Last year around this time I wrote this post on my old blog, Mom. Me. Three. It’s also the first post in my Style School series where I’ll talk about inexpensive ways to find kids clothes, and how to use fashion and personal style as a learning tool.
Back to school is a busy time for kids and parents. Everyone wants to go back to school looking and feeling their best. Whether you have one kid or four, like us, back to school shopping can add up.
In this edition of Style School, I’ll share some of my tips and tricks for stretching a wardrobe and your dollars. Class is in session!
Pick Pieces that Work Together & Style Them Up
Much like I would do with my own wardrobe, I try to buy pieces that are flexible and that work together. Things like leggings can be worn both as pants and also with dresses, skirts and shorts. Belts, sweaters, scarves, and funky socks and shoes can be used to personalize an outfit.
The example I styled above from last year was about $133 retail and did not include the sales that were going on at the time which would have made it even cheaper.
From these pieces I can come up with at least seven ways a mini stylista could wear this stuff (that’s a week of cool duds!):
- Dress alone with sequins flats
- Dress with knee-high socks, sneakers & sweater
- Dress over green jeans, sneakers & hat
- Dress over jeggings, sweater & belt
- Dress under shirt, belt & sequins flats
- Polka-dot top, green jeans, sequins flats, belt & hat
- Polka-dot top, jeggings, tennis shoes, sweater
If you’re too lazy to be your kid’s personal stylist, hate shopping, or don’t feel like you have a great sense of personal style some clothing lines make cheat sheets. While we may not want our kids to cheat in school, cheating in shopping is A-ok!
These sets are from the fashion forward and always cute Tea Collection. You can totally find similar looks for less on your own, but these are reasonable priced and damn cute.
Use your children’s consignment and thrift stores! There are amazing deals and steals to be found. Before you turn your nose up at the idea of clothes previous worn and say “eww!” realize that there are good deals to be had and you can also find new clothes that have never been worn.
This is especially true the smaller the sizes when kids are going really quickly.
Many places, such as Gymboree and Crazy 8, have sample sales that are not publicized. Call your favorite retailers to find out when and where these sales are.
Having been to one before, I can say it’s a little like the Cornucopia in The Hunger Games with everyone dashing for deals, but it’s worth it to pay $200 for $3000 worth of clothing. (Yes, I’ve actually done this!)
When Stari went to school with a uniform requirement it was a lot more flexible.
The kids just had to wear white tops with navy bottoms (or dresses), and any shoes you want. Whether there is a strict or loose uniform requirement kids can still look fly and, most importantly, express their personal style.
So, there you have it. The key points to back to school shopping: buy versatile pieces, shop sales, find sample sales and buy ahead & take time to make uniforms special. Do you have any back to school shopping tips to share?