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hand me downs...how do your kids handle it?


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My youngest, a son, is the only one in our family who "gets stuck" with hand me downs...sometimes he doesn't mind...other times he does.  I feel sort of bad that most of his clothes comes from his brother and he doesn't get many new things...I do try to get hiim new things once in a while...but it seems pointless to buy him shirts that he already has plenty of...

 

so how do you handle this???  Or is it not a problem for your kids?

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With clothes, the younger ds actually preferred it. He likes his clothes soft. With toys, he would notice more, especially if he was given things that really weren't his taste. Those didn't stay in his room for long. He got a fair amount of new things though, at birthday & Christmas time, so that helped offset it.

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I tend to buy some cheap things new (like t-shirts which are pretty wrecked by the time Calvin finishes with them) so that Hobbes feels that some things are designed for him.  But all the more hardwearing things are handed down - jeans, jackets, etc.  H seems okay with it.

 

L

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Same here as Stacyshoe----almost all of my kids' clothing comes from hand me downs, garage sales, thrift stores, etc. The girls get quite a few hand me downs from some friends of ours and they love to dig through the bags.

 

I would get your younger ds a few new things just his own but I agree that there is no reason to spend more money on clothing that isn't needed, unless you could buy and sell at a consignment shop and come out about even---getting some of older ds's clothing there too.

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DS#2 is 8 years younger than his brother so nothing from older son is still around. But, we get hand-me-downs from friends. Keep the favorites, pass along the rest, and grab one or two new shirts of your son's preferred style at your local Mart when they are on sale for $5ish.

 

Now that my girls are all about the same size, it's more about 'getting to' wear sisters' clothing than 'having to'. But, when they were young, it was just assumed that if it filled a need and it fit, I wasn't going to spend money to buy another because someone else already wore it.

 

 

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It's really not a problem for our kids - like a pp said, it's like Christmas morning when they get to dig through a new bag of clothes from a friend or a tub from the attic.  My oldest two are really the only ones who get new clothes (except for the occasional gift from grandma and grandpa), but even most of their clothes come from Goodwill.  My oldest sometimes gets jeans or pants from Walmart because it's hard finding 34/34 or 34/36 pants.

 

Although I will say that by the time my 4yo gets hand-me-downs, the clothes are often too worn to be worn.  Fortunately a friend has started giving us their youngest dd's clothes and they are perfect for her.  We are incredibly grateful!

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my kids all get garage sale clothes too...but at least that way it's still new to the family....and not just the older sons clothes.  my young guy isn't totally uspset or anything by it...I was just curious how your younger ones dealed with it.  I think it would be easier if most of the clothes would go from one son's dresser to the tote and then later (a year or so) to my younger son's dresser...but it usually goes from one kid's dresser to the next....even if's there is a winter/summer season between...he KNOWS his brother wore it just last summer/winter.    Again, I was just curious.  thanks.

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Not a problem, but our handmedowns came from outside, so they're new to them.  I might make a point of getting him one or two special thing you're into shirts (like a just for him Lego shirt or whatever) a season if you can swing it and he seems to mind.  But I wouldn't worry about it too much.  Life is full of handmedowns.

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Never a problem.  They both get some new things that they pick out for themselves, some stuff from Goodwill that they pick or I pick, and DS2 also gets some of DS1's old things.  In fact some of the favorite shirts have been things that I've found at Goodwill for DS1, and then DS2 has to wait for DS1 to grow out of them, and is really excited when the shirt finally passes down to him.  He's also excited to inherit the fleece PJs that are already broken in from his brother using them and super soft.  When they want to pick out something new, I usually let them.  It doesn't come up that often and their clothing requests are really modest.  So I don't think either of them feels deprived. 

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I make it a point to always buy that child (receiving hand-me-downs) new items as well. Right now my boys are too young to care, but I've already started it and plan to continue it. There doesn't really need to be a point too it, truly; if for no other reason than to make the child feel less jipped or resentful - so they aren't the only one not getting nice new clothing. Also, they do not get to pick the hand-me-downs, whereas children buying new clothing often get input - "I like that shirt, mom!".

