One late fall day, when Joe was about 18 months old, I was at a picnic for Adam's work when another mother came up to me. Our children were only a few days apart in age so we had lots to chat about. At one point, she asked, "Does your son wear hand me downs?"
The question totally surprised me, as we each had one child of opposite genders and I knew she wouldn't be offering me clothes. "Yes. We shop at consignment stores and garage sales frequently."
"That's great! In my culture, we believe you get the good...." she paused, looking for the word, "...graces from the person who once wore the clothes."
It's been years since our conversation but I still remember this idea. I love it. I've always been so thankful when people pass on clothes to us, because it really helps stretch our budget. The little boys are especially lucky, as we receive clothes from friends who have sons just a year or two older than George. Plus they get Joe's old clothes too. It's fun to see favorite items again.
I like seeing my kids' clothes on other children. I kept some of Camille's sweet Hanna Andersson Play Dresses/Day Dresses because I just couldn't bear to part with them. That is, until a friend had a little girl right after Cole. Now I get to see the cute dresses on her! I do keep the items that are really special to me or them but most of it gets passed on. Aside from the joys of decluttering (big box! not in my house!) I also like the idea of helping someone in the way we've been helped.
In case you are wondering, yes I wear used clothes too! My friends and I used to pass around maternity clothes. I have an older cousin and my aunt used to send my sister and myself her old clothes. Even as a kid, my cousin had fantastic taste in clothing and I loved her old stuff. Now, as adults, I still turn to her for clothing and accessory advice. I just wish she lived closer so we could go shopping together!
Even if I had unlimited money I know I would still accept, and shop for, used clothing. I am, after all, a hippie. Reduce, reuse, recycle, baby!
Do you accept or shop for used clothes? What brands do you just love?