I was thinking a lot about this yesterday- hand me downs. When I was a kid, my cousins would give me garbage bags full of clothes every Christmas or Thanksgiving (depending on when they had time to go through their closets) and I was so excited to go through the clothes and see what I got! It was like shopping, only free!
Growing up, we were super poor- we're talking my grandma would get government cheese for us (which, btw, is still my favorite cheese in the world! That stuff is yummy!) We didn't get a lot of new clothes, it was the hand me downs from our cousins. And I was completely cool with that. I knew we were poor, but we had food on the table, and my mom and dad both had jobs. So they were doing the best they could. And that's the only thing you can do. I'm not upset with them about it. It made me who I am.
Now, we're 'poor' today. We don't have a lot of money- but, we're like my parents, food on the table, 2 jobs, roof over our head. And I'm completely cool with that. My parents, on the other hand, are not cool with that for some reason. They feel that Luke shouldn't have to have hand me down clothes. They feel he should have the newest and the best of everything. Which, I agree with, to a certain point, but he's 7- he's still growing. I'm NOT going to spend $100 on a coat for him that he'll use a year. Sorry. I'm cheap. I'd say frugal, but no, I'm cheap. :) When he's older, and can wear a coat for longer than a season, I'll do that. Not right now. And I sell/donate/pass his stuff along when he's done with it.
The way I look at it right now, I'm being pulled in two directions- the new is better camp vs. the recycle camp. I fall pretty firmly into the recycle camp. Not because I'm poor, but because it just makes sense to me. I would rather spend $95 dollars on a camping trip with our family, and $5 on a winter coat for the year (that's just as good as new!) than $100 on a coat, and $0 on camping with the family. And, it helps the environment, the recycling of the coat. In this case, I'm totally just giving the environment lip service, that's not my point at all about the coat. :)
We shouldn't have a problem with hand me downs. There's nothing wrong with them. You have to decide where your priorities lay, and go from there. For me, and my family, the experiences and other things are more important than having new clothes all the time.