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I have unhappy memories of hand-me-downs.  We were toward the lower end of financial spectrum, so I wore a combination of clothes sewn by my mother (these were the nice ones) and hideous (truly so) hand-me-downs from my cousins who were even less well off than we were.  Ugly colours, heavy polyester fabrics (the kind where one layer of fabric is 1/4" thick) (this was in the 1960s), drab styles.  Bleech!  In reaction, I have tried hard to accommodate my children's taste in clothing, within our overall parameters for modesty and cost. 

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When the older boys were young I would buy on end-of-season clearance for the next year.  They all have different taste in clothes, so some things would sit in the boxes new with the tags still on ($1.77 for a pair of khakis, anyone?).  I saved everything, so each boy has been able to pick out many new things from our tubs in the barn, as well as some broken-in favorite hand-me-downs.  We've supplemented with stuff given by friends and family, and a few consignment/Goodwill items as-needed.  As we are finished having children, and my dd is a very girly-girl, I've been packing the outgrown boy clothes off to the consignment shop.  The money I've made there has allowed me to get consignment girly clothes for dd.  Everyone is happy! 

 

The only ones who really get new clothes are those who have finished growing.  Can't hand-me-down what they're still using!  But we still shop consignment and clearance even then.

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Yeah, not a problem. Both my kids are dressed in mostly hand me downs or otherwise secondhand clothes, from friends, cousins, swaps, garage sales, and a few new items. Being 7 years apart and different genders, little is directly passes down, though there are a few things. DS is still to little to notice or care, and for DD she's learning that a nice Goodwill find is often better than new and cheap from Wal-Mart.

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My kids ALL love when the clothing bins come out - the recipient as well as the girls who previously wore the clothes. The big girls love seeing their favorites and remembering wearing those things, and the little girls who are inheriting are always excited to see what will fit this time. Hand-me-downs are awesome at my house.

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Younger ds just seems to like "new to him" stuff, whether it comes from his brother or from the store.  He's kind of a clothes horse, so it makes him happy to have new to him things, whatever their origin.  I do make sure to buy him some new shirts and let him pick them out because he likes this.  Oldest would rather not be bothered and have me choose all of his clothing and just bring it home.  He hates the shopping process.  Youngest loves it.  :)

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I had 5 kids in 7 years, and the three oldest are boys, and the two youngest are girls.

Hand-me-downs pretty much went right from one kid to the next, with no tote in between. None of them have ever seemed to care. Really, even the "new" things were mostly hand-me-downs from cousins or friends. They've always been excited when given "pre-owned" clothes. The oldest kid wore the item, then it'd go to the next kid and I'd put a black dot on the tag. Then it'd be handed down to the third kid, and we'd add another dot. That's the way we knew which clothes belonged with which kid! They liked their hand-me-downs though. Not sure what I would have done if I'd had a kid who didn't, but it wouldn't have likely been to buy new things. That's just not how we roll, regardless of whether we had the money to do so (we did, but new clothes weren't a priority).

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We get hand me downs from neighbors and friends sometimes and my kids LOVE it! They think it's so nice that their friends give them clothes, and they're always excited to wear something new (to them). I do worry sometimes that they'll eventually feel self-conscious about it, but until that happens...yay for free clothes!

 

I have two older brothers, but I was a tomboy, so I loved it whenever I finally grew into their hand-me-downs, especially sports stuff. I thought I was so cool. :D

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Both of my boys wear hand me downs. One friend in particular has given us tons of clothes. Often the smaller of my two then wears the clothes his twin wore the year before, unless the colors are very unflattering to him or there is too much wear/damage. Neither has ever said anything about it. I do sometimes buy both boys new things--say for a picture or similar. But I don't really think they notice or care. I could certainly imagine some kids caring though. If mine did, I would try to accommodate within my means I think.

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All of mine have been accustomed to hand me downs. Before we adopted Joy, I bought every nice piece of clothing for little boys or girls that I could find at yard sales. As soon as word spread that we had five children age four and under, we received so many clothes from friends and neighbors, it was unbelievable!

