As the back to school season rolls around again, it’s time to put together your shopping list of all the things that are needed.
- Backpack – check.
- Lunch bag – check.
- New shoes – check.
- Jeans – check.
- Fall coat – check.
Now if only I can get my kids to stop growing so I won’t have to repeat the list at holiday time!
I recall the time period when my son was in middle school. He grew at least 5 inches in 12 short months. We bought him bigger shoes and longer jeans every 6 weeks. And it seems as if he’s not slowing down.
Girls don’t seem to grow at such a fast pace but they certainly have quick and sporadic growth spurts. This poses the question…
How do you handle the school wardrobe needs of fast growing kids (sans school uniforms)? Here’s a few tips I’ve learned with my own kids:
- Buying a size larger is your best bet for the little ones, but the tween and teenage crowd can be fickle. And, worse yet, you have a younger child, that no longer fits standard 7-14 kids clothing sizes. Things have to look and feel just right. So, what’s a parent to do?
- One solution is buy pre-owned for this size range. There’s a lot of potential goodness here, and because kids begin to have more a voice in what they want to wear when they hit the tween-age years, buying resale to satisfy them may not even cross some parents minds:
- Many of the clothes in this pre-teen to teen size range are only worn a handful of times and for the most part look like new. Often times garments are outgrown before the tags are even snipped off. Nice sweaters and dressier clothes are especially easy to find.
- On the other hand, some kids preferred well-worn clothing anyway! Why buy faded, worn-out jeans new at full price, when you can buy the same designer jeans on resale for about $10-$15 (not to mention recycle at the same time).
- This year I bought about 1/2 of what I needed on resale – focusing on basic wardrobe building blocks, like jeans, long-sleeve tops/tees, brand-name sweatshirts, athletic wear, etc.
- Quick plug: You can Shop LoobaLee for tween range clothing – sizing goes up to 18-20 Youth.
- Another solution is to shop for rock bottom prices on the summer discount rack at popular, quality stores (always be thinking resale – even for the tween crowd!). Layering is the look these days, and you should find plenty of summer & fall transition clothing that can be layered and worn year round. I’m on the look out to snatch up basic jeans and tees for my kids to grow into year-round.
- If you haven’t tried yet, another option is to make the jump over to the clearance racks at Juniors departments and mens/womens and look for extra-smalls. This clothing might be harder to sell later, sometimes its very difficult finding anything for your tween-sized kids to wear. Typically, very small sizes in adult clothing stores are left as are larger sizes in children’s stores. Remember, this age group can be fickle so choose simple styles that won’t be out of fashion next year.
- Focus your resale and discount shopping on build a basic wardrobe. All kids need the basics. Then, spend your budget for new clothes on a few special trendy pieces and accessories to spice things up, looking for pieces that will enhance many outfits, vs. just one.