Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Helpful Hand-me-downs

I think its safe to say that, at some point, all of us have worn hand-me-downs. Maybe the 'only' children out there didnt, or maybe some of you were lucky enough to have parents who earnt enough moolah to buy everything brand new. For the rest of us, there is probably some instance of being given and being forced to wear clothes that were previously owned and worn by older siblings, cousins, or family friends. Being the eldest in my family, i will admit that i didnt get many hand-me-downs at all - sadly, i couldnt find the photo of me wearing my cousins red overalls. ( My cousin was a boy. The overalls said " sheriff " on them. My mum see no harm in this what so ever.... )
Now that i have my own child, i am being given clothes for him, courtesy of my aunt. My cousin is only 18 months older than Flynn, and he's small for his age, so the clothes are spot on for the size that Flynn is almost ready to grow into. That is, she last week gave me a giant bag of size 1 winter clothes... which will be perfect for my chubba bubba who is currently in size 0 summer gear. After my rant last week about the lack of money in our budget at the moment, i'm really grateful to be given some hand-me-downs. I have no shame in accepting them. My aunt has good taste, the clothes are good quality ( and some are even brand new, never worn ) and it saves me a tonne of money that we can put towards saving for other things. And Flynn isnt at an age yet where other kids will notice the fact that not everything is brand new.

But other mums might. I know i said i'm not ashamed for him to wear hand-me-downs, but i am concerned other mums in my mummy-circle might silently judge me. So my question to you - what do you think of hand-me-down couture? Did you wear them as a kid, and do your kids wear them now? And can i just dispense with the " hand-me-down " label and start calling them " vintage " ?


  1. Not only do my two wear hand me down couture, but they also wears threads that I find in local Op shops. Yeah baby!

  2. I am also the oldest and had the joys of receiving my cousins' worn brand name items, and in all honesty, I wasn't embarrassed. I knew my Mum struggled alone, and the clothes I received were in one piece, if a bit faded, so who cared as far as I was concerned.
    The only thing that annoyed me about hand me downs was I was desperate for a Cabbage Patch doll. My Mum couldn't buy one for me "on the spot" so my older cousin gave me her's... it was a boy Cabbage Patch doll, with no clothes. That was NOT COOL.

    Anyway, I don't have anyone to give me "hand me downs" for my kids, but they definitely wear Op Shop clothes. I have been given some items in the past for my daughter [than Goodness because I was strapped financially and she came on her due date, and I kept putting the buying of clothes off... stupid!!!] and I've not been ashamed for her to wear them.
    If they are incredibly worn, then she can wear them around home. Who cares!?

    With the price of kids' clothes, I reckon it'd be rare to find someone who hasn't worn hand me downs.

    Great Post :) :)

    Now I am going to email my cousin and ask her for the naked Cabbage Patch doll's clothes.!!

  3. Hand me downs are fabulous, and if your mum's are going to diss you then they are a little too precious. Have they not seen how dirty a one year old gets? Who wants to spend $$$ on clothes that are going to get wrecked. Ollie is given lots of hand me downs, Flynn wears Ollies hand me downs, and will probably even wear third hand clothes. Don't be worried what everyone elses thinks, every mum I know loves loves loves hand me downs.

  4. Hand me downs do still have a "pauper" tag to them in some peoples minds, so I understand where you are coming from. My mothers group is great though, we even have a giant bag of maternity clothes, it has seen through a few second and third babies now. We each pass the bag on, you can throw out what is wrecked and if you buy anything while preggers, add it to the bag.

    Immy is dressed in 80% 'vintage couture' but I also find most friends pass on their best stuff, so she is also usually dressed in CR, Big by Fiona scallan, Oobi, Infancy, etc...all at zero cost to me.

    if someone was to think less of me or her for the clothes she wears, well they wouldn't want to say it out loud, I would do my best to humilate them with their own snobbery.

  5. I am the first of my family and friends to have a child, so she doesn't have the option of hand-me-downs. However, about 80% of her clothing is purchased at children's resale events. Our budget shouldn't take a hit because I want my daughter to be dressed cute. I openly tell everyone about my awesome deals and many are surprised that these things aren't new. If you're worried about it, just tell people they were a gift. Or tell them to kiss it! :D

  6. I agree with all the other comments. I feel so lucky to have two nieces not much older that my daughter, so I have lots of lovely hand me down clothes for Ida. It would have cost a fortune otherwise. One of the many good things about having so many 2nd hand clothes, is that you can still buy lovely little pieces when they catch your eye - things you might not have been able to afford if you had to buy every piece of clothing. You are lucky that you have someone to give you clothes that will be perfect for Flynn.

  7. Up until recently most of Miss P's clothes have been hand me downs. I think the majority of people don't even notice and most of us do it anyway! The only reason P doesn't have them now is that there's no-one close enough to hand them down to us! When we were getting them, to be honest a lot of things either hadn't been worn or had only been worn a few times so looked more or less new anyway.

    I really don't know that many people who can afford to clothe their kid in brand new stuff all of the time. Money's tight for pretty much everyone.

    If any of the mums in your circle look down on you because of it then tell them where to go!

  8. My kids wear lots of second hand clothes - op shop finds, hand me downs from cousins and friends etc. Some are a bit hammered, but they quickly get relegated to the 'for daycare' pile. But there's nice stuff too. Seriously, who'd say no to free clothes for their kids? Silly people, that's who.

  9. Heck yeah! With four kids? Who could afford brand new for them all? I buy second hand since we don't have any one to hand things down to us though.

  10. Gosh my baby boy (16mths) has worn hand-me-down from birth. I have a girlfriend who loves to op-shop and she supplied almost his whole wardrobe and still does. Even girlfriends who love brand name stuff and buy it for him often go to second hand stores (the cool ones that only sell fancy brands second hand). He is always well dressed for a toddler and I just about never have to clothes shop for him (I don't get gooey about baby clothes). Bub #2 is a month or so away and if a girl, above GF will be handing doen all her daughters clothes-score!