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School is Back in Session…What Are the Kids Wearing?

The school bell is ringing again, and your child might be dreading heading back to the “prison” or jumping with joy to walk through the front doors again. As parents, there’s a lot on our minds during this time of year, from worrying about our kiddos making friends to the long list of after-school activities and deciding what to put in their lunches.

Another item on the long to-do list is finding clothes that make them feel confident and excited to wake up and head to school. Even when buying a new pair of shorts you know your child will love, in the back of your mind, you might be “thinking they’re going to grow out of this by the end of the year.”

This time of year can be overwhelming and expensive.

“When considering these costs, coupled with the stress that comes with prepping lunches and planning ahead for kids’ rapid growth spurts, it’s no surprise that 55% of parents agree that back-to-school shopping is more stressful than the holiday shopping season,” states in the 2023 Back-to-School Pressures & Stressors Report done by online retailer, Zulily and Wakefield Research.

The good thing is, if you’re feeling swamped, you’re not alone! Let’s talk about The Trending Problem and ways to buy back-to-school clothes without breaking the bank.

The Trending Problem
We all had social pressures in middle and high school to look “cool” or “cute,” but children who use smart devices experience social pressure all the time, especially with fashion. Some parents might be facing The Trending Problem.

According to the report, 83 percent of parents said that kids today are under way more pressure to keep up with the latest fashion trends.

Moreover, in a study by Wunderman Thompson, 25 percent of kids surveyed said their preference for what to buy is influenced most by influencers or bloggers on social media.

Unfortunately, some fashion trends our kids want to follow might not be age-appropriate. As parents, we can guide them to make different clothing decisions and encourage them to embrace a style they like, not one they see constantly on TikTok.

If your child wants to change their style, but it’s not an age-appropriate fashion trend, it’s important to talk with them. Learning more about what inspired the new outfit choice can help us further understand where they’re coming from. Choose Therapy suggests if you’re offering feedback, avoid harmful labels and criticism. Rather than labeling a piece of clothing “unflattering,” explain why it’s not appropriate.

If it feels like you’re saying “no” to all or most of their fashion choices, take a few hours and help them find clothes that will make them feel confident, comfortable, and powerful. We’ve all been tweens and teens ourselves, so consider explaining a time when your parents (their grandparents) said “no” to a clothing style or item. This can make the conversation light and playful, and it can help them understand that this is a common experience that most tweens and teens go through.

Guide to Find Clothes
Used Clothing
Going to a consignment shop like Once Upon A Child or a thrift store like Goodwill or the ARC is a great way to find deals and steals on used clothing. Once Upon A Child is especially a hot spot for children’s clothing because it only sells kids’ clothes. When your kiddos inevitably grow out of their clothes, consider donating them to a used clothing store or even selling them to Plato’s Closet, Once Upon A Child, or another consignment shop.

Wholesale & Outlets
If you’re looking for new clothes but don’t want to break the bank, consider going to a wholesale store like Costco. The outlet malls also tend to have excellent sales for kids. At the Outlets in Castle Rock, there are several spots to find children’s clothes, like Carter’s, GAP, and American Eagle.

Online Shopping
Another way to find affordable prices is by shopping online, and it’s convenient! Of course, Amazon is a common online shopping company, but Zulily also has a wide selection of children’s apparel. To help moms save money and time, Zulily is offering a back-to-school sale until August 31, where families can get up to 65% off of top brands like Bentgo, Billabong, True Religion, and TOMS.

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