 

Lately Joy and Simon have been receiving more new clothes (pants/blue jeans) because they are both so tall and thin. I never received any slim hand me downs, so we had to stock up. Just to keep the other children from feeling left out, I usually have Theodore and Alvin pick out a new shirt and I sew new skirts for Faith. If money is tight, I also crochet sweaters or socks for them, using my yarn stash. New socks and undies are also a big deal. We make a big fuss over all the choices and selection that each child gets to make for those items. I do almost all of our shopping online, so I can easily keep track of what clothing will work with various outfits.

 

Poor Theodore needs to hit a major growth spurt soon. He and Faith are about the same size now, even though he has 20 months on her. I have no problem letting Faith wear her big brothers' outgrown blue jeans for play clothes, but I know there would be an issue if Theodore had to wear his older brother's clothes that his baby sister had also outgrown.

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Not a problem at all.  With 5 kids, hand-me-downs are a necessity.  My 3rd son gets hand-me-hand-me-downs.  Sometimes, even more "hand-me's" are included as my 1st son (and oldest kid) also has many hand-me-downs from friends and family, so by the time it gets to my 3rd son, it is well past "new."  If it is clean and neat, it shouldn't be a problem.  We don't keep stained or torn clothes.

 

As a moral issue, I believe it is good for a kid to learn to graciously accept something that isn't new.  I don't want my kids to expect the "best" with everything they get.  I think that sets them up for a hard fall.  When they start off in life, they need to learn to live within their own budget.  If they aren't from money, they will have to live frugally at first.  Shopping at thrift stores and such should not be so shocking to them that they believe they have failed in life.  If they learn to appreciate the lessor things in life, they will be much happier.

 

I know a family with two kids and the father has a very high income.  Both kids get TONS of things and ONLY THE BEST (as is frequently quoted by the parents) for them.  I think this is warping their brains.  They stick their noses up at anything that is very expensive.  These kids will grow up to be snobs because they already are.  I'm not saying that this is the case with you, but it shows the extreme of that kind of attitude.

 

Hot Lava Mama

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I was just going to start a similar thread about not-new clothes.  My six year old told me and my husband last week that he no longer wants us to buy any clothes that anyone else has worn.  Um, all of his clothes his whole life except for Easter and Christmas outfits have been preworn, I have always shopped consignment and thrift stores.  I have no idea where this is coming from, all of his clothes are name brand (Gap, Crazy8, Gymboree, crewcuts, 77kids) and because I buy them used, he has the luxury of much nicer clothes than if I bought stuff new at Target.  So I don't think it's a "cool" factor, his clothes are just as stylish as everyone else's, probably more so, actually.  I took him to Kohl's tonight to get a new pair of shoes because he told my mom that' what he wanted for his birthday, and he was in heaven, he told me, "look at alllllll these nnneeewwww clothes!"  What six year old boy even cares about that!?!

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Neither of my kids have ever had new clothing unless they purchased it or received it as a gift. Younger could care less. As long as the pants have pockets and the shirt is a t-shirt, he's happy. He occasionally gets new-to-us items from the thrift store. Older one gets clothes at thrift stores. He's a sharp dresser and fashion conscious. We made a deal with him that we would double his weekly pay for a few extra chores, but he would be in charge of buying his own clothing. He quickly agreed. Oddly enough, he still buys from the thrift store and pockets most of his raise. He is a more discerning shopper than me -- he actually checks labels and steers toward designer brands. Then he comes home and looks them up online to see how much they would have cost retail. He's obviously not ashamed, though, because he brags to all his friends about his great deals.

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Ooh, I forgot to add that if any of my girls gets to the point where they're NOT happy about the hand-me-downs I'll deal with it as best I can.  Girl2 has distinctly different clothing tastes than Girl1 - Girl1 lives in skirts and loves pink.  Girl2 likes sporty clothes and favors blue.  So.  I purchase a few things to honor GIrl2's preferences, and let her live with the rest of the things and wear what she likes.  At this point, only Kid1 has ever had *new* underwear, and I'm SURE that will change eventually, but for now nobody cares a bit.

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My oldest complained about it a little bit because I always made her get more expensive outdoor gear in red or blue so it could be handed down to her brother. She survived. Once her shape changed we stopped doing hand-me-downs. Ds would be thrilled to have a complete hand-me-down wardrobe because he hates to shop.

