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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:
Blossomhill · 30/06/2005 18:38

I would take stuff from friends but not buy stuff from people I don't know.

TwinSetAndPearls · 30/06/2005 19:02

I buy my daughter second hand, I would rather buy something second hand of a good quality than something brand new that looks as if it won't survive a wash. Today dd and I bought a beautiful french summer dress for £1. I also buy a lot of ebay as well as selling my dd old clothes.

I buy a lot of my dd dressing up stuff in second hand shops especially jewellery for her treasure bos miles cheaper than the accessorize but as pretty. Dd ges every week with £1 to get something.

I work with many young mothers and find they are often reluctant to take hand me downs and spend ridiculous amounts of money on clothes. I had a big bag of beautiful home knits some of which were my dd and were beautiful but I couldn't get rid of them for love or money.

I think the spending daft amounts of money is about confidence , many younger mums or those from less affluent backgrounds feel as if they are being constantly criticised as crap parents so they feel the need to put on a show hence the frilly prams and nike trainers etc.

charleepeters · 30/06/2005 19:22

I havent read the whole of tis thread so forgive me if im repeating what other people have said. I have brought loads of second hand clothes - all my meternity clothes were s/h as i didnt want to spend all that money for 9 months worth of use. i always check them for quality and wash them at home of course i think its good to have secondhand/charity shops as obviously they raise money and for people who cant afford new there a great place to get osme quality stuff.

polly2 · 30/06/2005 19:27

having 3 girls, hand me downs are a must. but i must admit, i love buying books and toys from charity shops, but not clothes. it's just easier to buy new from somewhere like tesco/asda/primark. but i nearly always pass on clothes to charity shops and neighbours, especially clarks shoes.

matnanplus · 30/06/2005 19:33

A great way for a new wardrobe at a fraction of the cost, for littlies the 'bin-bag' idea on ebay is fab, even if an outfit or two is not to your taste the rest could be a fab find, we recently got over 60 items for 0-2y for £20 worth in excess of £200, names like adams,next,disney and some adorable hand knit sweaters.

Yorkiegirl · 30/06/2005 20:03

Message withdrawn

AnnaInManchester · 30/06/2005 20:22

I used to nanny for a little boy and bought him 2 tops from a charity shop - one a lovely shirt with tigger on, and the other just a regular tshirt with tigger on too. Parents loved them and they were pretty new and would have cost a fortune in the disney store. I would buy them for my own children too!

Tigerzmum · 06/12/2016 15:58

I have would like to sell my DS second hand clothes; I always buy good quality clothes for him; 100% cotton; GAP, Next, Debenhams; It breaks my heart to have to send them out in black bin liners; I wouldn't mind swapping them for another larger sized set!

Darthvadersmuuuum · 06/12/2016 16:07

I was brought up in a working class family and my DM wouldn't dream of putting us in second hand clothes. She used to spend a fortune on clothes from boutiques and made-to-measure stuff including lots of leather gear. It was the 80s.

A good percentage of my DS' wardrobe are naice hand-me-downs from friends. He looks like scruffy within minutes of dressing him regardless of the clothes' newness.

I suppose we would be classed a MC so the class theory hold up here.

HeddaGabbler · 06/12/2016 16:11

Why would you reopen this zombie thread?!

Darthvadersmuuuum · 06/12/2016 17:14

I hadn't noticed that Hedda

irregularegular · 06/12/2016 17:22

Yes of course. I very often buy or accept second hand clothes for my kids. Either through local Facebook sales groups, eBay, NCT sales or (less often as the stuff is not so good) charity shops. And I make sure that all their clothes that are still usable are passed on one way or another. I would never bin them. I often buy second hand for myself too.

Income is six figures so it's not really a money thing, just a what's right and not wasteful thing. It can be time consuming though so I will also buy new to get what I want when I want, especially as the children get older and more picky.

