Raising Vada: Thrifting Baby Clothes

details 2 Despite the streak of 75 degree weather we are having, Fall really is coming. I’m ready for fall, even though I know I will dearly miss the summer, the days already feel shorter. I’m ready for a change in events, a change in weather, something new to look forward to. Fall has long been a favorite season of mine. My birthday, my wedding anniversary, Halloween, Vada’s birthday, Mr. Gaunt’s birthday, and Thanksgiving ALL happen in the fall. Not to mention most of my best friends birthdays are in the fall too. So Fall is a good time in this household.

sweaters

This past weekend I began to sort through Vada’s drawers, pulling the outgrown items out, putting away the sentimental pieces (For baby number two? For friends babies?), and selling off the things she wont wear again. We have held onto a few pairs of shorts and tank tops to get us through the coming weeks, but her drawers are already bursting with sweaters, long paints, tights and wool dresses just waiting for the leaves to fall, and the first frost.

detail 1

Vada is in 12/18 month size right now, I KNOW SHES ONLY 9 MONTHS OLD! So I’ve been slowly purchasing 18 month/2T winter stuff for a few weeks now. I love shopping for Vada’s clothes, it is pure stress relief for me. It is more relaxing and enjoyable than wine and Netflix. It is my absolute favorite thing to do right now, color me crazy. But I don’t shop new, oh hell no, its thrift stores all the way! It’s the only way I could afford to have a slight shopping addiction. With most items averaging $1-$3 I can afford to fill her drawers with awesome stuff. My mom always asks  “where did you get that” and 99% of the time the answer is Value Village. I have a lot of friends that don’t thrift shop, and that’s ok, it’s not for everyone, but if you are interested here some of my opinions on thrifting kids clothes:

Value Village is by far my favorite thrift store (In Colorado it’s called Savers, same company). There are a few reasons I love VV:

1. Its BRIGHT, SPACIOUS, and CLEAN (well as clean as a bunch of used clothes can be).

2. The racks are large, and rarely packed so full that you can’t flip through garments (I HATE THAT)

3. The prices are generally good, and they rarely jack up prices because of the brand.

4. I feel like the employees don’t even know what a good kids brand is, so often times Tea and Hanna Anderson are $1.99!

5. The HUNT! I love the hunt of digging through a bunch of trash to find a gem! I love it!

6. SALE DAYS. On Holidays it’s often 50% off all clothing. TAKE ALL MY MONEY! (join the Super Saver and get 50% the day before!)

pants

Other than VV, I also like Goodwill, and then after that Ill check out the actual kids consignment stores. Kids consignment stores tend to be more expensive, have less selection, have been picked over, and don’t have those GEMS hidden amongst the trash. They know that they should price name brand kids clothes higher, and they do. They also tend to not take vintage clothing, or handmade stuff, and I buy a lot of handmade stuff at VV. Not that I don’t get some good stuff at kids consignment stores, because I do. I also consign some of Vada’s stuff too, so I have a little $$ to spend. Last week I needed a pink leotard in Vada’s size for her Halloween costume, it was much easier to hit up a kids consignment store that I knew had dance-wear, then to try to hunt VV for a few weeks to find one.  I also recently found a new consignment shop that seems to carry high-end kids clothing. While I like to hunt, sometimes its nice not to have to dig through a bunch of Granimals and Carters.

boy clothes

At any store I try to look through the entire section of her size, boys and girls. I kind of hate that they separate the boys and girls, because really we shop from both pretty evenly. I like girls leggings better, boys pants tend to be bulky and “cargo-pant” style, which I don’t love. I love boys sweaters and long sleeve shirts. We buy almost exclusively boys pajamas, they are way cooler! Boys prints tend to be dinosaurs, space/rockets, bugs, sharks/whales, frogs, nautical, and come in greens, blues, oranges, yellow, red. Girls stuff tends to be flowers, bunnies, cupcakes, and come in pink, purple, and more pink. I hate it. Good thing I don’t give a crap about my kid being called a boy. I always just say “Thanks!” whenever people compliment my little guy, no need to correct them.

brands 2

As for the brands of clothes, I definitely find myself selecting similar brands time and time again. I can also almost immediately detect a nicer item of clothing based on the print or fabric. There are an endless supply of good brands at thrift stores!

I keep my eyes peeled for:

BABY GAP

Hanna Anderson

Zutano

H&M

Tea Collection

Old Navy

Janie & Jack

Crew Cuts

Mini Boden

brands 1

On top of that I do buy lots of Carters and other kids basics brands too. But I find that better brands, make clothing that lasts longer. Not that she wears things that long, but she’s the second or third or fourth person to wear these items, and I will pass them on to another child, so it’s nice if they don’t fall apart. I’ve had a few items from Target and Crazy Eight that I bought new totally fall apart, but GAP clothes feel sturdy and last a long time in my opinion.

shoes

As for the style we go for, it’s all about the basics. I stock Vada up on lots of neutrals, and lots of fun modern prints. I avoid things that are way too childish (cartoons, silly sayings, and things that are too embellished with bows and ruffles that don’t wash well). I basically dress Vada in clothing I would wear, if I felt like I could wear whatever I wanted. Some people might think that you should let a kid dress like a kid, and I do, just not a tacky kid. (; I mix and match prints, and we layer a lot too with fun cardigans and longsleeves under t shirts. We dont do a ton of dresses and skirts because she’s still crawling a not walking, and they are a tripping hazzard. We’ve gotten some great coats this year too! North Face, Gap, and Lands End, we will be so nice and warm! Shoes on the other hand I like to buy new, kids destroy shoes!

dresses

So if you have kids and you haven’t thrifted, I say give it a try, its really great! Happy clothes hunting!

