I Like Old Clothes

I Like Old Clothes

Confession: When I met my husband in 2003, I was still sporting items from the “free box” from Peace Corps Thailand, a box that held clothes cast away from volunteers heading back home.  They probably realized that, after hand washing the said item for two years and three months, it was probably better left in a third world country.  Me?  I took them back to the States and continued to wear them.

So this book, I Like Old Clothes, is right up my alley!  

The story has a great rhythm to it, a soft dance of simple words to share a good message:

When somebody grows / And gives me her clothes.

I don’t say, “What those?” / And turn up my nose

The way some people do / When their clothes aren’t new.

I like old clothes. / I really do.

Clothes with a history, / Clothes with a mystery,

Sweaters and shirts / That are brother and sisterly

The text itself is recycled—this fact is so very fitting in a book about recycled clothes.  Mary Ann Hoberman originally published the story in 1976, but the words, of course, remain worthwhile today.

But the illustrations really make the book.  They are adorable!  The main character, a drama-loving girl, and her little brother try on outfit after outfit, pretending to be the person that they believe previously donned the clothes they now wear.  Their imaginations seem to be from a different era, a wonderful time when kids were given old stuff, scissors, and time.  Left to those minimal but important things, new ensembles are created and stories are created for them.  (Or do the stories come first, and then the outfits?)

The great words plus the delightful illustrations equal one charming book!

I will include our copy of this book in the next bin of hand-me-downs that are going to my step-sister’s son next week.  Those clothes and this book were enjoyed immensely in our house; now it’s someone else’s turn.

I Like Old Clothes

By Mary Ann Hoberman

Illustrated by Patrice Barton


Price: Available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books a Million! for approximately $12

Easy to Read  5
Quality of Illustrations
Appealed to Both Boys and Girls  3/no
Kept My Child(ren)’s interest  4
I Would Purchase This For My Family  yes
I would Purchase This As A Gift  yes
 Overall Rating

All ratings on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being highest.

Meet the Reviewer!

Kate Schwarz is a full-time mom

and wife living in Great Falls, VA. 

In addition to reading to her three

small hildren, Kate runs marathons,

Crossfits, and blogs about raising

kids with books at


About WF Staff

Washington FAMILY Staff

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