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Most of the clothes my girls have are hand me downs.  No problem at all.  I belonged to a group of moms where we would pass around children's clothing.  It was great.  Occasionally there would be new purchases, but usually it was pre-worn.  For that matter, most of my clothes are pre-worn.  My older girls still shop consignment stores first before they buy new.  New clothes are so expensive - you wear them for a month or two and they're used.

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I wonder if my boys don't care because it is so common among everyone we know? We know a lot of big families where hand me downs and cycling clothes are the norm. My boys enthusiastically picked out and packed a bag of old clothes for a friend's new little boy last year, then got to see the boy wear their old clothes over time. Mom was expressively grateful to my kids and little boy was adorable in 'their' favorite things. I bet that if we lived and associated with folks who had the newest everything, my boys might have a different take on old clothes. I don't care much for shopping so it works out well. If I ever have a girl though....

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Both of my boys hate to shop so they don't care about their clothing at all.  When I have to drag them there to try stuff on they will try one thing on and say can't you just get me 4 of these same things and call it a day.

Do they also routinely choose to wear whichever shirt is on top in the drawer? I have to rotate the supply so the shirts at the bottom get some wear :-/

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My kids LOVE the thrift shop!  Our nearest one routinely runs bag sales; $4 to stuff a plastic bag as full as you can.  

When we get out of the car, they always look for the sandwich board out front showing the specials, "All right!!  Bag sale today!!"   :D

 

Last week I dropped a bunch of stuff at the Goodwill trailer and the kids sorted through the already-dropped stuff that was in there while I was doing so.  lol

 

 

It probably helps that this part of the world is pretty low-income.  Most of the kids they know routinely shop at thrift stores, garage sales, or get hand-me-downs... 

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My youngest is the only one that gets hand me downs. She doesn't mind. We make it a positive: "Your sister's very favorite dress is now yours! She was so sad when she outgrew it. Aren't you lucky that it fits you now?" She will say she's lucky she has twin sisters because it means if her shirt gets messy, she always has another just like it in the closet!

 

She doesn't get all hand me downs, though. If things are looking too worn, she gets new ones, and she gets a few new items every season. If I order a box of clothes for the older girls, I'll almost always include something in the order for her too.

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It's not a problem for my kids. LOL

 

My younger one thinks it's some kind of high honor or family obligation to preserve the fashion choices of my older one. I have no idea why - they are different genders and have enough years between them that styles change by the time the hand-me-downs fully cycle from one kid to the next.

 

Whatever, man. It allows me to keep their stuff in one closet and re-allocate the kids' clothing budget to something more fun ... like my Starbucks habit. :001_tt1:

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This has never been a problem for my kids.  My oldest gets mostly new but occasionally I will buy him something on ebay or at a thrift shop.  Youngest gets very little new because of hand me downs from big brother and big brother's friends.  He does get mostly new shoes, and I tend to buy him 1 or 2 new funny t-shirts for birthdays and Christmas (things that big bro would never wear).  My kids both *hate* shopping, and even trying things on in the comfort of our home (from an online order or from the storage totes) is a very unpleasant task for them.

 

This week we had our first snowfall and my youngest, who is 11, wanted to go outside to build a snowman.  I pulled out a pair of handed down snowpants and boots and he hugged me, filled with appreciation and  joy that these important items magically appeared at just the right moment.

 

If the clothes are stylish and comfortable and don't show signs of wear, I would be surprised that it bothers the kid.  Does he want different styles than his big brothers wore?  Or is there more to it?  Is he feeling overlooked or is someone making him feel that his clothes are shabby?  Just rhetorical questions -- obviously you're looking into it since you're posting on the topic, I'm just thinking out loud.

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I think there's a difference between hand-me-downs that are just previously used and hand-me-downs that are out of style, a poor fit, or threadbare.  It would feel unfair for me to only provide my children with clothing that fell into that second category. I've spent very little money on new clothing for my children.  I'd feel guilty *not* buying them clothes if it meant they had to wear something they were embarrassed by though. (And please note, that doesn't mean I'd spend $200 on a pair of jeans to spare a child's feelings.)

