Best way to get scarves/hats/dress up clothes for a toddler?
May 15, 2018 7:41 AM   Subscribe

What's the cheapest (and easiest, it sounds silly but even minor errands can be hard to manage logistically) way to get a bunch of dress-up clothes for a toddler, especially fancy-looking scarves, hats, and other things she can drape/put on by herself?

She's 22 months old so quantity is more important than quality; it's fine if they are ugly or fall apart fast. I'm looking for scarves, hats, long necklaces, whatever she can use to play dress-up independently.

Is there a place on-line that sells tons of cheapo scarves in pretty (or at least colorful) patterns? I figure that's the easiest thing to get cheap; even inexpensive hats are going to cost a bunch. If the answer is thrift store (and it might well be), which one in the Silver Spring, MD/DC area is my best bet? I really don't have the time or inclination to visit ten different stores for this so on-line is ideal. We don't have a big budget but she loves dressing up and wearing grown-up clothes. Thank you for any help you can provide!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
could you ask friends/family to go through their closet for clothes they're realistically never going to wear again (either because they don't fit anymore or are out of style)?
posted by noloveforned at 7:45 AM on May 15, 2018 [6 favorites]

I would just go to my nearest largish thrift store (like a Goodwill or a Savers) with basically a bucket and just fill up on whatever they happen to have. Those places are gold mines for stuff like this. You're going to pay silly prices if you try and buy it all new.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 7:46 AM on May 15, 2018 [14 favorites] or a Buy Nothing group. Or clothing-accessories. If there's a Goodwill outlet near you, they almost always have a big tangle of mardi gras beads, which are excellent for dressup.

Also, go to a fabric store and get a square yard of light metallic fabric. Magic for dressing up.
posted by theora55 at 7:51 AM on May 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

The Value Village/Unique Thrift in Hillandale has two large thrift stores right next to each other. If you're not super picky about style then you should find an abundance of scarves, hats, costume jewelry, etc.
posted by drlith at 8:06 AM on May 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I don't know if it's a nationwide sale, but the Salvation Army near me is 1/2 off of everything on Wednesdays (with the exception of the latest price tag color. They organize everything by price tag color...each week everything that comes in gets the same color and they clear out the oldest color.) Give them a call to check. I think they call it 'family day' or something. (Every other day is 1/2 off of just one of the price tag colors.)
posted by sexyrobot at 8:09 AM on May 15, 2018

You might have luck posting to your local Buy Nothing facebook page for dress up clothes or scarves in particular.
posted by carrioncomfort at 8:22 AM on May 15, 2018

drlith has it right - that double thrift store in Hillandale is your best bet. If you join their free club you get extra savings on holidays & the Sunday before the holiday (50% off), Mondays (25% off), and some Thursdays (25% off). The Freecyle group is also good and very generous. I bet I could get some of my friends to donate some goodies for you and I'd be happy to drop them off! (Also in Silver Spring)
posted by XtineHutch at 8:32 AM on May 15, 2018

Awesome, thank you! I really appreciate the specific store suggestions -- I knew having a toddler would be logistically difficult but I was not prepared for how little time I'd have even for something this simple.

If anyone else has suggestions, especially anything online, please feel free to provide them! Getting my toddler shopping done at work is my best case scenario (:
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:39 AM on May 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Your friends will thank you for allowing them to donate stuff to the cause. No kidding, have a non-fancy tea party and invite them to bring over dress up stuff for your kidlet. They will be thrilled.
posted by Bella Donna at 9:03 AM on May 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Do you have any friends with kids in dance? Recital season is here, and there will be a bunch of costumes afterwards that need a good home. (Please, come take mine.)
posted by hessie at 9:07 AM on May 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

Hit up a few garage sales. Bonus - if you bring your toddler along the seller might be moved to give you a really good deal on any costume jewelry or clothes.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 9:14 AM on May 15, 2018

I'd be careful about giving a toddler costume jewelry. Lots of it has high levels of lead & cadmium, which is especially dangerous for kids who still put things in their mouths. I'd also be wary of long necklaces; they can be a strangulation hazard.
posted by belladonna at 9:38 AM on May 15, 2018

Melissa & Doug has a dress-up hat set. (Actually a couple, but this is the one EVERYONE has.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:37 PM on May 15, 2018

online shopping spree
posted by coevals at 5:25 PM on May 15, 2018

+1 to the Melissa & Doug dress-up sets available on Amazon. I've gotten a couple for my 3yo niece and they've been a huge hit!
posted by rhiannonstone at 7:59 PM on May 15, 2018

I loved playing dress up as a kid, and I can tell you that there was nothing I longed to wear more than something that belonged to my mother. Purses, shoes, dresses, blouses, lipstick, glasses, jewelry, shawls... you name it, if it was my mother's I coveted it. So you might check your own closet first.

As far as buying things in quantity, go on EBay and search for things being sold as "lots". For example "scarves lot" or "girl's party dress lot" or "clip on earrings lot".
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 8:41 PM on May 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

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