I don't remember my mum ever buying second hand for us but it was harder then. Later on she used eBay for herself and her grand children.

irregularegular · 06/12/2016 17:24

We're university academics with an Aga so definitely middle class now (but working class roots)

AlwaysNeverOnTime · 06/12/2016 17:25

I buy all of my kids clothes new. I don't think they have ever worn second hand. Although, DS and DD now share pjs and socks as they are the same size despite the 2 year age gap.

A friend of mine gave me a coat today which DS will wear. The first item of second hand clothing they have ever worn.

I always give DDs clothes to the charity shop as they are always in great condition. I normally have to throw away DSs clothes before he has out grown them as he trashes his clothes through playing!

We are working class. I'm not snobby about second hand clothes, I just enjoy buying for the DC, I can afford it, so why not buy new?

woodhill · 06/12/2016 17:30

My dcs had a mixture and I was perfectly happy to accept or pass on clothes.

My dds are young adults now and like charity shops as it's a good way to recycle and reduces waste.

oldlaundbooth · 06/12/2016 17:31

I've had loads of hand me downs for DS, including around 30 good quality YSL /Lacoste smart shirts from a colleague.

Never look a gift horse and all that.

Anatidae · 06/12/2016 17:35

We live in a very cold country so some stuff is always bought new (outdoor gear like snowsuits/boots.)

Pretty much everything else is from supermarkets or car boot sale in the uk.

So today kiddo is wearing a t shirt and pants that cost about 10p, wooly jummper that i knitted him and then about three hundred chuffing quids worth of snowsuit/boots/hat/gloves.

Nothing wrong with second hand stuff!

OliviaBensonOnAGoodDay · 06/12/2016 17:36

I don't know. The young mums I work with, who've often had quite fractured childhoods, would never dream of putting their kids in second hand clothes. They were fiercely proud that their kids had the 'best of everything', all new and nice brands, and I think that for them it was a sign that the kids' lives were nothing like their mums' had been. They would often go without to do it.

Stillwishihadabs · 06/12/2016 17:42

In 2005 (when this thread was "live") I would say yes, it's a class thing. IWe have had some great reciprocal relationships (next door have a girl 3 years older than dd and a son 2 years younger than ds) I love seeing the neighbours son wearing clothes ds has loved and the dd next door likes seeing my dd in her old stuff. As a child I wore my female cousins cast offs (I still have a gurnsey jumper of hers) We are all middle middle class (professionals)

MuppetsChristmasCarol · 06/12/2016 17:46

A few of my colleagues (doctors/academics) have given me their hand-me-downs for my DC. I can honestly say that asides from a one pack of white baby grows in little baby size, I haven't had to buy him anything, and I think I'm set with enough clothes to get to 1year.

I don't wear second hand / charity shop clothes, unless my sister is having a sort out and asks if I want anything.

museumum · 06/12/2016 17:50

My ds had hand me downs almost entirely up to age 3.
Now we don't get offered as much as they grow slower and are tougher on clothes.

I'm lucky that I don't have any worries about people judging us for being poor. Something that unfortunately does happen 😢

Pisssssedofff · 06/12/2016 17:54

Things have changed since 2005. I would never have dreamt of buying a second hand bed never mind using the mattresses. Needs must though and I've had two brilliant Aspace beds with fabulously thick clean mattresses and put protective covers on them to make me feel better, but £50 rather than £700 was a no brainer

BertrandRussell · 06/12/2016 18:28

I think it's about wearing second hand because you want to, not because you have to. If you regard charity shopping as a sort of hobby, like me and many other middle class people do, then it's fun. Like treasure hunting. But if you have to, it's bleak and depressing always having to have what there is, rather than what you want. And I can display my treasures knowing that nobody is going to make judgements about me. (Apart from my sil, who thinks I''m a hippy weirdo).

Stillwishihadabs · 06/12/2016 18:52

Bertrand Russel has it

Catsick36 · 06/12/2016 19:24

Yea absolutely, I do and buy second hand for toddler as well. He is a mucky bugger and very hard on his clothes.

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