Cheap is good, free is better. Last year I went a little overboard on garage sales, picking up clothes that I wasn't that impressed with because they were so cheap--and because I was afraid I wouldn't have adequate hand-me-downs. The hand-me-downs came through, though, and except for a few pieces, the hand-me-downs are much cuter. Probably because one's friends have better taste, on average, than random people holding garage sales.
I also needed to learn all the problem areas to check before buying. I started out buying 0-3 month sizes, in which the only common problem area is the neckline. As children get older, though, they constantly expand the areas they can irrevocably stain. There are other things, like the holding quality of the snaps, that I missed.
Unless a garment is very generic, there's no point buying it if it doesn't come in a complete outfit.
It seems that the common attire for all little girls these days is knit tops and leggings. I have an aversion to the idea of wearing clothes that strongly resemble pajamas. This probably dates to a painful childhood incident. Our house lacked central heating, and during the winter (spring and fall) I always wore sweats to bed. One year, I received a sweatsuit that had a very decorated top that seemed like overkill for just going to bed in. Having seen other children wear sweats out and about, I decided I should try to do it, myself, and wore the set to AWANA. As soon as I arrived, I regretted my decision. The entire evening felt exactly like one of those nightmares in which one finds one's self in public wearing one's pajamas.
So I will probably make D1 some jumpers or something to go over the leggings.
I don't think I subscribe to my mother's theory that it's good for your moral development to wear clothes that you hate. Of course, if there's some other good reason for wearing them, that can be different. Maybe she had a good reason that I overlooked. But I still recall that burgundy double-knit ruffled jumper when I was five years old with fear and loathing. I still hate burgundy, double-knit, ruffles, and jumpers. How do I get along with DOB? He doesn't make me wear burgundy.