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Secondhand Clothes, First Rate Style

$66.

That’s what I spent on that purple skirt two years ago.

She had an outfit when she was 11 months old that was close to $80. (It was a gift.)

Here’s the truth, I have expensive taste in clothes. Put a dozen random things in front of me and I’m going to like the most expensive one.

‘Tis both a gift and a curse.

When I found myself willing to spend more on an outfit that would last Addie for a year than I’d be willing to spend on something for myself that would last a dozen years, I realized I had a problem and that problem needed to be fixed.

The fix came in the form of secondhand shopping and thrifting.

I’ve done enough shopping to know what good construction is and how sizing works. Thankfully my gift for finding the best comes in handy when I’m standing in front of a crammed rack of used clothes. One of the best parts of secondhand shopping, aside from the glory of victory, is you can actually tell how things will wash and wear, because they’ve been washed and worn. There are many brands that look fantastic brand new, but wash them a few times and they look faded and misshapen. Great clothes made from great fabrics stand the test of time and will last far beyond one kid.

Sometimes going on a thrift hunt requires some serious post shopping hand washing, but it is so worth it once you get your new-to-you finds through your own washer, folded and ready to wear. My mom always took us shopping at secondhand and consignment stores and my sister and I actually liked it more than shopping in a regular store, it was exciting to find unique things and even better that we could leave with 5 secondhand shirts instead of 1 new one. For the most part kids don’t fit in clothes long enough to really wear them out and depending on where you decide to go shopping you can find amazing things.

My best friend not only has the gift of finding the best things on the rack, she has the extra bonus of luck on her side. She’d show up with bags full of high end thrifted clothes for my baby, stuff she’d find for less than $2 a piece. Her greatest find yet was a brand new baby sweater from Anthropologie, tags still attached with the original sale price of $74, she bought it for $3. She wrote an excellent article about the difference between thrift, consignment and vintage shops here, while the article relates to grown up clothes it is equally applicable to kids’ clothes as well.

Today Addie and I went on a second hand hunt and made out with over $300 worth of clothing for just under $60. We only had to go to one store and while it required slightly more hunting and pecking than going to the Gap…we had fun finding everything together and we had enough left over for a celebratory milkshake.

Our Thrifting Haul

Columbia Kids 3-in-1 Bugaboo Coat- full price $120, our price? $10

2 Old Navy long sleeved shirts/sweaters- full price about $12 each, our price? $2 each

Gap Velvet jeans – full price about $30, our price? $7

Old Navy denim capris- full price about $20, our price? $4.50

Gap fine wale cargo cords- full price about $30, our price? $4

Levi’s skinny jeans- full price about $20, our price? $3.50

O’Neill dress (new with tags)- full price $39, our price? $12

abercrombie hoodie- full price $49, our price? $10

Ruffly t-shirt dress- $3.50

That was our haul today. We always buy socks and underwear new, because, well…because.

What are your tricks for saving money on your kids’ wardrobe?

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Addie was Fancy Nancy for Halloween. We already had everything she needed.

Addie also has a gift for putting together the craziest outfits, that totally work.

Surprise, she also has an affinity for shoes that sparkle.

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