Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Works for me Wednesday #7 - Shopping secondhand and outlet stores

When my first baby girl was born, I was thrilled to be able to buy cute dresses and outfits for her. Then I realized how expensive all of those little matching outfits and hats are. Especially for a child who will outgrow it a week later!

I also found that buying matching sets of shirts and pants or skirts wasn't a good idea since she (and her younger sister later on) wore a size smaller in pants than in shirts. So we ended up with cute little clothing sets where the shirt was either too small or the pants falling off. Buying separate pieces isn't always as much fun and can also be more expensive.

Are you sensing a theme here yet? LOL

Now that my oldest has grown out of the baby, toddler and little girl sizes, I'm finding other problems with buying clothes for her. Most of the clothes in the Girls 7-16 departments are trendy - and I'm not too thrilled with some of the current trends. They tend to show more skin than I'm comfortable with for a child of mine or aren't practical at all for a child who could care less about fashion and needs clothes that can take a beating. The clothes that I can find are generally - can you guess? Yes, the more expensive ones usually. I just can't justify spending $20 (or more!) on jeans when I know she'll just wear through the knees by spring anyway.

With a limited budget and a difficult time finding quality, practical, appropriate clothing, I have turned to two solutions. The first one is to shop as much as possible at secondhand stores. The clothes there are somewhat more worn - but then again so are most of the 'new' ones too since that's the style these days. They're already pre-shrunk so I know that if it fits her to begin with, it should until she grows out of it. And even if she does wear holes in the knees, I feel much better about replacing a pair of pants that I paid $5 for and can replace again, spending a total of less than I'd probably pay for a new pair to begin with. And older jeans with holey knees make great play pants or can be cut off into play shorts later on too.

I also find that the styles at secondhand stores are more in line with what I think is cute, yet still appropriate for a girl Abby's age. Sometimes you have to spend a little more time digging through the racks, but some of my favorite clothes of hers have been bought secondhand. And at her age, she doesn't care where her clothes come from (yet?) - new to her is still new. In fact, she gets all excited over being given clothes or shoes secondhand from friends or family and often insists on wearing them instead of the ones bought new for her.

The other way I shop for Abby, as well as my other girls when necessary, is to make 2 yearly trips to an outlet mall when I visit my friend Mary in March and October. In fact, we'll be heading there when the girls and I spend this coming weekend with her family. The outlet mall we go to has a Carter's Outlet as well as a Children's Place Outlet and I can generally find clothes for all of my kids there at incredible prices. Children's Place is especially awesome since they carry sizes for all 3 of my girls and I can find coordinating or matching clothing there for photo opportunities or special occasions. The last group photo we had taken of the girls shows them in matching shorts (and a matching skort on Becca) that I got at the Children's Place Outlet store for $1.99 each. It's hard to beat that - especially for cute, new, durable clothing.

It works for me!

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10 wonderful people said...:

Carrie said...

My friends call me the modesty police because I am always complaining about clothing that marketers think I'm going to put on my girls. It's crazy.

Thus began my obsession with Hanna Andersson. And I totally can't afford Hanna so ebay it is!

crazy working mom said...

Very well said! It's also great to have friends or family with children just older than yours so you can get great hand me downs! :)

Momma Bean said...

I absolutely love The Children's Place outlet!! In fact, you can often times find great deals there on clothes that are also at their regular store (which, by the way, if you go on a good day, also has fabulous deals!).

And, about the pre-teen clothes nowadays...I cringe to think what it will be like in 10 years!

Head Gaggler said...

Love that picture and I am with you on your shopping choices. My consignment shop is my best friend.

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

Which Children's Place outlet do you go to? We have one by us! :)

And I'm a Lands' Ender/LLBeaner. Their styles are very classic and their clothes last forever. They are more expensive, but they won't wear out!!

Marie said...

I love to shop Target's clearance racks. Every July they clear out EVERYTHING, I always stock up on several sizes. Then I sort the different sizes into different boxes, which I label and put on the closet shelf.

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

I love the Carter's Outlet and OshKosh, too. It's over an hour to the nearest outlet mall so I only go about twice a year. I hear there's a Children's Place outlet now, and I Can Not Wait to check it out!

Anna said...

My favorite store is Goodwill. When the kids were little, we got practically all their clothes there. It was always fun to see what we could find. When we found something nice, even if it was too big, we'd buy it for them to grow into. They both had a big plastic tub of clothes just waiting in the basement, so when they grew out of something, we'd look through the tub to see what they had grown into before going out and buying something new.

Now they're teenagers, and they seem to think they need new clothes, but they're still pretty good at looking for deals and shopping from the clearance racks. Goodwill is still ok on occasion, too. They both get a certain amount of money each month and have to buy their own clothes now. I bet they're glad they learned where to find a good deal so their money goes further.

FRIGGA said...

Lucky you - I hated hand me downs as a child. But now, as an adult, I'd say 70% of my current wardrobe are hand me downs while 20% were gifts. That leaves very little room for my own fashion style to sneak out ;-)

Jill said...

Don't forget about Ebay and garage sales. I think you live in the same area as me. You would be amazed at the stuff sold in the "wealthy" parts of town. I buy at least 50% of my clothes that way.