I'm a new mum and saved HUNDREDS buying second-hand clothes – what to buy and items to avoid | The Sun

BUYING new clothes can put extra pressure on already-stretched household budgets when you have a baby.

The good news is, second-hand shopping is all the rage these days, as you don’t have to buy new to get quality.

Stylish mum, Charlie Bond, who lives near Tenterden, Kent, is a charity shop aficionado.

The 34-year-old, who has an 18-month-old son, buys next to nothing new, except for underwear.

She told The Sun: "Shopping in charity shops is how I spend most of my free time.

"I also love shopping online on sites such as Vinted, Depop and eBay.

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“When I was pregnant, I mostly kitted out my maternity wardrobe with second-hand finds,” added Charlie, a trained stylist and founder of parenting style company, The Worn Out Mum’s Club.

“I now buy a lot of my son’s clothes from Vinted and charity shops.”

This has meant big savings for the fashion whizz. She reckons she has saved more than £500 on clothes in the past two years alone.

“But there are some pitfalls to buying second-hand,” said Charlie.

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“Sometimes buying new does actually work out better value, due to the wear and tear of certain children’s items.”

We asked Charlie for her tips on the top things you should always buy second-hand, and the ones to steer clear of.

Must-buy items

Maternity jeans

As many a mum-to-be will testify, finding clothes you want to wear during pregnancy is no mean feat.

Charlie said: “One of the biggest struggles I encountered when pregnant was getting maternity jeans that fit.

"Most pairs cost at least £30, but as my bump changed, so did my needs.

"I kept ordering pairs of jeans online, only to return them.

"Eventually, I decided to try second-hand options, and managed to get some under-bump jeans from Top Shop for just £7 on Vinted."

These would normally have set her back around £40, meaning a £33 saving.

She also got a pair of over-bump skinny jeans in a local shop for just £1.

Clothes in bigger sizes

During pregnancy, you want to avoid buying items you can only wear for a short time before you grow out of them.

Charlie’s advice is to shop second-hand for non-maternity bits and pieces in larger sizes.

She said: “I used sites such as Vinted and Depop to find items to accommodate my growing bump.

"I bought a Zara maxi dress for £4 which I lived in throughout my pregnancy as it ‘grew’ with me, plus it had pockets, which I loved.”

Bought new, a Zara maxi dress could easily cost around £50, meaning a whopping £46 saving.

Baby clothes

With a little time spent researching, you may be able to pick up nearly-new, or sometimes even brand new, baby bits and pieces online.

Charlie said: “My baby arrived prematurely which was a bit of a shock, and meant a lot of the clothes I’d bought ready for his arrival didn’t fit.

"So, while he was in the neonatal unit, I was sitting by his cot scouring second-hand sites for items he could wear when he came home.”

By doing this, Charlie saved herself a fortune.

“I managed to get a brand new John Lewis organic cotton pram-suit to keep him warm in his pushchair for just £10.

"It was still available from the retailer at the time, but if I’d bought it from the store, it would have cost me £26, so I managed to save £16.”

Charlie was also able to get a changing bag for a steal.

She said: “I went online and managed to get a Babymel bag for just £5.

"Buying the same one new would have cost me almost £70. This was a big saving of £65.”

The shopping supremo also bagged a bargain on a Next four-piece outfit complete with bow tie and braces for her son.

“We had my nephew’s naming ceremony to attend not long after we brought my son home.

"I saved time and money by sourcing his outfit for just £2 on Vinted. Originally, from Next, it would have cost me £25.”

For the winter, Charlie was able to pick up a Fair Isle baby jumper from a charity shop for £3.

She said: “I loved it so much I managed to then track one down in a bigger size so he could have the same the following winter.”

Clothes for nursery

Charlie recommends sticking with the second-hand trend as babies grow into toddlers.

This can be a clever way to save money given nothing lasts long at this stage.

She said: “As my son grew and started nursery, I began buying even more items second-hand.

"I bought a pair of Vans trainers for £8. These would have set me back £45 if I’d bought them brand new, saving me £38.

"When he started swimming lessons, I found him a Jojo Maman Bebe two-piece outfit for £3.”

Given the wear and tear at nursery, Charlie said it makes little sense paying full price.

“I get nearly all his items online,” said the fashionable mum.

“I usually try to find bundles of long-sleeved tops that he can get paint all over without me worrying.

"I look for nice brands such as Next and Joules which I love, but can get at a fraction of the price.”

Outdoor clothes

Kids coats and footwear can cost a fortune if bought new, so Charlie suggests avoiding this where possible.

For example, she picked up a parka for her son's winter coat from Vinted for £2, compared to the £20 price tag at Sainsbury's.

She also bought him a pair of Pepino Recaro winter boots for £5, which new cost around £52.

Another "great" buy was a pair of Igor Bimbi wellies from Depop for £8, which set shoppers back £25 when bought new.

Items to avoid

Fancy brands

When shopping for maternity clothes on the likes of eBay, Vinted or Depop, Charlie says it’s important not to get swept up by fancy brands.

She said: “You can’t return the clothes, so it’s always best to stick to brands you know and which fit your body well.”

Well-worn toddler clothes

As there can be quite a bit of wear and tear on toddler items, especially when they’re at a crawling stage, you might want to give these a miss.

Charlie said: “If you’re buying toddler stuff, don’t be afraid to ask for extra pictures so you can check the quality of the goods you’re purchasing.”

Items that have been tumble-dried

When you’re second-hand shopping, keep an eye out for clothes which have been through the tumble drier or washed on the wrong setting.

“If you’re not careful, the sizing might not match up to what you think it’s going to be,” said Charlie.

“I’ve fallen foul of purchasing items for my son, only to get home and find I can’t squeeze him into them.”

Charlie’s clever tip is to take an item to the charity shop with you that you know your child fits into.

“You can then compare potential purchases to that,” she said.

“If you’re buying online, ask the seller for dimension, or for the care label instructions.”

Individual items when shopping online

Charlie warns shoppers to beware of racking up expenses unnecessarily when buying online.

“Second-hand sites are fantastic, but by the time you’ve paid fees and postage, costs can mount up,” she said.

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“It’s worth requesting bundles of things, such as tops or kids leggings.

That way, you can make some savings compared to buying items individually.”

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