Making Hand-Me-Downs Work in Any Season

How to use your hand-me-downs even if the seasons do not match up perfectly. Save money by using hand-me-downs for your kids.

Boy leaning against a wall

When I was in my third trimester with Brinley, I got out the baby girl clothes and went through all of our clothes we had in storage. As I did so, I quickly realized that she would often be totally off in season from the clothes I had. She would be in 3-6 months during the winter, and Kaitlyn was in those during the summer. McKenna’s birthday is only 2 weeks off of Kaitlyn’s so they were in the same sizes. I groaned as I thought about having to buy a whole new wardrobe.

But I didn’t have to! I was able to make most clothing work. Now, some things just don’t work. Snowlfakes look out of place in July and ladybugs kind of are just annoying in January. But for the most part, most things have been able to be used. Here are some tips for making hand-me-downs work.

Layer Clothes

layered shirt

A lot of the shirts I have had for Brinley during winter months are short sleeved. Around here, that doesn’t work so well. -10 degrees plus short sleeves equals cold. This is easily solved by layering. 

One way is to buy some long-sleeved onesies or bodysuits. You can buy packs of all white or you can buy a pack with multi-colors. You put the onesie under the short-sleeved shirt and suddenly you have a shirt that works for winter. 

Another way to layer is to use cardigans. This time you put the layer over the short-sleeved shirt. 

Wear it Big 

There have been many clothes that Brinley has worn and does wear that are bigger than would be ideal for her size. For example, this winter she has worn a lot of 2T clothes since Kaitlyn was in winter at 9-12 months and then 2T size. Most things have been fine. The size difference is actually often pretty minimal when you old sizes up to each other. 

Wear it Small

There have been other clothes that have worked on the smaller side. If you have leggings that are too short, let them become capris. Brinley is 19 months and in the 50s% for height and weight and still able to wear many 12 month size clothes comfortably.

Let Off Sizes and Dirty Clothes Be Play Clothes

Since we have a limited number of clothes that actually fit her perfectly, I am sure to not put her in her perfect sized clothes when there is a good chance she will get dirty.

I am also very careful about this with McKenna. Since she will be passing clothes down to Brinley, I am sure she changes into clothes that already have holes or stains before going outside or doing something messy. I want to preserve what I can so that I don’t have to buy all new clothes when Brinley gets to those sizes. 

Buy Some Clothes That Fit

For every size, I have purchased usually about two shirts and one to two pairs of pants that will fit her perfectly and also that look like her. Different children look better in different colors. This way I can always have something I think she is really cute in for those days I want her to look cute. 

What do you do to make hand-me-downs work?

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