Sharing Memories and Clothes :: The Benefit of “Hand Me Downs”

hand me downsWhen I had my first child, we found out we were having a boy at the 20 week anatomy scan. So between the baby showers (I had four!!) and grandmas, that baby boy had more clothes than he could wear in the first year. But by the time he turned one, the newness had worn off and I was pregnant again with my baby girl. So at this point, I was buying clothes for two and there was very little that could be used again for baby girl. Enter the hand me down clothes that I never thought I would need or love …

My childhood best friend was married and having baby boys years before me so she had a ton of boy clothes to send my way. She sent dress clothes, play clothes, and everything in between. She was “done” having kids and literally sent everything my way once her youngest had out grown it. There are obvious benefits to second hand clothes; money savings is the first thing that comes to mind for everyone, but there is really a much deeper sentiment behind those used baby clothes.

Saving Money

Clearly, not having to spend the money on clothes is a HUGE bonus. And at a certain age, you are buying outfits that are only being worn a few times, maybe even just once, and maybe not at all. I cannot tell you how many outfits she sent me that still had tags on them. So a lot of these clothes were brand new or at least looked brand new. It seems like it would be a waste for them to not get used again. And do not forget about the shoes; she sent me a pair of New Balance tennis shoes that both of my kids wore. So that is technically four kids that wore those shoes! Because let’s be honest, at the ripe old age of one, they are not wearing out the shoes like they do when they are older.

Shared Memories

Do you remember how much you loved seeing pictures of your kids in a certain outfit that you loved? For my daughter, it was her first Christmas dress. It makes my uterus skip every time I look at it. Now imagine seeing that same outfit on a family member or friend’s child. It is like that outfit got a second chance at life. Selfishly, you also get to relive all of the memories that you have connected to that article of clothing. It is a win win for everyone involved. Now that my third is here and it is BOY, I am in the process of sorting through my daughter’s clothes. Going through the clothes to get rid of was SUPER EMO for me, but in a good way …

Because I am now on the giving end of the “hand me downs” and that makes me so happy! My friend that was “done” having kids ended up adopting a baby girl with very short notice. So I got to send her everything from my crib to my sweet Mary Kathryn’s clothes. Some of this was initially on loan as I knew we would have more kids one day. Now that baby boy is here, I get to send the rest of my girl clothes her way! There is nothing sweeter than seeing her daughter in some of Kat’s dresses and outfits, and I know she feels the same way about her boys’ clothes. Whether these outfits bring happy memories, sad memories, or just give me a warm fuzzy feeling, I would  never want to do without them!

Lauren James
Lauren is a native New Orleanian that was transplanted to Lafayette in 2008 by her husband of 11 years, Daniel. She has a B.S.N. from Louisiana State University – School of Nursing and a M.S.N. from the University of South Alabama. Her “paying gig” is as a Nurse Practitioner with a focus in Quality/Infection Prevention at a local hospital. Her other full-time gig is as keeper of her home and mom to William 7, Mary Kathryn 6, and Benjamine 2. Most of her days at home are spent picking up toys and socks off the floor so the family Bernese Mountain Dog, Tipper, does not demolish them. When she has a spare moment, she enjoys reading crime novels, playing board game with her kids, cooking and baking foods that are not on her diet, and finding any reason to celebrate by drinking her beloved champagne. To burn off a few calories and any leftover energy, the family enjoys walking or riding bikes on the shaded boulevard on which they live. Lauren has fallen in love with the people and city of Lafayette and is very proud to raise her family here and to now call it home.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here