Passing on hand me downs is often a better decision than buying new. In these challenging economic times it doesn’t make financial sense to purchase all new clothing for a younger child when the older sibling is growing. Parents can also purchase second hand clothing from a thrift store like the Salvation Army.
Most younger siblings look up to their older siblings. They are likely to embrace the chance to wear the clothing that they’ve seen their older siblings wear throughout the years. It will make the younger sibling happy while saving the parents money.
One of the primary concerns with second hand clothing is whether it will fit properly. Nobody wants their child walking around in extra baggy or super tight clothing just to save a few dollars. It is important to not embarrass an impressionable child. Remember that his classmates will be judging him partially based on how he looks. One’s aesthetic appearance includes not only the look of his clothing but also its condition. So, wait until the child properly fits into the hand me down shirts, pants, underwear etc. before directing him to wear them. Put yourself in the child’s position and try to see the world through his eyes.
It is important to take good care of your eldest child’s clothing if you plan on passing it down to the younger siblings. Do not wash the clothing over-frequently as this causes colors to fade and fabric to wear down. Be sure to apply stain remover immediately after accidents happen. It is important to communicate to the child that his clothes will be used again by his younger siblings. This increases the chances that he will treat his clothing with careful respect.
One can make alterations to second hand clothing in order to make it appear new and different to the younger sibling. It is a good idea to buy cheap iron-on patches and let the child pick which ones he would like to apply to each individual piece of clothing. This allows him to put his own individual stylistic thumbprint on his hand me down clothes.
If he is especially self-conscious about wearing second hand clothing then allow him to use the hand me downs as either undergarments or pajamas. This way the parents will save money while utilizing their existing resources in an efficient manner.
If the second hand clothing is too large, it might be possible to shrink them by soaking them in water. Clothes made out of wool and cotton can be purposely shrunken through a hot water wash and a medium to hot dryer cycle.
Most children are born within a few years of one another so it makes a lot of sense to pass clothes down instead of purchasing new ones for each child. Why should any parent have to trash clothes that a child has grown out of when the younger siblings can wear them? Trashing clothes does not maximize utility or efficiency.