My second kid is about to turn a year old. That milestone, coupled with the ever clearer resolve that two kids is plenty for this family, has brought me face to face with the reality that it's time to get rid of the teeny tiny baby clothes. As a person who gets teary when it's time to throw away a pair of holey old socks, this isn't easy for me. But as a person whose boys have been clothed almost entirely in hand-me-downs from generous friends and family, I know it's important to pay it forward.
As the first-born in my family, I don't remember wearing a lot of hand-me-downs (not counting what I stole from my mom's closet when I was old enough), but I do remember shopping for play clothes at the local thrift store. To this day, nothing gives me a thrill like finding a unique piece of clothing for just a few bucks, and as fate would have it, I married a guy who not only understands this but feels the same way. Poppin' tags has become a family affair. And as I mentioned, most of the clothes my boys wear are hand-me-downs, which I love even more than thrift-store finds because they've come from people we know and love. (And, of course, they're free.)
I do like to buy the boys new, full-priced clothing from time to time, but even in regular stores the clearance rack is my happy place. Buying used or collecting hand-me-downs just makes more sense to me. It's good for our budget, it's good for the community, and it strengthens personal ties when one person gives something she loves to someone else who will love it too.
Do your kids wear a lot of hand-me-downs or thrift store clothes?