This year instead of my normal “thrift it all” mantra for school clothes shopping I decided to go another route. The “brand new” route, sure it was going to cost more but in the long would it really? I’ve been known to patch jeans so many times the only thing left when the jeans finally wear out is the patches I’ve been putting on.  But somewhere along the line I got to thinking about how maybe I wouldn’t need to patch the clothes so much if we started with better quality clothing. And so my summer was spent mulling this over, the thought of going up in quality to see if it made any difference. Here’s my experience.

Usually I start thrifting clothes for school the spring before summer even hits. Having just come up up the idea of quality versus patching and mending, I quit even thinking of school clothes. I felt free, no need to buy clothes or feel pressured in my thrifting. Of course I kept a keen eye out for good clothing but living where I do there is a definite glut of cheap Walmart clothes and nice things are rare. I found next to nothing.

Fast forward to the last two weeks before school started. I felt slightly panicked about not being completely prepared but I had a plan. The plan involved finishing a HUGE volunteer cooking effort for our school’s playground. I, and a team of volunteers, planned, shopped, cooked and served meals to between 100-200+ people a day for three days. It was exhausting and yet energizing, weird I know but sometimes those big effort build wonderful relationships. After the build I had to do the school clothes shopping.

With just a less than a week before school started we began shopping. We replaced the things the boys needed. Underwear for one, socks for the other and school shoes for both. Easy enough to find and bring them home, part one done! We don’t need school supplies because our school buys all the supplies and we pay a fee to the school, such a great idea!

 The next day we headed to the local Sears for the Land’s End store to buy the essentials. The clothes. The clothes that are guaranteed to last or they give you your money back. And the really do. Upon entering the Land’s End department I returned a pair of pants I had bought last year, they were ripped. The clerk handed them back and said sorry they’re ripped, to which I pointed at the sign that said basically this

She found a manager, had a little chitchat and came back, apologized and gave me a gift card for the original purchase price.

 Each boy was dispatched to a fitting room to find their size and we commenced to buying clothes. Did I cringe at 29.00 pants, you bet. Do I know they will never wear out and if they do I will get a new pair OR a gift card, you bet. It still hurt to spend so much money when I knew I could find decent looking clothes in thrift shops. BUT these will last and my mending time is greatly diminished. When all was said and done each boy got 3 pairs of pants and 3 new shirts. I had to physically drag one of my children out of the uniform area because he was convinced they both needed matching blazers, white shirts and ties, wow. Each had a few nice shirts left from last years clothes and presents from grandma so our school shopping was done. The frosting on the cake was that Land’s End had a 25% off everything sale and so we saved not only with the gift card I received but 25% off too.

I felt super relaxed as soon as the bag was in my hands. I had spent a LOT of money, for us anyway, but the value in the end won me out. I can not get over how calm I feel. “Oh you ripped your jeans, no problem we can take them back” is just waiting to fall from my lips. Bring it on testosterone.

Peace and Love–