The Joy of Hand Me Downs

Design     |    May 23rd, 2016

Growing up, I hated hand-me-downs. The very word sent shivers down my spine knowing this could mean used, outdated and not my style. Mostly this was due to the fact that my hand-me-downs were mainly coming from my male cousin which consisted of boys carpenter jeans and once a creepy clown costume. No thank you.

I had not quite grown into these shoes...

I had not quite grown into these shoes…

However, today, hand-me-downs are one of my favorite things. In fact, they even play a part in the title of this very blog! (More on that in a later post.)

Not only is it an opportunity to up-cycle something a friend or family member no longer wants, but you think of that person each time you wear, see or use the item they gave you.

These are three of my greatest hand-me-downs ever

The greatest hand-me-down I have ever received is the furry love of my life, my ragdoll cat Douglass Bartholomew.


I inherited Doug in 2009 from my childhood friend Danielle. She was pregnant with her first child and was feeling overwhelmed with the idea of caring for her dog, cat and soon to be newborn. Technically, I first took Doug on a temporary basis while she adjusted to motherhood, but after falling in love with her newborn daughter, and seeing me fall in love with her cat, we decided Doug would come to live with me on a permanent basis.


He is such a character and a great companion for both myself and my dog. I couldn’t imagine not having him in my life and am grateful my friend thought of me when finding him a new home.

A favorite clothing related hand-me-down came from my tattoo artist Mary. She mentioned she purchased a pair of black 10-eye Dr. Martens but had ordered a size too big, which happens to be just my size.


I had been babysitting her incredibly adorable 4-year-old son from time to time and one day she threw in the Docs as an extra tip. Little did she know I’ve actually had my eye out for a pair of black Docs for about four years now.


I really prefer buying them pre-worn whenever possible as the boots are then at least partially broken in and less torture on the first few wears. Definitely a win-win.

Thank you Mary!

The best household hand-me-down acquisition came from my friend Betsy. This beauty came to me when she moved from San Francisco to Paris. As such, she was majorly downsizing and handed off this gorgeous hummingbirds and leaves filigree wall hanging to me. Hummingbird

I’ve loved this piece since I first saw it in her apartment. It once was a piece of the décor at Dina Louise, a one-time vintage boutique in San Francisco where my friend used to work. Dina had handed it down to Betsy and now Betsy to me. Not only does its vintage vibe fit perfectly with my home style, but hummingbirds are also one of my favorite birds.


Hand-me-downs are a great way to reuse an unwanted item while offering something to a friend.  I’m constantly handing off clothes to my cousin and passed more than a few household items on. There’s nothing better than seeing forgotten pieces find new life in a new home.

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