Monday, February 20, 2006

Cost Comparison: Knit Shirts

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For the first time in four years, our wellspring of hand-me-downs has run dry.

When temperatures hit the 70's, Andrew didn't have any short sleeved shirts. My mom advised me to hit Walmart before the spring line sells out.

We ventured in the mega store and, before we knew it, had piled a stack of fresh pastel knits in the cart. Each of the cheaper shirts cost $5.88, or over $24 for four. I bought one, just in case, then headed down the street to Southern Thrift.

There I found four shirts (and a matching pair of shorts) for under $5 total.

All had gentle to no wear; all are higher quality cottons from brands like Le Top, Kitestrings, and Philadelphia Good Lad.

It still amazes me how much more I can get for my money at a thrift store.

11 comments:

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

I never had to resort to new clothes with my six girls, but I have found that with my son, boy's clothes after about size 5 or 6 get harder and harder for me to find. I don't know if it's my thrift shops, or that boys are so much harder on their clothes.

Anonymous said...

I was just going to post same as headmistress. Just try to find a clean, unstained pair of long pants after size 6 in thrift stores! Hand-me-downs cease, too. It gets harder. Boys rip the knees out, even my bookish boy. It's charming : ) It's boyish ! It's challenging ! Also, they start turning their nose up at the cute knit shirts and stuff, oh about halfway through 1st grade.

Debbie

Girls' special occasion dresses are a dime-a-dozen, though.

Meredith said...

So, would you recommend I start stocking up on the next several sizes up--if and when I see great condition, non-cutesy boys' clothes? It's probably time for me to start the Tightwad Gazette clothing storage system, anyway.

Debbie, I know I only have about a year left on the cute clothing for him...hence the shorts embroidered with little red crabs. I'm already mourning the loss of all his 2 - 3T one piece sun suits!

Jordana said...

If you see any size 6 boys pants without holes in the knees snap them up. My son wore holes in his jeans. He only wants to wear jeans to school, so I went off to Goodwill confident that I would pick up several new pairs. None. Not a single pair of jeans in his size and since he doesn't want to wear cords, khakis or sweatpants, this has been a source of much consternation on mornings when I haven't gotten his other pair of jeans washed.

Anonymous said...

absolutely stock up. Slims and regulars. You can always resale those. If your boy turns out to be a slim you're ahead (from one who knows. TRY FINDING 14 and 16 SLIMS on thrift : )

Also, cords wear better than khakis. Stronger fabric.

Meredith said...

Thanks for the advice! I ran into a small church thrift store after the post office this morning. They had all kids' pants marked down to 25 cents apiece. Not a pair of boys jeans, but I did get six pairs of Talbots 5 and 6 cords and khakis.

Kathryn said...

I guess I know what to look for now. I don't want to stockpile too far ahead, but if jeans are that rare at yard sales, etc...I will keep my eyes out. Thanks for the advice.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

I would stock up when you find them, and then it will make more sense to spend a little more money for pants from somewhere like Sears or Lands' End- where the clothes are guaranteed.
I did have trouble for a while finding girls' clothes that didn't look like streetwalker outfits- but then I found that miniskirts for ten year olds fit six year old girls just the way they should. Kids that age mostly grow up, not out.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I concur on the girls' skirts, headmistress! But I've always had to take the waists in. I also buy 14/16 knit shirts for my daughter (a size 10 reg) for the body length and so they're not skintight. Rarely are they too wide across the shoulders even at that size. The sleeves are always way TOO long. A trip around the sleeve bottom with the serger fixes that.

The only thing I stockpile anymore are: Jeans and cords, snowboots, snowpants, coats. (And even coats are iffy, but I like to have an extra snowcoat on hand for washday, visitors, rips, etc.) I found with stockpiling, by the time that size fits, I was sick of looking at or moving the clothes forward in storage; and they didn't fit or feel good anyway! Think of all the use someone could have gotten out of them while they were waiting. God has never left me wanting in this area, His provision has been just right when we needed it.

Moms with many children probably have a very different opinion. I only have one of each.

Debbie

melanie said...

Hi Meredith,
My name is Melanie, I have been reading your blog for a few weeks now and really enjoy it. You have great ideas on how to strech your money. I rarely ever buy anything brand new, I have always checked the clearance racks for what I want, and I trade in my kids clothes for 'new' ones at a really nice consignemnt shop, but I had never tried Salvation Army before, but my best friend goes every Wed., so this week, I took inventory of what my boys would need for this coming summer and found they seriously needed shirts. So I remebered what yuo had said about thrift store and decided to go. I found 14 shirts for $5!! ANd they were all very nice, some with tags still on, and from brands like GAP and Old Navy, Childrens place and gymboree. They smelled a bit funky, but I have to wash anything that touhes my boys skin twice anyway(once in free and clear soap, and then once to make sure every last trace of soap is out) due to serious eczema, so it was no big deal the way they smelled.Thank you for your tips.

Nancy said...

Oh, I am finding the same thing re: boys' clothing now that my little one is getting out of baby sizes. I was trying to find something dressy for Easter for him. Target had nothing for boys - 3 little racks, with cotton "sport" coat things and polo shirts - while there was rack after rack of cute little girl dresses. GRRR. I did end up finding a little jacket, dress shirt and vest at a local thrift store - under $5 for all - but the jacket was a little big. They didn't have much either for little boys.

Fortunately, my MIL doesn't seem to mind buying new outfits at retail prices for her first grandson, so as long as she keeps up with that, he'll be adequately dressed. :) ;)