Sunday, January 31, 2010

Shoppin' for the little 'uns

When T was born a very dear (and funny) friend of mine wrote in her congratulatory card to us, "A girl! Wow, just think of all the retail opportunities that lie ahead!" She's right. Walk into any Target and the kids' section will be 1/3 blue/khaki/brown stuff and 2/3 pink/mauve/pink/more pink stuff. Shopping for little girls is clearly more fun (that's the message you'd get anyway).

But I have to confess that since T's been around I've spent a sum total of $12 on new clothing for her. That's right: $12. One discounted sleepsuit and one pair of striped trousers, both from Target. You can call me stingy right now...

That's not to say she's getting about dressed as a little dude. Far from it. Her cupboard is chockers and it's a vision of pink, pink, pink. She does wear quite a few of Ewan's things - I always bought him greens, reds, white ... anything but blue to break up the sea of blue clothes I'd been given for him. And I put her in blue a fair bit anyway (I delight in confusing old ladies at the supermarket with my half blue, half pink combos ... hee hee).

What's been so wonderful is how many gorgeous girls' clothes I've been given by lovely friends. Some of them never worn. All of them gratefully received. This gorgeous winter coat is just one of the delightful things I've received from friends:

I've also been a latecomer to the world of secondhand shopping. I used to hate the smell of secondhand shops but I'm over that now. These days I adore blogs like Thrifted Treasure and I love a good poke round a secondhand shop. Not that I go to many. In fact, I generally just go to one secondhand shop - and, oh my, is it a GOOD one.

The bargains I have found in there. The bargains!!

How divine is this little summer suit with butterflies on it? It's Fred Bare.

Then there's this gorgeous cotton top. It's a size 2 but I had to grab it ... there's always room in a drawer somewhere for special finds.

And will you look at these tiny cotton pants. They still have the tag on: $2.80.

I mostly look for stuff for the kids (such is a mum's lot!) but I did once find this gem for myself.

I've worked in mags long enough to spot a fancy brand at 10 paces. So when I spied a proper OiOi nappy bag (as opposed to the eco shopping bag I was lugging my gear around in) I nabbed it. New? $160 or so. Secondhand? Cost me $5. And I love the pattern. I did stop a second to think about the hygiene issues of buying a bag that's potentially had someone else's pooey nappies in it. A hot wash in the washing machine and it came out super-clean. Almost as good as new.

There are three reasons for my shift to buying secondhand. 1) I don't earn much at the moment. It makes sense financially. I can dress my little ones in 'new' (to us) stuff for a handful of dollars. I love the rush I get when I find something gorgeous and I can buy it without the associated guilt that comes with buying new stuff. 2) It's ecofriendly (actually, this should be reason number 1). Nothing makes me happier than to re-use or recycle. It's the way I was brought up and as far as I am concerned it's the right way to live, now and always. Also, it's a big raspberry to the multinational corporations that so often lure us into spending, spending, spending and the general consumption-y way of life. I am proud that I am not buying into it. Not only that, the money I do spend when I buy secondhand goes to a charity - win/win or what?! 3) I'm really not squeamish about using other people's things. I don't buy anything too rough - you'd be amazed how much kids' stuff is barely worn. I doubt anyone would look at my kids and think 'oh, they're dressed in secondhand' - and, really, so what if they did?!


Super Sarah said...

OHMYGOD I am so envious of your gorgeous second hand bag! I think you are fabulous for not shopping for your daughter, I too haven't spent anything on Stella, yes, lots of handmedowns from Amy but also lots of donations from friends. I need to go secondhand shopping again soon for me this time!

petite gourmand said...

Whaaat you even have Target in Australia!

First Donna Hay, and now "Tar-jay"- as we call it north of the border up here in Canada.
so unfair ;

And yes good on you for not spending a ton on your beautiful wee one-second time around you certainly learn a few things huh?

Thrifted Treasure said...

Fantastic finds, especially that bag!!! Thanks for the mention! The more people who start shopping this way the better :-) My latest favourite is a pair of Gap cargo pants for H new with tags for $5 from Vinnie's! I get the same sense of satisfaction when I pick up something by Fred Bare or Country Road for a few dollars that would cost $80 in David Jones or Myer!! And you're right, most kids' clothes especially baby stuff is in pristine condition cos they barely get to wear things more than once!

Stomper Girl said...

That is so true about the shop ratio. And as someone with 2 boys who hates navy blue, gray and khaki, the possibilities are even less! But we've always been given a lot of hand-me-downs so I've not had to do a lot of retail for my two.

I just adore those Fred Bare butterfly pants. Someone passed on some Fred Bare items to us which I always loved.