 

 

Why I Buy Used Sweaters

I was at Target this afternoon, and I saw this sweater:

14198466_120904003000

Cute right? Basic knit, scoop neck, oversized, my kinda sweater. I ALMOST bought it, as they were 30% 29.99, but I didn’t. I looked through all the colors, I held them up against myself, I made Mr. Gaunt vote on which one he liked, and just when I was about to put it in my basket, I put it back. You know why, because the minute I get that $20 sweater home, one of three things will happen:

1. It will get wrecked

Be it stained with wine or snagged by a cat nail, undoubtedly if I spend $20 on a sweater, it’s not lasting me more than 3 months.

2. It will shrink

I’m sorry Target, I love yah to death, but your clothes are cheap and they will shrink, or warp or stretch out to the point that they no longer look like they did when I shelled out that $20.

3. I wont actually like it.

Maybe Ill see an unflattering photo of myself in it. Maybe Ill remember grey/beige/pink is NOT my color. Maybe Ill remember I already own 3 red sweaters, whatever it may be, if I spend that much on one item of clothing, the likelihood that I will get my moneys worth is slim to none. It’s just the way the world works. When I was 16 I bought a $65 Duster Sweater (remember those long sweaters with the belts?) at the Gap for back to school. I wore it less than 3 times, seriously. I hated it.

So here is my point. I should NOT spend full price (or even sale price) on clothing. Now if I spend $3.97 on a CLEARANCE Target sweater, it will undoubtedly become my most favorite item of clothing, like this sweatshirt, but full price, nope. Which brings me to this post, on buying used sweaters:

used sweater

Tonight Mr. Gaunt and I went to Value Village, and strolled around. I’m really into oversize sweaters right now, blame the 2 seasons of Felicity I watched this fall, so I grabbed an armful and headed to the dressing room. Here are my top three reasons why you should buy used sweaters:

1. They are already worn in

Some people might think that means they are worn out, not true. I mean yes they aren’t as shiny and new as they once were, but they aren’t going to look worse! They have already aged, faded, and shrunk. The first time you throw them in the wash they aren’t going to come out 2 inches shorter. They are almost guaranteed to stay in the same condition that you bought them in. Love it. Minimal risk.

2. They are cheap!

Most sweaters of a mediocre brand (Old Navy, Gap, Eddie Bauer, Lands End) will run you less than $6. Sweaters of a slightly nicer brand (J. Crew, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors) Might run you $8-$11. And then you get the 1/2 off colors which are AWESOME! So even if the sweater you buy might end up being something you hate, or get stained, at least you only spent a few bucks on it!

*I personally never ever spend more than $7 on any top.

3. You can find your REAL style

If you go into the Women’s section of Target, they are telling you what to wear. They are pointing you towards all the latest trends, and forcing you to wear what everyone else is wearing. When you walk into a thrift store, there are trends from the last 50 years in there! You force yourself to hunt through the items and really evaluate what your style is. What colors you like? what brands you like? You pick clothing out more based on if it looks like the right size, and less on the zie tag. You discover what you really want to wear, not what Target is telling you to wear.

So in the end I purchased three sweaters (the tan one and the two black ones) and an ADORABLE home-made (yup, raw seams and no tags inside, wearing it to Christmas!) dress all for $12. And if in 6 months I hate them all, who cares, it was $12! Although I love a black sweater, so I doubt I will hate them.

sweater 1  sweater 3 sweater 4

 

Fall Fun Bonanza!

I like to use the word Bonanza whenever possible. Seriously.

October was whirl wind of activities! Bonfires, Antique Shopping in Lynden, Thrifting Dresses and sweaters, wearing tights, Eating Man Pies. How I love fall! I’m so glad it is taking so long for all the leaves to change. I’m so glad that the weather goes from rainy to sunny and back again, never too hot, never too cold. I’m so glad that Mr. Gaunt takes me on dates, and we eat outside in our coats. I’m so glad we switched our roadtrip snacks from Sunflower seeds to Pumpkin Seeds. I think November will just be another extension of October, and I will ride this pumpkin flavored, maple leaf smelling, puffy vest wearing coat-tails all the way to Christmas!

Forrest burning all our excess cardboard

$8 "Infinity Scarf" from Buffalo Exchange. Thanks Aunt. J for th pin!

A NEW USED WASHER! HIP HIP HOORAY!

Dress $4, "cardigan" is a thrifted J.Crew jersey tee I cut up the front, and cut the sleeves 3/4.

$6 at Value Village

 

$3 Skirt from Value Village. Didnt buy the sweater

Pumpkin Seeds for the road.

A Rainy afternoon in Lynden

Did you know Lynden is a Dutch Colony....weird.

Checking out the antique shops

Bought a cat for the Teal Cat Project! Check it out at http://www.tealcatproject.com

The Crazy Spider house!

Need a closer look?

Check out that HUGE spider on the side of the house!

Eating Man Pies...the ultimate comfort food.