Kids' Occasionwear: Why You Should Shop Second-hand First

With the wedding and summer party season fast approaching, many of us are on the look out for affordable options for children’s smart clothes. These are not the sort of clothes we dress our kids in every day but special items we put them in to make feel-good memories. I’m talking about fancy party dresses, formal shirts and trousers, bowties and waistcoats, glittery shoes.

Now more than ever we’re budget-conscious, which means balancing the desire to choose something special against cost and practicality. It’s hard to justify the mark-up on occasionwear when in reality it’s only going to be worn once, and sometimes just for a matter of hours. Kids will be kids though and that’s still plenty of time for them to make a mess of their clothes! The last thing you want at an event is to be worrying over their outfit trying to keep it pristine instead of enjoying yourself. So what’s the solution?

"Buying preloved just makes sense when it comes to kids’ smart clothes. Less initial outlay and less worry on the day."

While formal clothing hire and dress rental has been established in the adult market, children’s occasionwear rental is still in it’s relative infancy. Is it possible to find party clothes for kids at a price that doesn’t make you too precious over them? Yes!

There is a thriving market in second-hand and preloved occasionwear for kids. Online marketplaces and apps offer a huge selection of preloved party clothes at a fraction of the price. There are also dedicated reseller businesses that offer kids’ clothes (such as yours truly!). Worn In Wardrobe is an Edinburgh-based preloved children’s clothing shop, offering both online and in-store shopping. We have a specific occasionwear collection on our online shop and we resell everything from flower girl dresses to kids’ suits. Take a look at our collection here.

With second-hand, outfits may of course have signs of previous wear. I’ve yet to meet a kid whose day was dampened by a small mark on their top though. Imperfections should all be declared and clearly shown before you buy so you know exactly what you’re getting. My top tip is not to be afraid to ask sellers or companies for more details or photos before you make a purchase if you want more detail.