Clothes That Never Die

Written by NPN Guest on July 28th, 2011

Edited by Dionna at Code Name: Mama

Ecological Responsibility, Green Living

I can't believe that after five years and two children wearing this skirt, I only have one photo to show for it!

There is a size 3 jean skirt that my two daughters have worn for the past five years. It’s not really that pretty, it has a stain that has been there about three years and a hole in the crotch that has been there for two years, but it doesn’t deter my youngest (four years old) from wearing it on sunny days. We bought it when our oldest daughter was one and a half. She was big for her age and we wanted the skirt to last her a long time. However, we never imagined it would last this long! She stopped wearing it when she was about four, and as soon as she was out of it her little sister started wearing it and has been in it for about two years now. I joke that it’s the skirt that never dies. It ranks right up there with a sweater of mine that I’ve been wearing every Autumn since 1988.1

It’s funny how clothes work. Sometimes you can spend a heap of money on an item of clothing thinking your child will love it forever and it never gets worn, or right after the first wear it gets ripped or gets a stain that refuses to come out. I remember my youngest, when she was two, took a pair of scissors to her brand new dress while she was wearing it!

If you’re lucky, you might have a friend of a relative who gives you a box of hand me downs now and again. When the girls were small I got a bunch of hand me downs from my sister-in-law, but by the time my oldest was three or four she was the same size as her cousin who is three years older! Right now we have no hand me down friends, so needless to say, clothes are a lot more expensive than they used to be. For the most part I get their clothes at second hand shops. I like being able to save money while being environmentally friendly. Plus, it always gives me a great deal of satisfaction when I find a never-worn item at thrift store prices!

At the back of my closet I have a box of sentimental clothes the girls wore when they were babies and toddlers. Some of them are hand knit items from friends and family, others are the prettiest frocks they wore; there is the dress our daughter wore, only once, at our wedding when she was seven months old, and a few items are clothes they wore all. the. time. The clothes that never died. No matter how stained or stretched out, they wore them until they could no longer squeeze their little bodies into them. For some reason those clothes are my favourite, and I imagine once my daughter can no longer fit into her size 3 jean skirt, I will add it to the box too.

Do your kids have any clothes that have lasted way longer than you expected?


Melodie is the mom of two girls (ages 3 and 6) and the author of Breastfeeding Moms Unite! where she talks a lot about breastfeeding a pre-schooler, but also provides tips and education about breastfeeding in general. She is also passionate about mom-to-mom support, natural/attachment parenting, real food, and vegetarianism. Melodie is also home schooling her oldest daughter, and has just returned to her mental health career after 6 years of being a SAHM.

  1. Okay, maybe it’s not quite that old!

2 Responses to Clothes That Never Die

  1. JennyOH

    My two year old daughter isn’t too hard on her clothes, thankfully, although we get 90% (everything other than gifts from family) from Goodwill anyway. She typically wears lots of dresses, and this summer I’ve been reusing all her summer dresses from last year as tops over shorts.

  2. Gaby@Tmuffin  

    My sister handed me down clothes when Baby T was born. I had one box for every month until about 12 months. Then things got sparse. I couldn’t understand why until I dealt with my own toddler. Every shirt gets stained every day, there are potty accidents and mud accidents and grass accidents, and it’s hard to keep anything in good shape. I let him wear it, but I certainly can’t hand it down afterward!