As a result we have rather a large collection of outfits and, living in a tiny cottage, very little room.
My middle and younger daughter share a room and one chest of drawers (plus some hanging space). So I have to be very ruthless when clothing comes into our house. To be honest, when they’re not in school uniform they tend to stick to the same few outfits anyway. My eldest is now at the age where a shopping trip to Primark with her pocket money is a monthly treat. We have talked a little about the shoddy manufacture of their clothes (and who makes them). However I’m not going to ban her from going there. As a result, though, her chest of drawers is crammed with cheap throwaway items.
I do rotate clothing and pack it up for the next child in line. This is where our loft comes in very handy and bags are stored there, divided into age and season.
I have also been trying for the past couple of years to really cut down on what the girls wear and am forever donating piles to charity shops. I’m not very good, though, at saying no to friends who pass on armloads of good quality clothing for the children to wear. Through these donations I have noticed that some labels last longer and it’s not unusual to find Boden items that have been worn by at least three other children by the time they reach us.
I have also been rather cheeky and some of the outfits donated by older children have ended up in my wardrobe. At present I am wearing this boxy burgundy jumper that was donated by a 14 year old!
If you read this blog regularly, though, you will also know that occasionally I buy first hand clothing for the kids. My last few experiences with cheap Primark outfits, though, has resulted in mending them (here). The lesson I’m learning is second-hand can be better quality that first-hand.