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What second hand clothes are best for your child? How to save money and what to look for?

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Babies and kids’ clothes are expensive. It really doesn’t help when they outgrow their clothes so fast. If you’re living in a country with four seasons like me… it can really hurt your wallet. In this post I am going to share with you the best second hand clothes brands for your child ab where to get these fantastic deals and how to care for the clothes.

First let me share with you why you should consider buying second hand clothes for your child. 

  1. It’s cost friendly. The sum of things needed to raise a baby can really add up quickly, so  one of the things you should consider buying second hand is definitely clothes. It’s simply because children outgrew them so fast.
  2. It’s safer. Second hand clothes has been through many washes and all the chemicals they use to treat the clothes has been properly washed away. 
  3. It’s true to size. New baby / children clothes tend to shrink. A lot. No surprises after you finish washing the clothes. Sometimes it shrinks so much that before you know it, your child has already outgrew them. 
  4. It’s better for the planet. We all should do our part to conserve the planet so that our next generation gets to enjoy its beauty. 

Photo by Baby Natur on Unsplash

Here are some of the brands that are commonly found in the second hand baby clothes market.

Get some important information such as sizes, materials and how well they tolerate repeated washing from my own experiences here…

Gap: Gap clothes last beautifully throughout the washes. However, Gap size doesn’t run big. It’s noteworthy to mention it’s clothes tend to shrink a lot. It’s advisable to buy two sizes up if you’d like to get more wear out of it. 

Mark &Spencer : M&S is definitely one of my top choices. Their cottons are really soft, in good quality and long lasting. They don’t shrink a lot, pretty much true to size or in some cases even larger. You can wear M&S for a longer time for sure. 

Next: Next clothes are made with high quality cottons. It survives a lot of washing. Their size runs big as well. You can get more wear out of Next clothes for sure. Next is one of the brand you should definitely look for in second hand clothes sale. It would never go wrong. Take my words for it.

Carter’s: I find that they tend to use thinner cotton for their clothes. It’s noteworthy that Carter’s brand runs small. If your baby is chunky, it’s advisable to steer clear of this brand otherwise it will be a tight fit. I find that their clothes tolerance to repeated washing is not that good. 

Old Navy: Old Navy is pretty much true to size. I find that their cloth quality are similar to Carter’s, and it doesn’t survive frequent washing very well. It tends to get loose with washing, I suppose it’s the clothes losing the elasticity. 

Joe Fresh: Joe Fresh is true to size. The quality of their clothes is standard. I wouldn’t say it’s good but it’s not too bad. It does not survive repeated washing very well. 

H&M: H&M clothes are true to size. Although, I do find their material is quite thin in comparison to other brands. So their clothes are mostly suitable for hot summer weather. However do take note, due to the thinner material clothing it does not withstand frequent washing very well. It does get worn out. 

Mamas & Papas: Mama’s and Papa’s is one of my favourites as well. Their clothes are really soft and comfortable. Although , I do find that their sizes do run a little smaller in comparison to M&S / NEXT. 

Oshkosh: Oshkosh size runs a little smaller  or at most true to size in my opinion. I find that their quality is standard. Not especially good or bad, more or less acceptable. I do find that they tend to use thicker material for their clothes, hence it does withstand the washing very well. 

Zara: Zara’s clothes are true to size or run a little smaller. I find that their quality is a hit or miss. I have some that seem to be very comfortable and well built, some other ones that fall apart after several washing.  

The Little White Company: The Little White Company’s clothes are mostly true to size. This is one of the brands that makes very good quality clothing for the little ones as well. It withstands washing very well and has a good resale value. 

I understand that navigating the world of second hand clothes can be complicated, but if you know just where to search for these goodies and what pitfall to avoid, it makes all the difference! 

Photo by Artificial Photography on Unsplash

Here are some places to find fantastic deals on gently used clothing for your little ones! 


1. Facebook Marketplace

The Facebook Marketplace is an excellent place to search for second-hand children’s clothing. With the ability to search by location, size, and brand, you can easily find clothes that are perfect for your child. Plus, you can communicate directly with the seller to ask questions or negotiate prices. Do beware and check the seller’s review beforehand to avoid falling into scam. Always remember to ask for cash upon meeting up to check the condition of the clothes. 

2. Garage Sales: 

Garage sales often include deals on second-hand clothes. Many families hold garage sales to clear out items their children have outgrown, which can mean great bargains for you. When it comes to garage sale, remember that it’s first come and first serve hence arrive early! Pro tips: Usually there is also room for negotiation if you are taking several items especially if the family is relocating! 

