Dollar store clothing: Worth it or not? Readers write in

Well, I asked for your opinions about the clothing found at dollar stores and, once again, you responded with enthusiasm and honesty.

Impressions tended to be varied from one reader to the next, even getting into a debate over what constitutes a dollar store. It seems some of you don't consider Family Dollar or Dollar General to be "dollar stores" in the strictest sense of the word and that was my first impression. However, the majority of my readers seem to lump these discount stores in with dollar stores and I'm not here to pick nits, so I include them. After all, a bargain is a bargain, wherever you find it.

Whatever the topic, there will always be conflicting opinions and experiences. Such was the case with the issue of clothes in dollar stores. One reader said the clothes at her dollar store looked stiff and only came in extra large sizes, while another gentleman complained that he needed those sizes but the ones marked x-large seemed smaller at Family Dollar than at other retail stores.

This seems to be a universal issue when it comes to adult clothing in the dollar stores. T-shirts marked large are actually only medium, medium is actually small and so on. But there were other issues. One lady said that the men's dress socks she bought looked nice but ripped near the toe after the first wearing and the ladies trouser socks fell apart in the wash. But she did have a kind word for the kid's beach hats, which she said held up well for the summer and so where worth the dollar she paid for them.

Somebody else said that the baby clothes were only good for dressing a doll but didn't give a reason. I've seen some really nice things for babies in my local dollar store so I guess you just have to look around.

Almost everyone who wrote liked the socks at Dollar Tree. One reader said that they have a large variety and the socks are great quality. Someone else said that other Dollar Tree clothing appeared "used." Sweaters were felted and misshapen and sizing was off by a lot, that is, the x-large was actually a small. But a grandmother wrote to say that the outfits for little girls are good quality at Dollar Tree.

Someone wrote to say that Dollar General carries brands like Hanes and White Stag and that these items wear well. A retired gentleman commented that he had bought four sweatshirts for $2 each at Dollar General and he's still wearing them. However, a woman who said she had purchased several outfits for her granddaughter there, complained that they looked awful after the first washing.

Speaking of kids' clothes, one mom praised the skort and matching top she bought for her 6-year-old daughter at Family Dollar. She said the outfit has been washed and worn over and over and has held up beautifully.

Apparently, Dollar General has a nice, albeit, limited, selection of casual t-shirts and shorts for both sexes, but the men's shirts, I'm assuming button-down shirts here, shrink in the wash, even when using cold water and line-drying them. Now that sounds frustrating.

A reader in Florida likes the fact that the Dollar General in her area carries Disney pajamas and t-shirts for children that are priced far less than at other retail stores.

I think most dollar stores sell hats, gloves and scarves over the winter months and one girl wrote in to say she gets a lot of compliments about the scarves she has bought at Dollar General. Who's gonna know you didn't pay $20 bucks for a scarf if you don't tell 'em? My son, who does a lot of walking, has been wearing a knit hat and a pair of faux-suede, lined gloves from Dollarama all winter and he says they keep him very warm. The hat and gloves have both held up well and the only complaint is that the hat could have been a tad larger. So if you've got a big head, you'll be better off shopping elsewhere!

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes tips and ideas for home decorating using only items from the dollar store.
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