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Second hand clothes - would you or wouldn't you - and is it really a class thing?

134 replies

flobbleflobble · 30/06/2005 08:38

Do you let your kids wear second-hand clothes?
I have just read a book which claims that this is a class indicator!
Apparently only the higher social classes find it acceptable to wear second hand clothes.

OP posts:
dropinthe · 30/06/2005 08:39

I lived in them,my kids have a mix of old and new-love the thrill of finding bargains in shops/ebay and always will!!
(I'm a snob then??)

Fran1 · 30/06/2005 08:42

Definitely let my dd wear second hand clothes! Maybe a bit snobbish about where they come from though. Amongst friends and family, we pass children's clothes around as they wear them for such a short time, they may as well get used by someone else.

For me personally, i can't really think of anything i've worn secondhand. Know lots of friends who find fab clothes in charity shops, and i always think i'm going to do that. But i step inside and my mind races with who died in that outfit etc etc and always walk out empty handed.

I guess we are middle class, never really thought about it!

elliott · 30/06/2005 08:43

Yes, they have a lot of hand-me-downs and stuff from NCT sales. Far too expensive otherwise!

cupcakes · 30/06/2005 08:43

Yes - my dd wears second hand baby gap and boden bought off ebay
And I have been known to scour the local charity shops!
As I remember it ALL my childhood clothes seemed to be from the Sally Ann (except school uniform). I was so excited when I was given a clothes allowance when I was 14 and allowed to buy new clothes!
Has taken me a while with my children to get into buying second hand clothes for them but it was ebay which started it for me.
Oh yes, and I am extremely high class!

cupcakes · 30/06/2005 08:45

Have to say I can never find much second hand for my 5yr old ds - my mil thinks this is because boys destroy their clothes and they cannot be sold on!

WideWebWitch · 30/06/2005 08:45

Yes I could and do, I've hardly bought anything for dd since I seem to be the one with the youngest amongst the people I know. She's got some lovely stuff, some of it from mumsnetters. Don't think it's a class thing is it?

noddyholder · 30/06/2005 08:46

Most of my clothes are second hand I prefer them unless I can afford really nice clothes My dp and ds also wear them I bought a binliner of boys gap clothes at a carboot sale for 2 pounds and they are perfect condition and will last ages

jessicasmummy · 30/06/2005 08:47

i prefer second hand clothes - im not so worried they will get messed up because i havent paid the earth for them!

i do buy jess a few new bits each month, mainly tescos/asda btu she is growing so quick!

bran · 30/06/2005 08:47

How odd, I wonder why that is. My ds has literally stacks of second-hand clothes waiting for him to grow into. I thought it was very sweet of the people who gave them to me. It would just be wasteful to throw them away as they aren't worn for long at this age, some of them have already been worn by 4 children and they still look perfect.

I'm not British so I feel the class thing doesn't apply to me, but probably would be considered higher (professional parent, private school, willing to dress my child in secondhand clothes ).

Flamesparrow · 30/06/2005 08:51

Oooh, a snob twice in a week

Yup - DD does, cos I get offered oodles of clothes... upset the woman who was selling them to me though (she was charging extortionate prices for badly washed, sometimes 3rd hand clothes and I refused to pay what she wanted ).

I do get a bit miffed that she has SO much passed on to her that I can't justify buying her new stuff often that I choose. Is it worrying that I enjoyed her broken arm cos it meant I could buy new tops for her that went round the cast?

If the next one is a girl, then she'll probably be in the same stuff as DD was in!

Wash em well and clothes last for ages!!!

Ameriscot2005 · 30/06/2005 08:53

Yes - most of their clothes are second-hand.

We get given things from friends, buy school uniform in the second-hand shop, do hand-me-downs, occasionally buy from Ebay.

Flamesparrow · 30/06/2005 08:54

How's this for the height of decadence....?

DD has about 10 swimming costumes (all passed on to her)... got out of the pool on Weds, and her costume had got too small and had a stained neck from sun spray...

Threw it in the bin with her swim nappy

Its quite sad how much pleasure I got from being able to pretend I had money to burn!

Tinker · 30/06/2005 08:56

Of course. Will read rest of posts now.

bee3 · 30/06/2005 09:03

I do - most of ds's clothes are second hand. I don't know if it's a class thing, but I used to work in a big, very mixed socially, primary school in London. There was no uniform. The more affluent kids wore scruffy old clothes, the less affluent always looked much smarter. The best dressed kids in the school were without a doubt from a couple of large (6 kids each) white 'working class' families. Both mums were very conscious about their children not looking 'poor', infact I had to have chats with both about children in Reception getting messy and needing to wear old, comfortable clothes that washed easily instead of brand new stuff that they were terrified of ruining. Does that fit with your theory?

throckenholt · 30/06/2005 09:10

all of mine do - most of their clothes are second hand (mostly hand - me downs or bought at nct sales, some from ebay).

Does that make me posh them ? Or a cheapskate? Or even someone who just thinks clothes should be worn until they are worn out - I hate throwing away perfectly good clothes - my problem is I have no-one to hand on our good clothes to

Flamesparrow · 30/06/2005 09:13

I will only throw out clothes that are too stained to be saved, or have big holes.

Mum2girls · 30/06/2005 09:26

years ago, I used to scour second hand shops and came to the conclusion that it's an urban myth that you can find a really nice outfit from 1 shop which not only sells a mix of mens/womens/ but also every size under the sun from babies to old folks. If I ever found something I'd want to wear, I could absolutely guarantee that it wouldn't be the right size.

Now, years later, I'm not sure I have a problem with who's worn something, it's more the case with me that, if it wasn't good enough for someone else, why would I want it?

Obviously v. working class.

jessicasmummy · 30/06/2005 09:27

throkenholt - get rid of them on here! Loads of peopel would snap them up!

oliveoil · 30/06/2005 09:35

I was brought up on second hand clothes as we were skint. But most of dd1's clothes were new (we are talking Asda/Next/Gap, not Baby Dior) but these are all being passed on to dd2.

Definitely not a class thing imo.

lunachic · 30/06/2005 09:42

second hand clothes fine i love getting them given but dd and ds mostly have new as its easier to shop -eg online than go round charity shops /markets
dont think its a class thing either if your skint you maybe have no choice or it maybe you need to save pennies-dont think any of these are class defined anymore

ninah · 30/06/2005 09:45

love second hand clothes for myself (or should I say vintage pmsl)
ds has some, mainly from friends (including the butcher items from a good friend's daughters)
dp would loathe it

Nemo1977 · 30/06/2005 09:45

I do have some second hand clothes bought from ebay for ds as at this age they hardly get to wear them and sometimes they are in like new condition. I havent bought second hand for myself but mainly cos not a lot appeals...


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Fio2 · 30/06/2005 09:53

yes we do, but we do live in second hand shop heaven

expatinscotland · 30/06/2005 09:55

Deffo! I wear them myself. I'm an American - the hell with the class thing. A buck is a buck and a bargain is a bargain.

tabitha · 30/06/2005 09:55

Well I must be very posh because all dd3 ever wears are second hand things from her cousins or my friends dd who is 6 months older than her
In saying that they are all in very good condition - don't think I would be quite so happy if they were tatty looking.
Also, when dd1 was younger, we were very skint as dh was unemployed and I had a poorly paid job and one of my neighbours offered me a huge bag of her dd's clothes for her (after my kind sil told her about her financial problems - thanks for that sil) and I was too mortified to ever let her wear them and gave them straight to a charity shop. So maybe there's some truth in what you're saying.

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