There is a lot of stigma around hand-me-downs, and I know a lot of people that curl their top lip up at the idea of them, but I’m not sure why. Especially, when it comes to kids clothes. Babies and children grow so quickly that things usually only fit for one season, so it seems a waste to see all your hard earned cash being spent on clothes that may only get worn a few times. I personally think of hand-me-downs as little treasure chests, you never know what’s inside that bag!
I’ll never say no to something for nothing and as my Dad always says ‘you don’t get rich by spending money’ so why wouldn’t you take some clothes if someone is offering? Having said that, I make sure Roman doesn’t look like he lives in hand-me-downs and choose clothes that are at least from this decade. I know they’re not for everyone, so if you aren’t rolling your eyes in disgust, then read on…
First off, know the rules. Make sure you know whether you need to give the clothes back, or if they’re yours for keeps. If they’re yours to keep, then you’ve got free reign to re-design them, so let your imagination go wild! If you do need to give them back, are you still able to make some modifications? If they do need to be given back, I believe it’s the owner’s responsibility to know which things are theirs. Get them to initial the tags or write up a list of the items. I tend to remember which things are mine and which things I’ve been given by particular people, but not everyone may remember. If you’re the one passing on hand-me-downs, I think it’s best to assume you’ll never get them back, that way you can’t be disappointed. If you have some treasured items, keep them in the back of your cupboard.
So now you’ve got some clothes, what do you do with them all. They’ve usually been stuffed in a bag for a while and always look a little sad and wrinkled up when they first come out. It’s not really fair for the clothes because I think this always makes them look a little worse than they are. Stains can appear over time, so chuck it all in the wash and don’t immediately dismiss anything with a few marks on it. Once it has all been laundered, you can now go through it with a fine toothed comb.
(I’ve de-fluffed the right half of this jumper by shaving it with a disposable razor. Good as new!)
If anything is too small, put it in a pile. Also make a pile for anything you don’t like and know you wont use. No one says you have to like it all. Make another pile for anything that is still stained and needs further treating/soaking. And another pile for items that need a little mending, alterations or tidying, such as de-fluffing. And lastly, make a pile for the items that look great and are ready to go straight into the cupboard.
Because Roman is taller than average, I have turned a lot of pants that aren’t long enough into shorts. Also, tops seem to be more slim fitting these days, so I have taken a lot of tops in along the side seams. Pyjama onesies with sad looking feet can easily be made footless, and because they’re usually knits you don’t always need to hem them, just cut the feet off. Long sleeve tops that have very sad looking cuffs can be made into t-shirts and the list of quick alterations goes on…
Roman is all set for this coming Winter with my latest acquisition of hand-me-downs. Perfect timing as the cold weather seems to be here to stay. And he is in love with his little Spiderman Slippers I picked up for $2 at the Op-Shop. These are the first shoes he’s actually kept on his feet, so it was $2 very well spent.
What are your thoughts on hand-me-downs?