In most cases, your kids aren't going to want clothes that are coming apart at the seams, or that have holes or awkward stains. If you picked up the item from Walmart or Target, it probably wasn't designed to last. Wear it until it's worn out, then cut ties with it forever.
The first items you should consider as potential hand-me-downs are those you have invested in and taken care of. These include fashion staples such as winter coats, business attire, boots, heels and purses. Also, designer clothing and accessories never seem to go out of style. Your daughter will love wearing Diane von Furstenberg, Burberry or Chanel, regardless of what year it was made. The fact is, a peacoat and a killer pair of peeptoe pumps are classic items that every young woman would be blessed to own.
The fabric blends used to make today's pants and jeans are a far cry from those of 30 years ago. While you may want to hang onto a few of your favorite pairs of pants, chances are your kids won't be interested in wearing them; fabric technology has come too far. Opt instead for blouses, jewelry, belts and other accessories that your child can incorporate easily into her own wardrobe. These items are less subject to fit issues and are easier to swap out based on current fashion trends.
Does your family have a long-held college tradition? Did you make a point of purchasing a t-shirt at every Michael Jackson concert held within a 200-mile radius of your home? Chances are, if you've accumulated apparel that honors a personal or family tradition, your kids will want to hang onto some of it. It's not just the tradition that your kids will love, though. Well-maintained vintage t-shirts are almost always in style.
There are some mom clothes that your kids will love hanging onto despite the fact that they may never want to wear them. These include items like your prom dress, wedding dress, a sundress worn on your honeymoon, your graduation cap and gown or the first suit you ever purchased. Clothing worn on landmark occasions can carry significant sentimental value for your children. Ask which of your clothing items they would be sad to see go, then wrap them up and store them to pass on at a later date.