Monday, April 14, 2008


When I was growing up, we didn't have a lot of money.

Yet, buying used clothes was "the lowest yet" for my mother. Back to school time (one of the only times we got new clothes) was a very stressful time for her. We did receive donations from people we knew, but for the most part, it was either homemade or a handful of new items. We bought the cheapest clothes out there (no doubt made in the worst of working conditions) but at least they were new. Because - gasp - someone could have died in those clothes. (My Mom has a flair for the melodramatic).

I think she has since re-thought this policy.

I don't think there's anything to be ashamed of in buying gently used clothes.

I think it helps everyone (except clothing manufacturers). People who can afford to buy new clothes can resell or donate (and deduct) items they don't wear anymore. People (like me) can purchase those clothes. I can then donate them myself if they don't fit or when I get tired of them. It's a form of recycling. I'm not sure I can get away from clothing made in poor working conditions living the life that I do.

If I could, I don't think I could afford it. This way, it's a little easier on my conscience.

I can't tell you how many pairs of khaki pants (the IT wardrobe) I have gone through over the years. They are one item in my wardrobe that doesn't last no matter what. They seem to attract stains and the cuffs wear thin. So why not buy a handful of pairs for less than $5? That way, it's not very upsetting if something happens to them. And if it doesn't, I made a good buy.

And it's not as if the clothes I buy are green polyester (wait, are polyester pantsuits back in???) from the 70s. There are plenty of classic or even mildly fashionable pieces out there. I've seen more than one piece with the tags from the store still on - no stains.

I know lots of people who scour the malls and the department stores. They watch for the triple sales and can find those great $4 shirts on the racks. Not me. That takes way too much time and effort - especially with two year olds.

This is just the decision I've made for the time being. I don't buy everything from consignment or thrift shops. But there are some items, like those khaki pants - that I'm not embarrassed to admit where they came from.

There should be no shame in buying well made clothing. Even if it's gently used.


Freckle Face Girl said...

I have a cousin that was the snobbiest person I ever met when she was in JR high & high school. Now she owns a clothing resell shop & even wears mostly resold items. My husband's cousins are the same way, mostly because they was designer clothes for a cheap price. I don't think there is anything wrong with it. I would do it, but it seems like you have to do a lot more searching where as at the mall they make it too easy to shop.

Aerin said...

Thanks FFG! It sounds like it's different for each person - what's easier for one, is more difficult for another. With everything going on in your life - whatever makes your life easier at this point!!