Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shopping in the attic

I spent the day today organizing my son's summer wardrobe.....for NEXT year. Now that we have pledged not to buy anything retail for a year, I find myself needing to take stock, plan ahead and be prepared. I am in the very fortunate position of having a brother with 2 older boys. Not only has this paved the way for me to understand why my son needs to climb the furniture and leap from the top of the stairs, but it also provides me with much-appreciated hand-me-downs for my little one. I am doubly blessed that my sister-in-law has an unrivaled combination of bargain-hunting skills and good taste, meaning that her boys--and now my son-- has a wardrobe to die for. Their youngest was wearing a 4T when my son was born, so the "good" clothes trickle in at 3T and hit full-force at 4T. I have diligently sorted and labelled and stored everything they've passed on to us, and I was excited that some of it found its way into the closet today.
My son has grown into a 3T, so today I pulled all of his 2T winter clothes and listed them on freecycle for another family to enjoy. I put his current 3T wardrobe into his dresser drawers, then went to work planning for later.
In his closet, I arranged one area for his 3T winter clothes for the coming fall/winter, and another area for next summer's 4T items. I wanted the chance to go through and take stock of what I have so that I can list what I might need. Once he grows into a 4T, he won't need a thing. I checked his 3T wardrobe for everything I know he will eventually need--Christmas outfits, a Halloween costume, church clothes, dress shoes, socks, soccer cleats for fall, swimsuits, a warm coat, a raincoat, etc and made a list of what was missing. I found that he needs jeans, long-sleeve shirts and warm pajamas. He will also soon need a pair of tennis shoes in the next size up, since he has nearly outgrown the ones he is in and the closest pair in the shoe bin is a size too large.
Now that I know exactly what I'm looking for, it will be easier to buy only what I need at garage sales and thrift shops and avoid having too much of one item and not enough of another. Since I won't need these things until fall, I have plenty of time to be picky and get the nicest things I can find at the best possible price.
My daughter's clothes won't be quite so easy. Now that she's reached the sophisticated age of 8, she is more or less in charge of her own wardrobe and has developed her likes and dislikes. Right now, she has everything she needs but before the summer is over she will have outgrown her shoes and will need some nicer shorts. There are some good consignment stores in our area so when the time comes, we may give those a try. That's about as far ahead as I can plan for her, since styles change and her idea of fashion changes even faster than that.
I spent a small amount of time assessing my own wardrobe, which is so-so. I like what I have, it's all still in good shape and it will get me through another summer if it needs to. I wouldn't mind a few more pairs of shorts and maybe something to perk things up a bit. Luckily, there is another clothing swap coming up and I'm hoping that will do the trick.


Susie said...

You are making me more excited to go through our handmedowns... I am making myself wait until we know the gender of baby #2. One more week!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I love hand-me-downs. My sister has two girls so I got piles for my daughter when she was smaller. They've all got their own styles now but it was fun while it lasted :) She too is now much more opinionated about what she will wear, but fortunately she mostly wants to wear baggy shorts and tshirts so it's not too expensive to keep her happy!