Recently I posted a picture of my little boy running through the snow in his snowsuit. It was taken after we spent a Sunday afternoon at a hiking trail enjoying a nice snow hike. If you look closely, you may be able to see his snowpants are grey and his coat is brown. And you may even see his blue shark hat on his head if you look really close !
How did he come to wear such an eclectic set? Well his coat is part of last year’s snowsuit. A size 6 that still more than fits him. But somewhere around mid-winter last year he outgrew the snowpants. We made it through last winter, but this year I knew we needed a new solution. People who read this blog know that we boycott shops that are involved in child labour or have unsafe and demeaning labour practices. We also try to not purchase items which will tear/wear easily (pretty much clothes from shops that have poor labour practices) and as much as possible I purchase second hand so we are helping the environment. The world is filled with so much stuff, so as little new we buy, the better.
So what I decided to do was to try to find a very good pair of second hand snowpants. Visiting a local second hand children’s store, I found an excellent (top) brand of lined snowpants that were a generous size (8) that would certainly last two seasons and any additional children, too. I believe the snowpants were $11 (a new snowsuit from a middle-range store would have cost me $69 and these top of the range snowpants (without a jacket) would actually have been $109 new – not that I would, or could, have paid that). In addition the woman who runs the shop told me that she would buy them back if we only needed them for one or two seasons because in her experience snowpants/jackets of that brand last 10+ years.
My son had no problem with the mismatch and had he we would have talked it through in a kind and gentle way, but the snowpants would stay. My daughter loved the snowpants. And I was secretly jealous they didn’t fit me ! The only person that had an issue with it was my mum, who promptly told my son that he can’t wear those snowpants and he needs a new set that match his coat because he will be teased by other kids if he wears those. He of course then came to tell me that Grandma told him I had to buy him a whole new snowsuit. I talked it through, asking him if those snowpants fit, whether they worked (keeping him warm and dry etc.) and then asked him why he would need a new pair and whether the colour mattered. We also talked about whether fear of other people’s reactions to our clothes/hair etc, should make us change what we are happy with about ourselves, and had a basic discussion about how we all have a certain amount of money and need to make sure it spreads to cover: clothes, food, our house, pet food, activities, petrol etc. He was once again fine and in fact both he and his sister so love the snow pants that I often hear her asking him if she can borrow them to wear with her coat!
Yes, maybe most kids have snowpants that match their snow jackets, maybe the sight of something not matching makes other people uncomfortable, but in our family something that works, is frugal, doesn’t involve poor labour practices and keeps us warm and cosy, is gold star worthy!