Over the course of this past year (being that it was all four seasons) I spent approximately $100 on clothing for my three children. Also, until a few weeks ago, did not purchase clothing or shoes for myself.
People have asked me how I managed this and I have been promising a blog post for awhile, so here it is...
I made liberal use of a certain Goodwill. There is one that I have found that tends to have barely worn, well made clothing and nothing is over $1.99. Often things are half off.
In the effort of living more of a less complicated (read less cluttered) life I limit the amount of clothing and buy things that have flexibility. My kids layer a lot, so I mostly buy short sleeve shirts and then they have several hoodies, cardigans or fleece jackets to wear over. This helps because my kids get too hot when only in a long sleeve shirt, and too cold without one. The boys have two pairs of casual pants, one pair of dress pants and a pair of gym pants...alternate to shorts in the warm months. Since I have two boys, clothes that made it through being worn by my oldest and are not mangled/stained/torn/stretched out, get passed down to his brother- who so far does not mind.
My daughter enjoys clothes, and I make sure she has plenty of flexibility with pairing pieces together.
Another thing that I feel strongly about is clothing with visible brand names or characters on them. We try not buy them because they are essentially free advertising, and I have a hard time putting them on my children with a clear conscience. Especially since many of these companies utilize unfair business practices, disturbing advertising, treat employees unfairly, and have been found to be using child labor and sweatshops to make clothing. Which is another benefit to shopping at thrift stores...we are not contributing monetarily to these companies.
I am not perfect in avoiding all new clothing, or seeking out clothing (usually rather expensive) that is ethically made...today we did buy some shirts at Target while shopping for back to school, because they were on clearance for $2.00.
Going a year (give or take) without new clothes, was not too hard. I tend to buy clothes in neutrals (which for me is black or grey) and then I have colorful scarves, tights, shirts and shoes already. I found I can make a few outfits by switching things up and then it isn't dull. I had one pair of jeans for the year, which I loved, but have sadly been retired due to becoming a bit worn in spots. I replaced them with a new pair.