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To only buy new clothes for one of my children?

(33 Posts)
AngryChair Wed 13-Jul-11 11:14:44

I have 2 boys aged 11 and 13 and it seems that my youngest is always getting his brothers cast offs. I know this is quite normal in a family but I'm kinda thinking it seems unfair that the eldest always has brand new clothes bought for him whilst DS2 is stuck with last years wardrobe.

The thing is DS2 wrecks his clothes all the time, I bought him a brand new pair of jeans (that were in the sale) and within 3 weeks they had a hole near the ankle and paint all over them. Most of his tops are stained too.

I always buy him brand new school clothes and brand new underwear but is it unfair that the rest of his clothes tend to come from his brother? I suspect this will change as he gets older but for the time being - am I being unfair?

(example - I'm just going through the next sale and am ordering 2 pairs of new jeans for DS1 - I'm not ordering any for DS2 as he's just been given a few pairs of his brothers old jeans. That sounds awful doesn't it?)

oohjarWhatsit Wed 13-Jul-11 11:16:00

does he mind?

Hufflepuzzpig Wed 13-Jul-11 11:16:51

He's old enough for pocket money, maybe you could give him a budget for clothes? Might teach him to look after them if he has to pay for the stuff he wants (he can still have the hand me downs too)

lurkerspeaks Wed 13-Jul-11 11:17:43

As long as he occasionally gets new clothes especially for special events I think you aren't being too unreasonable and the clothes he gets aren't trashed by the time he gets them.

I'm glad you buy him new pants....... my friends 5 yo was complaining about hand me down pants recently and it was mentioned on the radio last night in a comedy show. Obviously something that bothers people (although interestingly it never bothered me as a child). I too was a hand me down magnet.

WhereTheWildThingsWere Wed 13-Jul-11 11:18:54

No, it doesn't sound awful, it's what used to happen all the time before we all got obssessed with all things material.

Most of dd's clothes are her brothers hand-me-downs, most of those came from friends or family.

I do buy them a few new things, but I never feel I am being unfair for passing things on.

AngryChair Wed 13-Jul-11 11:23:57

He's one of these lads that doesn't really notice what he wears to be honest - as long as it fits! I only ever pass down the decent stuff too, like stuff that was bought from Next and still looks newish. Old £3 t-shirts from asda get charity shopped grin

doodledaisy Wed 13-Jul-11 11:42:43

I think it's just normal behaviour and if he doesn't take very good care of things why would you buy him new. My dd2 has only ever had her sisters old stuff. It's part of being a second child.

queenmaeve Wed 13-Jul-11 11:48:35

All the boys clothes are passed down through my four. I buy new at xmas or special occasion or if I see something really nice I would buy it. I dont see that its a big deal and it makes total sense. I would tend to buy good stuff in the first place like mini man or marese, with having a mind to it lasting. Mine actually love getting something that they know was big brothers as they all look up to each other. Probably when they are older of course I wont get away with it.

snoopdogg Wed 13-Jul-11 12:07:30

My 6yr old's favourite clothes are his hand downs from cousins and neighbours (thank god)

However, I had an older sister and always got her hand downs which I loathed. she was a girly girl and I was a complete tomboy. The photo albums are littered with pics of me scowling in a variety ofpink floral dresses.angry

AmberLeaf Wed 13-Jul-11 12:10:59

I think its horrible and unfair!

[Can you tell I was not the first DC]

WowOoo Wed 13-Jul-11 12:12:28

A lot of my clothes were hand me downs and ds2's clothes are all hand me downs.
Apart from a t-shirt I bought today from Sainsbury's for £1.50, a wedding outfit 6 months ago and a UV suit. Perhaps the first new things he's had, bless him.

If it doesn't bother him, I would not worry at all. Am hoping ds2 won't mind as much as I did when he gets older.

tulipgrower Wed 13-Jul-11 12:12:44

I'm guilty of this too. I only buy for DS1 (almost 3). Although DS1s current pants will all need to be binned, so at least DS2 will get something new then. grin

I'm also guilty of putting DS1 in a rain coat this morning which was ~2 sizes too large (the coat was a gift). It just seemed to be a waste to buy an exactly fitting coat for now, which he may have never worn, rather than use the lovely, slightly large one, we have. (First time he's needed a thin rain coat this year.)

GooseyLoosey Wed 13-Jul-11 12:16:27

This happened to my mother and aunt. My mother was the younger child and today, at nearly 70, she still thinks about it.

I don't see a problem with it per se, but would ask your younger ds what he thinks and maybe tell him that if he wants something new, he only has to ask (within reason of course). That way he knows he is in control of the situation and need not feel that it is being forced on him.

