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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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How to Thrift for Winter Clothes that Will Actually Last

Written by Jessi McAlpine

Thrifting with your kids is a fun and budget-friendly way to ensure they make it through the winter warm and stylish.

When it starts getting chilly outside, it’s time to help your kids with a wardrobe overhaul. The quality knits, thick jackets, and accessories that will last through the winter, although durable, are also often more expensive than you might guess. Whether your kids’ taste in clothes is basic or bold, you can save a pretty penny by choosing to thrift rather than buying brand new this winter.

Taking a trip to the thrift store can make for a fun, family-friendly day trip, and you can guarantee that you’ll be walking back to the car with a cozy, one-of-a-kind collection in your arms. There’s a little magic in never knowing what will be waiting for you on the racks when you get to the shop, and thrift stores like Value Village® are famous for having high-end, designer items on hand at a discounted price. By choosing to shop there, you can also rest easy knowing that you’re supporting a business that purchases their second-hand merchandise from non-profits.

Busy moms know that it’s important to be strategic when it comes to buying clothes for your kid. Here are a few things you should know before you go shopping for the winter season.

Come Prepared

Much like grocery shopping, shopping for clothes becomes much simpler when you come with a list in hand. Before you leave the house, look through your kids’ closets to determine what they have, what they still need and what they’re likely to need more of soon.

Think about the winter basics: do they have hats, gloves, and scarves to last them until after the new year? When it comes to shopping for the winter months, the importance of a reliable, warm jacket cannot be stressed enough, either. Invest in one that’s waterproof, has a hood, and is made with warm, long-lasting materials, such as polyester and goose down. With luck, it’ll survive many more winter seasons.

Put all of that down onto a list and bring a copy for yourself and each shopper you’re bringing with you. That way, you won’t be surprised when you see your total at the checkout.

Be Savvy When Shopping Trends

Trends come and go. Because of this, “fashionable” pieces are often more expensive than standard items, which is where thrifting comes in handy. Without having to splurge, you might just be able to leave with the hottest trends of the year and happy, stylish kids.

For both boys and girls, baggy knits and neutral-toned coats are huge this season. For boys, skinny jeans are disappearing, and straight-leg pants are back in again. For girls, expect to see a ton of fake fur, especially when it comes to jackets, shawls, and vests. At the same time, be on the lookout for bright colours. Neon is going to be hot, and so will prints that pop. Colour-blocking your kids’ outfits will make them stand out from the crowd, and don’t be afraid to get creative with your layering.

Invest in Timeless Pieces

Being a savvy shopper doesn’t mean you need to deny your kids something that they really and truly want to wear. However, you should also try to keep their wardrobes balanced by investing in timeless, never-go-out-of-style pieces.

When it comes to jackets, quilted and duffle coats are cozy, classy options for kids of all ages. It’s also important to find staples that can be layered to suit the colder weather, such as striped sweaters, hoodies, and long-sleeve t-shirts. If you find something they love, that fits them well now (but has room to grow), and can be adapted to many different outfits, they’ll likely want to keep wearing it for years to come.

One trend that never goes out of style is being eco-friendly. Shopping at Value Village® is a great way to practice the three Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle)—and teach your kids to do the same. The industry of making, selling, and distributing clothing takes a heavier toll on the environment than you might suspect, and reducing your own footprint is as easy as choosing alternatives to buying new.

Choose the Right Fabrics

Saving money on style doesn’t mean you need to cut corners on quality. Before you buy, make sure you know the telltale signs of a poor-quality piece. When you’re considering buying something, touch it first. Stretch it, run your hands over it and check the tag for what it’s made of.

For those long-lasting buys, especially for jackets, consider tweed and wool as an alternative to the classic waterproof parka. For knits, cotton is a reliable choice. This applies to sweaters, mittens, and whatever else you might need to keep everybody warm and happy over the winter. Some synthetics can be high-quality, but it’s more likely that they’ll suffer from wear and tear.

It’s hard to see the downsides to thrifting leading up to the winter season. It’s a fun way to find one-of-a-kind clothes without breaking the bank or harming the environment, and even the most discerning shoppers are likely to find a piece or two. There are thrift stores located all across Canada, and each one has its own treasure trove of potential outfits to offer.

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.