Beyond underwear, soccer gear and the odd pair of shoes, anyway. Why?
Each of the white bags you see is a standard 13-gallon kitchen trash bag. There are six of these, full, on the bottom of this pile. Sprawled across the top are four more of these bags, each containing multiple dresses, garment-bag style. And the clothes in these bags? All hand-me-downs for Petunia. Better than Christmas as far as she's concerned.
One of my best friends has two daughters who are the same ages as my sons. These girls are dressed like fashion plates all the time, in an age-appropriate, non-skanky sort of way. The dresses have matching hairbands and shoes; even the play clothes come in sets. And each time the younger girl grows and the mother cleans out her closet, a pile like this appears in my front hallway!
The scary thing is that this is probably all one size of clothing; I haven't had a chance to look yet (see my earlier post about the boy madness currently going on in my house.) The sheer size of the pile just boggles my mind. My boys have a fair amount of clothing, and my younger son more than the elder because he has Thing One's hand-me-downs plus whatever he got new, but what comes out of my friend's younger daughter's closet could comfortably clothe quadruplets, I swear it. It's certainly more than my one little girl needs, so I sort and share. And even what I do keep is passed along again in turn when Petunia outgrows it, from me to one friend's daughter and from her to another younger girl.
These clothes get a lot of use and we are but one link in a long chain; that's the only thing keeping me from feeling ridiculous guilt about overconsumption and waste when I look in Petunia's closet. I don't have to buy any of it...I can't even imagine how much all of that cost new. But the best part?? I didn't have to be the one trying to find preteen clothes for tall, long-legged girls that don't make them look like streetwalkers! My friend is happy to give me the things her daughters outgrow, but she has jokingly said on more than one occasion that I should have to experience the frustration she feels while shopping for her daughters as the 'price' of the hand-me-downs. :)