Back to School is really here. The aisles of my favorite stores are full of pencils and glue sticks just waiting for us to buy them. For me, the school supplies part is the easy part, the teacher always sends a list, but the clothing is trickier. How do I know how much they need? How do I make sure I get a good deal? These are my tried and true tips I have followed since I was in school myself.
1. Go through your child's closet. Before I ever stepped foot inside the store, I went through everything my daughter had. Everything from socks to pajamas to see what she needed for the school year. I pulled out everything that was too small to donate or keep for her sister and pulled out jeans with holes in them to cut off and hem. I made piles of shirts, pants, dresses, belts, socks, underwear and shoes to see what she honestly needed to complete her school wardrobe. Since my daughters are so far apart in age I only save my very favorite items for my younger daughter and the rest I donate to foster care.
2. Make a list. Write out a list of everything your child needs. I write my list in generics so there is wiggle room when we get to the store. My list usually looks something like this: 2 Pairs of Jeans, 2-3 Pairs Leggings, 1 Pair Gym Shoes, 1 Pair Flats, New Underwear, One hooded jacket, Socks and 5-6 Tunics. This gives me an idea of what I need to by without setting too strict of guidelines. For a complete wardrobe that gives me a little bit of freedom in my laundry schedule, this is what I like for my kids to have for the school year.
- 10 pairs of underwear
- 12-15 pairs of good socks without holes
- 2-3 pairs tights
- 2-3 pairs of jeans
- 3-4 pairs of leggings, at least one black pair
- 2-3, white and black shirts for layering
- Light Jacket
- 1-2 belts
- 10-12 shirts ( I count the ones she already has too.)
- 1-2 skirts
- 2-4 Tunics and Dresses
- PE Clothing if applicable
- Gym Shoes
- Every Day Shoes
3. Plan enough time. My daughter and I usually make a day of back to school shopping. We try on clothes, shoes and accessories and then go out for lunch afterwards. It makes it a lot less stressful to not be rushing about trying to get it done. It also helps if you plan on only going to one or two stores instead of all over the city. We mostly shopped at OshKosh this year and were able to get everything we needed.
4. Plan around sales and combine sales. This is the most important part of saving money at back to school shopping. This is one of the reasons we shopped almost solely at Osh Kosh, almost everything in the store was already 50% off, then I was able to print and bring an extra coupon for an extra 25% off my purchase over $40 and then for every $50 I spent I earned a $10 reward. I love their rewards because they are $10 off a $10 purchase, so it is like earning free clothes. If you combine all of the deals the clothes work out to be a steal! Here is the coupon I used.
5. Let them have a little fun. Every year we go shopping with the same deal. She is allowed to pick one item she LOVES and has to have. Everything else is a negotiation. This year is was a super cute owl shirt. She adores it and looks forward to wearing it on the first day.
6. Accessorize- Accessories like bracelets and colorful headbands can liven up basic clothing. I have found my daughter doesn't mind have plain jeans and a tee if she gets to wear a glitter headband with it.
7. Save the clothing. My mom always made me wait until the first day of school to wear my new clothes. I always thought she wanted to keep it clean, which I am sure was part of it, but it also made it really special. I was SO excited to wear my first day of school outfit for the first time.
I am so pleased with what we found for my daughter's wardrobe this year, so pleased that even thought I promised myself I was just shopping for my older daughter, the baby came home with some outfits to match her sister. I couldn't help myself! Matching girls are so cute!
One of the biggest reasons I support OshKosh B’gosh, is because OshKosh, in partnership with K.I.D.S./ Fashion Delivers, Inc., and DonorsChoose.org gives customers the opportunity to donate a new pair of jeans or make a cash donation to a students in need this school year. Find an OshKosh by you. I feel extremely grateful that I am able to get my kids new clothes for school and I love that I am able to help those who may need a little bit of help at this time of year. It is a win all around. For more information visit: www.oshkosh.com/bgoshjeanius
What is your favorite back to school clothing tip?