You know how it goes with the first child…new everything!  And all the time, often.  Then the second child comes along and well, bonus if they’re the same sex (and I wouldn’t blame you if your boy was all in pink because #timesbetough y’all!!)…because well, hand me downs 🙂  Poor Riley gets so excited when he receives something brand new from the shop shame – it’s like Christmas came early.  Most of the clothes he has are second hand.  Of course, I kept only the things that were in tip top condition but again, this is basically most of Ethan’s old clothes because as the first child, he just had so many new things all.the.time.

When Ethan started grade 1 last year, we bought him all brand new clothing items – from the uniform to the extra mural wear, everything was straight out of the box.  The first time he lost something, it was replaced almost immediately with a new item.  The second time, probably with some serious annoyance from myself, it was replaced again!  But then I started to realise that not only is he a child and he will lose things (thank goodness that very rarely happens now!! *touch wood*), but he also grows at a really rapid rate.  Things that fit at the beginning of last year were barely fitting him by June/July [read: school shoes, my child is now in a size 3, he’s 7!!!!].  Shorts from term 1 were still okay in term 4 length wise, but around the waist, they were a squeeze and in term 1 this year, they could only close if he sucked his breathe in and believe me, I tried.  Let’s face it though…kids outgrow things and need bigger sizes.

So I’ve eventually seen the light and am happy to pick up second hand items provided that they’re in good condition.  This morning, I picked up 2 pairs of winter trousers, a tie (so we have spare one in case) and a tracksuit jacket for sports on colder days all for the price of R200 from the school uniform shop.  To put it into perspective for those of you whose kids are not yet in “big school”, if I bought the trousers brand new from the same shop, 1 pair would have cost R180!!!!!  We’ve also been fortunate in that my cousin has given us some hand me down school clothing items, and he is happy as a pig in mud to have new stuff…whether it’s a hand me down or not!

So I was driving into work this morning thinking – what’s all the fuss about?  I mean, the child is going to be comfortable in clothes that fit him, and he’ll look neat because of course I made sure that the items chosen were in really good condition!  And then that got me thinking…when Riley starts big school in 2021, will I buy him brand new uniforms or will he start school wearing Ethan’s hand me downs??!!!

What do you do for your children?

Do you accept hand me downs from family?

If one child gets new things, do you give the other too?

15 responses »

  1. halberts2014 says:

    LOL, Liam gets new EVERYTHING. No siblings to get clothes from or pass clothes on to. He is also the only boy child in the family in SA. The only other boy cousin is in Oz.
    I give Liam’s casual hand me downs to the 13 year old, home-schooled boy across the road. Sounds odd for a 10 year old to give a 13 year old hand me downs, but Liam is big for his age and I tend to buy his clothes bigger so they last longer.
    I give Liam’s school clothes to the other boy across the road who is in the same school as Liam.
    I don’t give away the clothes if they look awful, they must be wearable. I’ve had to buy Liam new clothes nearly every term since he started school. He is now in Grade 4 and he just grows and grows. Feet a size 8 already (psssst, we share crocs and takkies))

  2. debraaukett says:

    With my kids not the same gender can’t really pass Jamie’s clothes down to Shae, but she has worn some gender-neutral babiegros and vests from Jamie… oh and a pair of shocking green water boots! Lots of toys and books handed down to her and I don’t think there’s any shame in that at all!
    Agree with the times are tough bit… Jamie lost his expensive tracksuit jacket the other day; and in the same week needed to get a blazer for his music evening… unexpected expense we couldn’t afford so we bought from the clothes bank at the school. All still in an excellent condition and perfectly clean. I believe it’s also good for the environment if people can get full use out of an item.

  3. debraaukett says:

    Oh forgot to say, we have a friend with a little girl just 2 years older than Shae and she gave Shae a lot of beautiful clothes – it was like Christmas for Shae, not that she needed extra clothes, but now she has so many more choices as Shae is a real girly-girl!

    Haha yeah so all in all,no problem with hand me downs…I got a lot of my older sister’s stuff too.

  4. Carmen M Davids says:

    I can tell you a funny story about a kid size Man United soccer top worn by my eldest son who is now 24, his brother and his sister and now my grandson….. I think MU has had 12 uniform changes during that time! I have always accepted hand me downs….no problem here. All 3 my kids used the same cot and carseat …

    • Jodie says:

      Oh wow! We have a jacket that worn by Marissa’s eldest son Cammy then on to Shayne. Next on to Robyn’s Liam. And now my Ethan wears it. Cammy is in matric!! I’m pretty sure it’ll go to Riley next and if we can keep it in good condition, down to Seth 🙂

  5. MamaCat says:

    I grew up on hand me downs and it was fine. But it was only family. Hubby grew up on hand me downs his mom bought and he does not like it. Hubby refuses to dress HB in second hand clothes, but I put my foot down on hand me downs from my family. I don’t see the need to waste when HB had 3 older boy cousins. So school clothes are all new but he will wear jackets and jeans given by his cousins.

  6. MamaCat says:

    And I sew the non branded school clothes like sports shorts and tracksuit pants.

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