Simple Wardrobe from (mostly) Hand-me-Downs

Simple Wardrobe

When it comes to preparing my boys wardrobes for the upcoming season, I use the same process to access their needs but readying my younger son for the next season is much easier (and cheaper) since I have a bin of hand-me-downs to work with.

Here’s the process for my younger son:

Todddler Hand-me-downs

I simply pull out the bin of clothes in his next size range that his big brother wore and we pretty much have a wardrobe that is ready to go!

The contents of his bin for this fall/winter was mostly made up of hand-me-downs from big brother* but there were also a few pieces that were still large on him at the end of last winter (his sweater vest, a hooded sweater and button up shirt.) I also picked up a dino t-shirt on clearance for $2.50 back in May, it matches the one I purchased for big brother then too!

*You’ll notice there really aren’t a ton of hand-me-downs. I’m very selective when it comes to saving clothing, I only keep favorite items, clothes in good condition and a few play clothes. There is not room in our home to save everything.


2 button ups

1 hooded sweater

4 t-shirts

2 pair of pajamas

1 jacket

1 sweater vest

7 pair of pants

Current Clothes

Then I assessed what he was currently wearing to see what would transition into the cooler months.

2 hoodies

1 rain jacket

1 sweater vest

2 pair of pajamas

At this point, there was nothing he really needed since I do laundry so frequently but thought another t-shirt or two would be nice for extra variety!

New Clothes

Items I purchased:

Jeans $1 (yardsale)

Black Tee $4 (WalMart)

Born to Rock Tee $3 (Carters Gift Card)

Total Spent: $8


His entire fall/winter wardrobe:

7 t-shirts/sweaters

6 pants

2 dress shirts

2 sweater vests

1 khaki pant

4 play pants (3 pair not pictured)

3 play shirts (not pictured)

4 pajama sets

5 pieces of outerwear (2 hoodies, 1 rain jacket, 1 fleece jacket, 1 thick jacket that’s not pictured)

This simple wardrobe is what works for us. Since we’re working on using the potty, he has several more pair of pants than his big brother (some days we go through 4 pair due to accidents so an excess of pants is necessary for a child this age).

Benefits of a simple child’s wardrobe:

  • Less clothing to organize and find storage for.
  • Costs less. Not having a large wardrobe means you spend less on clothing!
  • Easier to get dressed! It’s easier for the child to pick out their own clothes since they aren’t bombarded with a drawer/closet stuffed with clothes.

Do you have a hand-me-down source for your children (either sibling, family member or friend)? Do the hand-me-downs make up a majority of their wardrobes?

Related posts:

Simple Preschooler Wardrobe





responses to “Simple Wardrobe from (mostly) Hand-me-Downs” 12

  1. One helpful thing I learned from another mom is to use elastic-waist pants during potty training. I use sweats and the swishy athletic pants on my son. He can pull them up by himself, unlike jeans, which tend to be stiffer and harder to work with, besides always needing mama's help to do the zipper and snap.

  2. I love the simpler wardrobe and try to limit our girls' number of outfits to 7-8. That way I only have to do laundry once a week but have a back-up set in case of an accident or they get especially dirty playing. 🙂 I am wondering if this wardrobe includes their church-clothes (I think I remember that you all attend church.)? I guess boys may be easier when it comes to that than girls, too. 😉

    1. This does include their church clothes but our church is so casual, we don't need any special clothes for church. They typically just wear their jeans and a t-shirt on Sundays, if I'm feeling like dressing them up, I put them in their khakis and a button up. The casual church environment definitely helps us get by with fewer clothes.

    1. It is nice getting so much wear out of clothes! I'm quickly learning that boys are quite rough on their clothes as they get older so there aren't as many things to pass down as there were when they were tiny.

  3. I had so many clothes for my first, I gave many away. The stuff I did save were my favorite things. I'm now enjoying the hand me downs with my infant and just tonight put on a stretchy that reminded me of when the toddler was an infant and brought a smile to my face. You can't get that with new clothes!

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