I didn’t give loads of thought to clothes buying before motherhood. I suppose the main reason was that I had a good income, so I bought what I wanted, when I wanted it. I’ve never really been a designer wearer, just the odd piece, I was always more likely to be found on the high street. But things have changed now. I’m at home with my children, so cash isn’t as ready as it once was, and time to shop is also rather limited! But, earlier this week, when I opened my wardrobe and started rifling through my ‘warmer wear’, I knew that I needed to buy new clothes. It was when I grabbed a top that is now misshapen from too many washes and that I distinctly remember my oldest covering in baby sick (that dated it for me, it didn’t revolt me – I’m a mum so baby sick no longer offends!) that I knew a shopping trip was on the cards! Instead of the high street, I headed to my now favourite clothes-buying haunt, New Life.
It’s a store about 20-30 minutes from me, filled with loads of brands at bargain prices, and all for a good cause. As the website tells you…
‘All the profits for the store and our recycling operation go to help disabled children and their families here in the UK and because they are recycled goods the environment is helped as well – good for disabled children, good for the planet and good for your pocket too.’
So I was buying clothes at a bargain price, replenishing my withered winter wardrobe, helping the environment and giving to charity all in one foul swoop. How great am I?! They cut the labels out of the clothes so that you don’t know which shop they come from, but you can often tell as you recognise part of the labels, or some are printed on anyway. I regularly spot Asda, Gap, Matalan, Monsoon and River Island in there, and then there’s Replay, Converse, Ted Baker, Paul Smith – but only sometimes and these sell quickly so it’s right place, right time for those! My point is, you know they’re decent enough brands so they do last well, they’re not second-hand, just shop rejects – I don’t mind buying rejects! I managed to get a pair of jeans, a Gap tee, 2 tops and a jumper in there for £17, so I was pretty pleased with myself. They still had mainly summer-wear in, so I will be back there next month hoping to grab a few more winter bargains, especially as I could do with a long water-proof coat and some boots, now I’m dealing with school runs, neither of which tend to come cheap, so hopefully I’ll save myself some money there.
That was a couple of days ago, and today will see me off to Asda this afternoon as they have their George sale starting in-store today. I clothe Boo for pre-school in George, as it washes well, irons easily and when I buy it in the sale it’s pretty cheap, so when it comes home covered in paint, dirt, and who knows what else, I’m not gutted about throwing it in the bin. It also helps that my sister-in-law works there, so I always know when the sales start.
We always buy the children’s clothes in the sales, though for their every day wear, it tends to be Debenhams, Pumpkin Patch, Gap, Mini-Boden, H&M…as I type this I do spot how they dress far better than me. All are always reduced, though, and I usually find a voucher code before checking out, too. When they outgrow them (which they seem to do ridiculously quickly) I bag some up for the charity shop and then the others for a reborn fair, netmums, or I’m going to give eBay I try this time, which I’ve not done before. We’ll see how that pans out…
What do you do with your children’s clothes? Are they better dressed than you, too, or is just me?! Have your shopping habits changed since motherhood?