Back to School Shopping: Thrifting for Kids | The North Shore Moms

jenny-radishHi! I’m Jenny! I’m a fellow North Shore mom and blogger. I spend my days wrangling my two kiddos (ages 2.5 and 4.5) and blogging about mom life, sustainable living, thrifted/vintage fashion and cruelty-free skincare over at RadishBlog. I also spend quite a bit of time on instagram making jokes about the mundane joys that motherhood brings and sharing my favorite products, tips, tricks and local activities that we get up to. My handle over there is JennyRadish.

I was very excited to be asked to write this post and I have a lot I can share about thrifting for kids. And since Back to School is here, it’s the perfect time to learn how to save some coin. With school supplies, lunch boxes, backpacks, clothes and extra curriculars, it can get quite pricey. One great way to cut costs at this very expensive time of year, and any other time of the year, is to hit up consignment shops and thrift stores. I made it a personal goal this year to buy second hand whenever possible in an attempt to be more eco-friendly and I have gathered up a lot of tips that I am going to share with you!

Not that you need an excuse to thrift, but there are so many good reasons! It’s a great way to save money on things that don’t get worn for very long. (One of the many reasons that these babies need to slow down!) It’s also a great way to be more sustainable. Every year, over a billion pounds of textiles go to landfills. You’re supporting small businesses when you go to local shops and your money goes to good causes when you shop at places like Savers where the proceeds go to the Epilepsy Foundation.

jenny-radish-kids-collage-1(Pictured: Jenny’s adorable kids in their thrifted finds!)

First up: the tips!

Look at all size sections, things often get put back in the wrong section. And you might find a gem in the next size up that your child can get two seasons of wear out of.

Know your sizes. Not just your children’s sizes, but the brands that you like. Every brand runs a bit differently so it’s good to know the sizing for the brands you lean towards.

Look for stains, rips, tears. You have to be pretty thorough, as I’m sure you know, kids can be pretty rough on clothes. But also, be forgiving, your kid will likely stain or rip the item. So if you absolutely love something, maybe you can get past a tiny, light stain.

Know your prices, particularly when shopping at consignment stores (or online at places like Kidizen – more on that later – or Facebook marketplace). Could you find the item at the actual store for the same price? If you love it, it doesn’t matter. But sometimes, you’ll find the prices just aren’t that great. So if you’re willing to brave thrift stores, that’s where you’ll get the most bang for your buck.

Expect the unexpected. It’s rare to go thrifting and find exactly what you set out for. It’s best to make a list of what you need. But also be open. You might find an amazing deal on snow pants that will fit your child next year.

Make sure it’s true love. If you don’t absolutely love it or you know that your kiddo won’t love it: leave it. I’ve definitely been guilty of buying something just because it’s a crazy deal on a good designer. But just because it’s a pair of Freshly Picked moccasins for $2, doesn’t mean your baby who hates shoes will keep them on.

Not really a tip, but I have noticed that the older my son gets, the less I find for him. It’s much easier to find things for the younger crowd. And even easier to find girl stuff. Just an observation that might help prepare you.


Some local places to check out:

Emma LaRue – 10 West St, Beverly Farms – If you’re hesitant to try out this resell thing, Emma LaRue is the place for you. It’s a boutique experience with impeccably curated clothes from brands like Boden, Hannah Andersson, Pink Chicken, Tea Collection and more. The space is well organized and the owner, Kathleen, is passionate about all of the cute pieces and happy to show your her favorites.

Fireflies – 100 Main Street, Gloucester – Another adorable and boutique-like experience. The space is well organized and also has gear and even strollers.

Resale 4 Kids – 75 High Street, Danvers – This shop has a large selection of clothes, shoes, gear, toys and strollers. You have to dig but it’s worth it for the great prices.

Children’s Orchard – 45 Storey Ave, Newburyport and 225 Newburyport Turnpike (Rt 1) Rowley – Both stores have a bit of everything from clothes to gear and even strollers. Their prices are great and they have a large selection which means you have to do some digging.

Beverly Bootstraps – 198 Rantoul Street, Beverly – is a bit hit or miss when it comes to kids’ clothes but their prices cannot be beat. Most children’s’ items start at $1 and get lower from there. And the proceeds from Bootstraps support the local community in so many ways. They do have a great selection when it comes to women’s clothes and household items, so you might leave with something for yourself instead!

Savers – 193 Endicott Street, Danvers – Savers is the full thriftng experience. It can be hit or miss but I have hit big there! You can find Hannah, Boden, Tea, Zara and all the other brands for trendy babes.

Consignment Events like Too Cute to Toss and Children’s Drop and Shop are another great way to give clothes a second life and score some deals. Both sales are held twice a year and are only open for a few days. The selection is huge and the prices can be great!

Kidizen is another great option. It’s an easy to navigate app that you can use to buy and sell kids clothes and mama clothes now too. It is searchable, by size, style, brand and even keywords. I had a bunny pattern onesie that I loved on my daughter, I was able to find it in the next size up by searching for “bunny” in the size that I wanted. It’s also very easy to sell items and earn kidbucks which you can use on the app or cash out into your bank account or Paypal. If you use the link provided, you will save $5 off your first order. For more info on Kidizen, I have an entire blog post on it here.


I hope these tips inspire you to do a little thrifting! Your wallet and the Earth will thank you! Happy Thrifting! Follow me on Instagram @JennyRadish and let me know what you find!

Join The North Shore Moms Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around the North Shore of Boston, MA with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.