Confession time. I like buying clothes. I also like buying clothes for my child.
I am a huge believer in retail therapy (within your means, of course.) When I was pregnant with Baby, I stockpiled onesies, shorts and rompers from Gymboree, a store that has quality items but can be pricey if you’re not careful. Luckily, most stuff was on clearance, but it was still kind of ridiculous to buy every single thing brand new.
I realize now that I was a little bit psycho about buying everything nice and new for my baby. Perhaps things would have been different if we were still in the poor student days of Simple Guy’s postgraduate schooling. But I was spoiling myself and totally unrealistic about buying used.
Lesson: if you buy used stuff for your kids, it does not mean you love them less.
Some things I believe should not be bought used, like car seats and cribs and mattresses and shoes. But clothing’s okay used, in my book.
I wish I knew about Once Upon a Child before I had Baby.
They sell baby clothes that are gently used of some good brands too (Carters, Gymboree, Janie and Jack etc). I only started shopping there recently, and this whole time they were only a five minute walk away from my house. (What was I thinking?) So far, I’ve bought a decent jacket, a few dress shirts, and some sweatshirts as we are preparing for a trip to a colder place soon.
We’ve successfully gotten the “thrift store” smell out of the clothes by simply adding a bit of white vinegar to the wash. I’ve loved most stuff I’ve bought there and I keep going back to see what is new on the racks. And get this. A lot of the smaller sizes like 0-3, 3-6 and 6-9 months have a big selection on clearance which for OUAC, means 50% off. (Say what?) It is perfect for the new mom!
I found some of the stuff I got at Gymboree there—I think I still did better buying my stuff from the clearance rack at Gymboree rather than Once Upon a Child. But it’s still an awesome option to keep in mind, if you don’t want to swim through the Gymboree red bins which always reminds me of those crazy Chinese women at the marketplace. (I realize I kind of look like an idiot, on my hands and knees, but it’s a sacrifice of self-image I’m willing to take for a great bargain!)
It has been especially helpful as Baby has gotten older, for toddler clothing. Toddlers don’t outgrow their clothing as quickly and the sale racks of Carter’s and Gymboree of bigger sizes are sparse–it’s really hard (but not impossible) to find what I want.
Please note: this review does not include selling old stuff to OUAC. I do not have any experience with selling to them. And I would try to gift my gently used clothing to a new mom before selling, but that’s just my situation and preference.