Once the cooler weather of fall started to make an appearance this year I began the mostly bi-annual, but sometimes tri-annual, task of Switching The Clothes. I've got bins of girl clothing, sorted by size, waiting for each kiddo to grow into them. Even E1 has clothing waiting in the wings for her since we get gently-used fashion from Rob's youngest cousin (He's the oldest of 24 grand kids; S is the youngest and only 4yrs older than E1).
This 'chain of clothing' system has many benefits - money-savings, of course, and not just because we don't have to buy much for the girls. The E's sort of equate the tubs-o-clothing with being shopped for...like that next tub is all select items chosen just for them by a personal shopper. E1 is almost ten and very, very rarely asks to buy clothing in a store.
Yes, I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts.
In the past, it's taken E2 three or so years to fit into the items E1 has outgrown. This does not diminish E1's love for said outgrown clothing; apparently for her, absence makes the heart grow fonder about favorite tops, skirts, and dresses. She has great love for certain beloved items that no longer fit her, and she's not above harboring some resentment that said item may fit E2 this season. I dread pulling some of those favorites out of the tub...
This year E2 is at a weird place size-wise. She has somehow stretched her torso over the summer, and combined with the school rule that midriffs must be covered EVEN when arms are upraised, she's needing the length of the shirts E2 has just outgrown. Of course, they're too long in the sleeves and too wide through the shoulders.
The curse of hand-me-downs, no matter how gently used, is that styles change. I try to be mindful of that and pass the not-so-classically styled things on rather than store them for years before they'll fit E2. In this case however, the tops aren't out of style but they ARE part of the short-midriff-exposing phase on the fashion time-line.
Some days I consider just donating it all and starting anew, but the cost and the insanity of negotiating that many clothing purchases with the girls slaps me back to reality pretty quick. That leaves me with E2 in either over-sized but midriff covering shirts, or well-fitting midriff exposing shirts (and she's a freak for the jungle gym bars so asking her to keep her arms down is out), and wondering how to bridge the gap. I kept seeing, and coveting, the more recent styles with the layered tanks and tees that come down well below the waistline...and then I did a V-8 type smack to the forehead.
A longer tee or tank as a foundation piece! DUH.
I've been looking for a while now, and while we have plenty of under-tanks, and camisoles, none of them are long. Earlier this week it finally occurred to me - why not ask those younger cousins of Rob's where they get their long tanks? Even if they have outgrown of girls' sizes, it would still be a lead in the search. DUH again.
After a quick email I had five or six store suggestions, and I struck gold (and a sale!) on my first stop Thursday at Kohl's
The Frugal Fashion System has been saved for another season!