How Lao Parents Avoid Buying Children’s Clothing


TheLaotianCommotion.com // School shopping with cheap parents was the worst, right?

Growing up Lao, our clothes were either hand-me-downs, thrift, or too big. Too big because my mom would buy us the next size(s) up so “we’d grow into them.” I would be wearing size 9 women’s shoes in 5th grade sounding like a scuba diver walking in the hall. Embarrassed as little Theek was, my mom was right in sticking us in oversized jackets and clown shoes. Not only because we were poor but because kids grow like fucking weeds and you can’t catch up with them. If I’m gonna buy these snotty-nosed womb-squatters brand clothing, they better wear it for longer than that size range on that tag. Knowing that they can’t, forget me spending money on it.

There are a rare exceptions when I pay for new children’s clothing but mostly the stars have to align above that Target, where I find that nice clearance sticker on something that I already wanted. Well, that happened when Humnoy screamed “Spider-Man!” at a pair of footed pajamas swinging about in the shitty tangle of a clearance rack. I don’t even care that it’s a shitty tangle of a clearance rack because I’ll sift through it all day long to not have to pay full price. I need to thank my mother for passing on the frugal gene because overpaying for kids’ (and anybody’s) general clothing is just not smart. How to shop like a Laotian mama:

1) Avoid eye contact with shiny, organized racks up front Just keep looking ahead. Never left, never right, just ahead toward the back to the clearance section.

2) Check each and every item I just go for anything not white because KIDS.

3) Check the size The clusterfuck of clearance is that it’s an OCD nightmare so make sure you look through it all: the tag, eye-ball it on your kid, etc.

4) Check the price If at least half off, get it. If not, I make a face then put it back. Unless it’s really cool then we can get away with maybe 30% off.

5) Repeat for off-season, next size, and staple clothing items. ‘This’ll be the shirt that they won’t eat in!’ – said no one ever.

Lo and behold, the Spider-Man footies were more than half off and came in Lanoy and Humnoy next-year size, respectively. They rang up for ~73% off original price so <$10 total for two awesome pairs of footie pajamas. I say they were a great deal because this wouldn’t have happened:
spider man pajamas.jpg

How do you justify your and kids’ clothes shopping?

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8 thoughts on “How Lao Parents Avoid Buying Children’s Clothing

  1. I don’t have kids, but I picked up the frugal gene from my mom as well. I got hand-me-downs from my older brother, so I was the girl who wore cargo pants back when girls didn’t wear those. If my mom bought new clothes, it was at the Duck Head warehouse or factory outlet. Oh, memories… :)

  2. I shop exclusively at Value Village down the street for Potamus. Unless I’m at Costco, because shit’s cheap there, too. I’ve been known to go to the Value Village and the Goodwill in Burien a few days in a row to finally find shoes in his size. Because yeah, I’m not fucking buying 20$ pair of shoes that might last 3 weeks.

  3. Not on sale? Not more than half off? Chances are my kids ain’t wearing it. The oldest models and gets to keep most of the clothing from shoots. She also is the only girl grandchild for both grandmothers so they spend their cash on more clothes than she has time to wear. I do tend to buy a little more expensive clothing (maybe 30%) for the boys since they both share a wardrobe. Shoes are purchased on sale but usually what I spend most on. I cant cheap out on shoes since all ny kids have feet related issues. These days they rarely wear anything at home so little point in buying more clothes.

  4. We’re so fortunate with hand me downs. And now I’m having another boy to wear all the clothes I have boxed up from the first one. The only annoying thing I’ve noticed is that I got no 2T pants handed down, so it must be one of those sizes that kids wear out. I’ve been buying them at $5 each at Target or Kohls.

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