Friday 14 October 2011

Can a little girl wear her big brother's old clothes?

When Harry was born, we had some good friends that passed on their outgrown boys' clothing to us. He had more clothes than he could ever wear, and they were all good quality and in great shape. Being the first, he was also given lots of lovely new clothes as gifts. As a result, we hardly ever had to buy him clothes, and felt rather indulgent when we did.

As he grew out of his clothes, I kept them all, even the ones that he never wore, all bagged up in the loft. You never know whether the future might bring you twin boys!

Mia as a baby wore the same vests and sleepsuits that Harry had. She didn't even need to wear the blue ones, we had enough neutrals to last. We received a few lovely pieces as gifts too. When she got to the age where she couldn't just wear a sleepsuit all day, I went through all the bags to pick out clothes to pass on to her. 

Obviously in theory she could wear all of Harry's old clothes, but I like to dress her so that people know she's a girl. So most of the tops were out, as they were all either blue or had pictures of cars and diggers on. I kept vests for underneath and sleepsuits, and I did keep many of the trousers. I tend to go for less girly girl clothes anyway, so I did find plenty of tops that match with jeans and tracksuit bottoms. There wasn't as much that I could use as I had hoped though.

Havings said that, boys' clothes are definitely easier to pass on to a girl than girls' clothes onto a boy. Girls' clothes all have little embroidered motifs, frills or pink stitching, there is nothing neutral. Even the plain tops that I bought have heart shaped buttons and are gathered in little ruffles around the neckline.

When I went out shopping for new clothes for Mia though, I was completely overwhelmed. Most of our clothes come from the supermarkets, and it's not unusual to find half an aisle of boys' clothes, alongside several aisles of girls' clothes. There are so many different combinations as well for girls, particularly on the bottom - tights, socks, leggings, long skirts, short skirts, dresses, dungarees, playsuits, trousers, shorts...There is even such a wide range of colours and prints that you need to think carefully about which pieces will co-ordinate together. Assembling a wardrobe for a boy was much easier, everything is either blue or brown, and it all matches!

For the moment Mia has far fewer clothes than Harry does. I am certain that this will change as she gets older. And Harry's clothes that I didn't keep? I'm currently keeping the baby boy section in my local charity shop very well stocked!

Baby girl wearing her brother's clothes

Mia's a little pirate!


  1. You can imagine the wealth of boys clothes in our house after 4! I just use the boys hoodies and jumpers for my little girl when she is mucking about at home and then I can save my money for nice things for special days. I also cut up a pair of brown cords and hemmed them to make the little shorts that the girls wear with tights. They turned out really well.

  2. Having two girls does make it easier! Just pass everything down. And as they were both summer babies, the seasons match as well. I totally have it sorted. ;)

  3. I've saved all of Bud's clothes in case we have another and, if it is a girl, she will definitely be wearing all his sleepsuits and vests. No-one sees those anyway! I think all his jeans, dungarees etc. should be ok to be passed on too. I agree with your comment about the lack of choice for boys' clothes, I am so tired of the vast bias towards girls' clothing in the shops but that's a whole other rant!

  4. I bought all my boy's clothes before he was born (long story - but basically needed mostly summer clothes and he was due in September). I bought his stuff up until he was 6-9months. If I had known how few of those things he would use, and that he would spend most days in just a vest, I would have saved a LOT of money. Each time my husband reminds me of how much money I've 'wasted' I tell him I would have spent a hell of a lot more if we had a girl - because there are just SO many more options for girls! I think it's easier to dress a girl in boys' clothes than the other way round - so I've saved all V's clothes for the next baby. But if she's a girl, she won't be wearing trucks, diggers or dinosaurs!

  5. I don't think you need to worry. Mia is definitely a girl just by looking at her - does not really matter what colours you dress her in. If I have another one and its a boy will use Little A's clothes in its first year or so . Boys used to be dressed in pink anyway. Anyway baby clothes don't come cheap .....

  6. That said Laura does have some boy clothes - for example she chose dinosaur pyjamas recently, which happened to say 'toddler boy' on the hanger but who cares! She likes dinosaurs, cars, diggers etc and you have to get boy clothes if you want those.

  7. Thank you for all your comments! Maybe Mia will want to wear clothes with 'boy' pictures on when she's older. Especially because she is growing up in a house full of trains and tractors!

  8. I have 3 boys of my own, and 3 nephews, so I'm over-run with boys clothes. Though I don't think it really matters when they're small. It isn't long before they're demanding to wear what they want, so make the most of it while you can.

  9. Oh I have always mixed and matched Oz's and Beans' clothes. In fact in times past I have purposely bought navy clothes for Bean thinking that Ozzy could then wear them!

    Now of course Bean is into pink and so those happy days have gone! A great post x

  10. Luckily neither of them is old enough to express an opinion about what they wear yet. Not looking forward to the days when they want clothes from places other than the supermarket, although that might be when we introduce the clothing allowance!

  11. Aww what a cute girlie! I wouldn't worry, I have kept some of my little boys clothes for my little girl to wear, simply because they are cute and I can't bear to part with them yet.
    It makes perfect sense I think!

  12. My daughter wears plenty of her big brother's clothes. We were also lucky to have loads of hand me downs so she has plenty of clothes (way more than me in fact).

    A girl can definitely wear her big brother's clothes. Not so sure about a boy wearing his big sister's clothes!


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