Anybody can tell you are irredeemably middle class because your children wear second-hand clothes.*
OK, so necessity plays a part, but you spend quite a bit of time at car boot sales anyway**, and while you are there the sight of so many barely-worn clothes going for twenty pence a flower-strewn babygrow brings out the rampant economy driver in you. Even though every. Damn. Item of clothing for girls is covered in pink. And flowers. Pink flowers! On a pink background! With more pink for the trim!
Your urge to save money is not helped by the fact that you also live amongst very affluent mothers who tend to offload the entire back catalogue of Mini Boden at the NCT nearly new sales in your area. Of course the downside is that they generally want more for their clothes. ‘But it’s JoJo Maman Bebe!’ they say, ‘That MUST be worth two pounds!’ You put up with this because, it must be said, there is a slightly higher chance that they will be selling items where the pink is confined to a bit of piping round the neckline.
Of course, you were nearly lured away from the path of unbearable fiscal smugness this summer by the fact that suddenly the shops seem to have decided that bright colours for boys are in. And your mother has decided to fight back against the wave of pink that has entered your house by turning up with determinedly unpink dresses for the Comet.***
But what with one thing and the fact that having your kids in you *cough* late *cough* thirties meaning that lots of people have already had theirs, and are just itching to give away bin bags full of great jeans to a good home, you haven’t really been tempted.
Unfortunately, it seems that the Star’s days of handmedown living might be coming to an end.
3+ year old boys really live to destroy their clothes.
Parents of 3+ year old boys have stopped buying more outfits than he can possibly wear because that top is just! So! Cute!
What’s left is mainly clothes saying ‘Here comes trouble!’ or ‘I’m a menace!’ or ‘Lock up your fragile items!’ Which, you’ve discovered, might as well read ‘Give my mother a disapproving glance!’ or ‘Tut if you think I should be dragged off by my ear!’**** People are too easily swayed by advertising. If he wears his lime green leaf patterned shirt with the bright yellow shorts, they just smile.
Still, you’ve had a good run and any minute now he’ll be starting school and it’s all out of your hands, bar the weekends.
*Well, not pants. Or shoes. Or swimming costumes. Or socks. Or vests. But apart from that…
***Although last time she was forced to fall back on purple. Even new, it is hard to escape the rose-tinted tyranny.
****What your friend aptly calls the ‘Daddy’s Little Princess’, ‘Mummy’s Little Pyscho’ clothing phenomenon, which, for boys in particular, really seems to take off at 3+.