We frequent thrift stores around here. First of all, I consider kid's clothing to be a disposable purchase. They outgrow clothing quickly, they are hard on their clothes, and all of this bothers me less if it's clothing I acquired cheaply. Secondly, if we bought new clothing it would probably be from Walmart. I have found that clothing that survives someone else's child and makes to to a thrift store in decent condition is much better quality than what I can buy new at Walmart.
Anyway, we made a thrift store trip yesterday with Maria and Jack in tow. We were looking for fall/winter clothing for Maria and Kain. Maria *loves* going to the thrift store. Her allowance goes further there. Her favorite thing to spend on by far is the junk jewelry. You can get Ziploc bags full for a few bucks. Honestly, most of this is pretty ugly stuff. But that doesn't faze her much.
She comes home and sorts it into three piles...the first pile is for her favorite items...the pretty chains, bracelets, pins. These will go into her jewelry box. Sometimes she picks something for this pile that is not appropriate for a young girl...like a big ole chunky necklace that looks like it belonged around the neck of a great-Aunt Edna. I try really hard to ignore this. Her taste in jewelry will improve as she gets older, and her enthusiasm for the newest pieces in her collection is short lived. I consider one of the small and unforeseen benefits of homeschooling is that I can indulge most of the clothing-related obsessions kids go through- as long as it's modest and clean, we can generally work around a treasured item.
The second pile is for the gaudiest pieces. These usually end up in the dress up trunk....the great big neon-bright necklaces, often with some wild animal suspended on them, chunky geometrical clip-on earrings...this week's haul even had those round plastic deals you could thread oversized t-shirts through...they were so popular in the '80's, anyone remember those? Yeah, I'm dating myself I guess....
The third (and smallest) pile is pieces that she really doesn't like at all. Maria dresses with flair, so these items are usually plain or in colors she considers "ugly". This week this pile contained plastic bracelets and earrings in olive, white, and khaki. Occasionally I will pick something from this pile...but not often. I'm not a big jewelry-wearer, but what I do like is pretty plain. The dregs will be put into our own "donate" box...they will eventually be returned to the thrift store....thus completing the life cycle for the misfit jewelry.