When we were children, handmedowns were quite normal. Being the eldest with a brother, there wasn’t many of my clothes passed down (apart from maybe jeans because I always had boys jeans for a few years anyway), but I was always given handmedown clothes from family friends with either older or bigger girls. A classic was a pink slightly padded anorack, a pink jumpsuit and a yellow block tracksuit. All very 80s and pretty horrendous really.
Now I have N. Apart from his newborn vests and sleepsuits which were new (because most of my friends with children at the time had already given all of that age of clothes away), he’s always had handmedowns – mostly from NCT nearly new sales. As he’s got older, he’s also had a few clothes handed down from his cousin.
But on the whole, we’ve been the ones passing clothes on to friends and also my godson where there’s the perfect age gap to be passing clothes on. N’s clothes are mostly immaculate when passed on because he’s got quite a few. Although even the ones he wears all the time are in pretty good condition. He’s not yet got to the playing football phase so I expect that’ll change once he starts school.
But recently we’ve been doing a bit of clothes swapping, or swishing to term it right.
I’d been through my wardrobe a while back and had a dustbin sack of clothes to get rid of in a variety of sizes. My theory is I’ll get rid of many of my smaller clothes, and once I’ve lost weight just get a new wardrobe! I took the bag into work to offer the clothes to a few people there. Our work’s all about reducing waste, so we were practicing what we preach!
One friend took a few items, then a couple of days later she turned up at work with 2 big dustbin sacks full of boys clothes. Her son’s 6 but very slight, so only just out of age 4-5, or age 5 clothes. I thought N had a lot of clothes, but 2 huge bagfuls had loads in for me to have a look through.
Some of the clothes were too small as they were age 3-4 and some of the 4-5 were a bit small (damn those children’s clothes which always seem to shrink faster than adults clothes), and not everything was my cup of tea or N’s colour (a lot of lime green for some reason). Many of the clothes had been passed on to them, although there were some brand new Boden t shirts still in bags that had been too small when passed on.
I do love rooting through clothes, and it worked out really well. Both my friend and I got a load of clothes, and managed to reduce our piles.
So we now have:
- numerous pairs of jersey shorts, which are great for nursery or playing in the garden, or even in place of pjs
- a few t shirts including a couple of the brand new Boden ones
- a pair of grey school trousers (the rest were all black and the schools round here are all grey)
- a variety of swim shorts – her children are all swimmers, and they’ll be great for if and when we go on holiday
- cargo shorts – some more substantial shorts, mostly casual, but a bit smarter than the jersey ones
- pair of light coloured summer trousers
Even taking a huge pile of clothes out for us, there was still a good 2 bags of clothes left…which are now driving round in my car with me until our working days where we’re parked near each other coincide to do a handover again.
N’s already worn a few of the t shirts, and has looked really nice in them. And he’s set up for summer now as well with all the shorts. Once we’re finished with them, My godson will be the next recipient…his mum, my best friend always notices when she’s dressed him in all N’s handmedowns.
Do your children have handmedowns? What do you do with their old clothes?