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90% of my kids' wardrobes are hand me downs from friends and extended family. Even as babies most of their clothes were used. They've never cared. They love going through a bag of "new" clothes with me seeing what fits now and what we have to save for later. When something gets too small; they tell me "it's time to give this shirt to X." We have two specific people that we give our outgrown clothes to. They usually get a couple of new outfits a year from grandparents, but that's it.

 

We have been lucky in that most of our handled owns have been of high quality still somewhat in style clothing.

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I think there's a difference between hand-me-downs that are just previously used and hand-me-downs that are out of style, a poor fit, or threadbare. It would feel unfair for me to only provide my children with clothing that fell into that second category. I've spent very little money on new clothing for my children. I'd feel guilty *not* buying them clothes if it meant they had to wear something they were embarrassed by though. (And please note, that doesn't mean I'd spend $200 on a pair of jeans to spare a child's feelings.)

I agree. My youngest ds and my dd wear almost exclusively hand me downs or second hand. They don't notice and they don't care. But that's also because I only take clothes that are in good condition and still in style.

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I know a family with two kids and the father has a very high income. Both kids get TONS of things and ONLY THE BEST (as is frequently quoted by the parents) for them. I think this is warping their brains. They stick their noses up at anything that is very expensive. These kids will grow up to be snobs because they already are. I'm not saying that this is the case with you, but it shows the extreme of that kind of attitude.

I don't think the problem is that the kids get tons of things, nor do I think it has anything to do with them having only the best of everything.

 

I think the problem is that their parents are obnoxious braggarts, and they're passing down that same attitude to their children. They're basing their self-worth on the cost of their possessions, and that's an incredibly unhealthy attitude to have.

 

It's not the "stuff" that causes people to be snobs. Plenty of perfectly lovely, kind, and generous people have the best of everything, but would never brag about it or think they're better than anyone else because of it.

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I think there's a difference between hand-me-downs that are just previously used and hand-me-downs that are out of style, a poor fit, or threadbare.  It would feel unfair for me to only provide my children with clothing that fell into that second category. I've spent very little money on new clothing for my children.  I'd feel guilty *not* buying them clothes if it meant they had to wear something they were embarrassed by though. (And please note, that doesn't mean I'd spend $200 on a pair of jeans to spare a child's feelings.)

 

I agree with this, I think you have to ask him specifically what he doesn't like about his clothing and why he feels that way.  Maybe he's a budding fashionista and requires a little more flair that can be added inexpensively, maybe the clothes are itchy and holey, maybe someone made fun of him?

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My youngest gets excited when I pull the old clothes from my oldest out. I sometimes get hand me downs from friends for my oldest daughter and my son. They are happy to get new to them clothes that they like. Most of the clothes I buy for my kids come from thrift stores or consignment stores. It doesn't bother them that it isn't brand new. I am picky about the condition though so they are nice clothes.

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My youngest, a son, is the only one in our family who "gets stuck" with hand me downs...sometimes he doesn't mind...other times he does.  I feel sort of bad that most of his clothes comes from his brother and he doesn't get many new things...I do try to get hiim new things once in a while...but it seems pointless to buy him shirts that he already has plenty of...

 

Is it that he wants new stuff, or stuff that he hasn't seen his brother wearing? If it's the latter, perhaps you can you swap hand-me-downs with another family?

 

Ds6 gets hand-me-downs from a friend, and dd used to get them from a cousin. It has never been an issue, but then the clothes were always new-to-them, rather than clothes they had seen someone else wearing regularly. They both also got some new clothes, and I sifted through the hand-me-downs and kept the things that suited our tastes, and passed the rest along.

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Seems like my  younger son did not notice that he was getting hand me downs or did not care.  The funny thing is my oldest son is smaller than his brothers and he does not mind taking clothes from his younger brothers either do not wear or have outgrown.

 

 

 

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I have one dd in the middle and my boys are 6 years apart so there's not much hand me down going between siblings, but they still get lots of hand me downs. My youngest probably gets the most new since its cheapest and easiest to find in our town. My dd gets a ton of hand me downs from my friend (and I pass my youngest boy's clothes on to her son). Dd loves getting a big bag of hand me downs to go through. I take my kids to value village and thrift stores regularly so they can pick out "new to them" clothes within our budget. I go to the city where the bigger stores are like Old Navy and we buy a few new things a couple times a year.

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