3. Retykle and similar websites: 

Websites like Retykle specialise in reselling second-hand branded kids clothes. Websites like this usually have strict guidelines for accepting items, ensuring you get high-quality clothing at a fraction of the retail price. You can view the actual item photo in the website, browse their selection by brand, size, or category to find the perfect items for your child. 

Pro tips: If you have some clothes your child already outgrown, you can also resell your clothes back to Retykle and get store credits to shop for the next size! What a fantastic way to clear the clutter in your own home. 

4. Carousell (only available in some countries in Asia): 

Carousell is an extremely user-friendly mobile marketplace app that allows users to buy and sell items, including children’s clothing. Although it’s only available in some countries, it’s worth checking out if it’s accessible in your area. You can download the Carousell app for Android and Apple here. You can ask for more details and photos of the actual item and communicate directly with sellers to negotiate prices. 

Do read the review on the seller’s profile before dealing with the seller directly. The same as Facebook Marketplace, always pay upon meeting up with the sellers after checking the condition of the clothes to avoid getting scammed. 

5. Second-hand clothes shops: 

Thrift stores and consignment shops offer a wide selection of second-hand clothes for children. They usually have a more curated selection than garage sales, which can make it easier to find items that fit your child’s needs. Be sure to check for store sales or discounts to get even better deals. Don’t forget to check out your nearest local Salvation Army family store as well. They always have very good deals on gently used baby clothing and the money goes to helping people in needs. It’s a meaningful thing to do to be able to help a charity just like that.

6. Community WhatsApp Groups: 

Joining community WhatsApp groups in your area can be a fantastic way to find second-hand clothes for your children. Many neighbourhoods have groups where members share information about local sales or offer items for sale, including children’s clothing. 

Sometimes there’s even a marketplace WhatsApp group by area directly that makes buying second hand clothes super convenient and easy! And you may even make some new friends with other mama’s in the process.

By exploring these resources, you’ll be well on your way to finding excellent second-hand clothes for your children at a fraction of the cost of new items. Not only will this save you money, but it’s also a more sustainable and eco-friendly option for your family. 

There are however several points to note about buying second hand clothes. 

The importance of checking the condition of second-hand clothes, especially when it’s for your little ones:

When shopping for second-hand clothes, it’s essential to inspect the condition of the items before purchasing them. Look for any stains, holes, or signs of wear and tear. Clothes that are in good condition will last longer and provide more value for your money. Additionally, check for any loose threads or missing buttons, as these can be signs of poor quality or wear. This could also pose a choking hazard for your child. 

If you’re shopping online, read the product description carefully and look for any indication of the clothing’s condition. Some sellers may provide detailed information, while others may not. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to ask the seller for more details or additional photos. Remember, buying second-hand clothes is about finding good quality items at a lower cost, so make sure you’re getting your money’s worth.

Caring for second-hand clothes:

To extend the life of your second-hand clothes, it’s important to care for them properly. Here are some tips for keeping your children’s clothes looking their best:

– Follow the care instructions: Always check the care label and follow the recommended washing and drying instructions. This will help maintain the fabric’s quality and prevent damage.

– Use gentle detergent: opt for a gentle, fragrance-free detergent to avoid any irritation on your child’s sensitive skin. I personally use this baby detergent from Pigeon I find that they do a good job at removing stains yet gentle for baby skin. You can find some very good baby detergents here.

– Treat stains promptly: If your child spills something on their clothes, treat the stain as soon as possible to prevent it from setting in. Use a stain remover or pre-treat the area before washing.

– Avoid over-drying: Over-drying can cause clothes to shrink, fade, or lose their shape. To prevent this, remove clothes from the dryer while they’re still slightly damp and hang or lay them flat to dry.

Photo by mrjn Photography on Unsplash

Do you know that in order to create one single piece of cotton shirt, it takes 3000 liters of water. To put this in perspective, if you drink 2 liters of water a day this is equivalent to 1500 days or 5 years. That’s for one cotton shirt.

How many cotton shirts / pants etc. do we need for our little ones? Think of our planet, be aware and do your part to preserve the beauty of the planet for our little one. Support second hand clothes, do your wallet, your child and the planet a favor.  Another way you can help to save the planet is by ding cloth diapering. It is easier than you think, you can learn all about cloth diapering here.

By being mindful of the brands you buy, where you find second-hand clothes, and how you care for them, you can save money and make a more sustainable choice for your family and the environment. Happy shopping!

Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

Featured image photo by The Nix Company on Unsplash (2020)

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission when you click on the links with no additional costs to you. As an Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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