Zippylovesgeorge Wed 13-Jul-11 12:19:22

I tend to do a mix - DS2 gets some hand me down things but also stuff of his own - he's happy with this. Jeans/hoodies get passed down but t-shirts hardly ever do as they tend to look too scruffy once DS1 has finished with them.

Dorje Wed 13-Jul-11 12:23:21

As the youngest in my family, I never got any new clothes - always cast offs and hand me downs - badly fitting, trashed clothes.
Thinking back I hated wearing others people's old clothes - I had so few new clothes I actually remember how exactly I got each individual new piece.

With boys I'm not sure that they are so fashion conscious, or discriminating as girls, but for his self esteem I would involve your youngest son in choosing a new outfit for himself. It's important for him to know that "he is worth it" - <no sniggering pleasegrin he doesn't have to toss his shiny hair around....>

But it's no surprise to me that he trashes his clothes - they're not special to him, so why not have them in rags?

My worry, and from my own experience, is that his self esteem is being eroded subtly.

SlackSally Wed 13-Jul-11 12:37:50

I'm really, really not a materialistic person, but I agree with those who say that it would be nice to get at least some of his stuff new.

I wasn't the oldest and always had to have my sister's old shit. I know it makes financial sense and it doesn't especially matter in the long run, but I always felt quite aggrieved about it. It was like I wasn't important enough to buy new clothes for. And, of course, when I was older and my older sis was choosing her own clothes, I only got stuff that was to her taste.

If you possibly can, buy him some new stuff.

thursday Wed 13-Jul-11 12:44:55

i think it's a shame if he never gets anything new of his own. passing down clothes just makes sense, financially and environmentally but the age they are they probably want a bit more autonomy over their style? being forced to wear clothes bought for someone else once they've finished with them all the time would depress me. i wore a LOT of my older bothers cast offs growing up (luckily i wasnt very girly!) and my daughter wears 90% hand me downs so far.

i felt 2nd best to my brother as it was, i can imagine younger DS could start to feel that he just isnt worth spending money on.

MsTeak Wed 13-Jul-11 12:47:02

if he doesn't care, why let posters tales of woe sway you otherwise? I grew up wearing my brothers cast-offs, as well as charity shop and VdeP donations. I'm not scarred, its just bloody clothes!

Iggly Wed 13-Jul-11 12:48:08

Are his clothes wearing out faster because they're already used?

Maybe he'd look after stuff better if he did get new stuff otherwise he's just treating them badly (if he is) because he knows they're second hand.

SkelleyBones Wed 13-Jul-11 12:52:23

I'm lucky in that whilst I have three the same sex they are all different shapes so I buy less clothes than I'd like but the little one doesn't end up with loads of hand me downs because she's so skinny it wouldn't work.
Maybe a balance is required by the first one less and the second a bit more.

AngryChair Wed 13-Jul-11 12:56:40

To be honest, it's mainly jeans and jumpers/hoodies/coats that he gets from his brother.
I've just done a list of the stuff I want from the Next sale for example and I have written down for DS2 = 2 new t-shirts, new socks, new shorts for summer, new trainers and a new jacket. So to be fair he does get quite a lot of new stuff.

I suppose my OP was a little misleading as it read like everything DS2 gets is handed down but in reality I'd say it was about 50% of his stuff.

I just don't like buying jeans for him because he wrecks them so quickly.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 13-Jul-11 13:01:01

I have two boys too - they are 6 and 4. Smaller does wear a lot of hand-me downs. He doesn't care, he's 4.

I buy clothes from charity shops and ebay anyway, so it's not as if Bigger gets all brand new.

He does get some new things when relatives buy clothes for presents.

I wore jumble clothes growing up, or hand-me downs from my (boy) cousins.

OP - if your boy is happy to wear his brother's clothes, I wouldn't worry.

LittleMissFlustered Wed 13-Jul-11 13:03:53

Avoid next and they could both have new wardrobes grin

AmberLeaf Wed 13-Jul-11 13:07:13

Iggly makes a good point.

icooksocks Wed 13-Jul-11 13:21:49

I have two boys 18 months apart. At the moment DS2 wears pretty much evrything ds1 has cast off, but at 18 months old I don't suppose he really cares grin. But as they get older I suspect there'll be two reasons for ds1 and ds2 to be having new clothes and they are 1; Taste, depending on what they like wearing they'll probably have completely different clothes. 2; At the rate he's growing ds2 is soon goin to be bigger than ds1 (ds1 has my build, ds2 has his dads build) and therefore its more likly that ds1 will have ds2's hand me downs!

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