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back to school shopping

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So, my 12-almost-13 yr old DSD will be with us full time starting Aug 22 (1 week before the start of 7th grade).  When we moved and all this was arranged we committed to $300 for back to school shopping (not including socks/underwear/basics).  Seems like a lot now, but on the other hand, I can safely assume her mom has stopped buying clothes for her and that she won't bring more than 1 suitcase with her.  When we said 300 she was pleasantly surprised.  Is that a lot for almost an entire new wardrobe or no?  What kind of things would you buy outside of that 300?  Shoes?  Inexpensive jeans/tshirts?

 

We've never been back to school shopping.  In fact, we haven't done much clothes shopping with her at all, outside of the occasional, I need a pair of jeans or an outfit for xyz kind of thing.  Any advice?

 

She's already out of stores like Justice, sadly.  She gets a lot of brand name hand me downs from her mom's sis (who is petite).  She's pretty good with bargains thankfully and not adverse to Goodwill, but I know things like Aeropostle and Express will be high on the list.  She knows what stores she likes, she knows/likes her high end brands, etc.  I guess I'm just looking for advice on how to survive the inevitable "I'm fat" conversations (she's average to maybe a tiny bit heavy) and other as yet unknown 13 yr old ... "fun".  I also promised to take her bra shopping :(  No, she's not even an 'A' quite yet, but she's convinced she needs one and I promised.

post #2 of 11

She might feel more comfortable with the other jr high girls if she has a bra, even if she doesn't "need" it. Where we live at least, by 7th grade nearly all the girls wear one, even if just a sports bra type. Maybe she won't feel like she needs to wear it every day, but if she does I don't think there's anything wrong with that at her age.

 

Do you have any outlet stores nearby, or within day trip distance? We have had good luck getting school clothes for my 13 yo DD at outlets for Aeropostale, Gap, and department stores like Nordstrom Rack and Off Saks. The stuff is not always a lot cheaper, but there are some very good deals and they've got the labels some kids want. Outlet shoe stores sometimes offer good savings too -- just bought DD some Converse hi-tops for $25 at the Converse outlet, and ditto for Vans.  For shoes, there are also often really good deals on brand names at online shoe clearance places like 6pm.com. You can get more for your money that way.

 

Another cost-saving thing we do is to get labels on some items, like jeans, a jacket, a sweater -- and then fill out things like plain colored  t-shirts and long sleeved shirts from Target or Kohls or whatever place is having a good sale. 

 

You could also look at ebay and consignment stores for good deals on brand name jeans (a little used, but jeans are better that way anyway!).

post #3 of 11

300 can be a lot for a smart shopper. Stores like H&M and Forever 21 can give them a lot of bang for their buck and are really popular with girls in our area. DD got a formal dress for under 40 dollars. She often gets skirts and tops for under 10. They aren't the best made but they go through the school year with heavy use well enough. Kohls is a great place to go for jeans and T's. Last summer we got DD several pairs for 12 dollars each and T-shirts for 5 bucks. Ross is hit or miss but worth a try. We ALWAYS go there for formal wear and often find fantastic dresses from 20 bucks.

 

DD's "brand name" phase was pretty short and only during 7th grade really. I understand it. Kids that age just want to blend in and having the "right" clothes makes others focus on WHO you are and not what you look like. I know, it sounds backwards but that is middle school! What we did was to purchase some T-shirts with the "right" logos when they were on sale (online can have great deals) and then just mix with lower cost items from Kohls and such. It did they trick just fine. I will say those Aeropostale can have really GREAT sales.

 

Shoes are the high ticket items in our house. Ross is again a good place to try (and every Ross can carry different things.) My DD loves Vans and we found an outlet store in our area. Apparantly they have lots of them sprinkled around and outside outlet malls.

 

Personally, we don't do "back to school" shopping. We sort of shop little bits throughout the year as needed or as sales hit.

 

She does need a bra. Maybe not physically but when you have to change in a locker room, girls without bras can feel extra exposed. My DD is a tiny "A" cup too but we bought her them anyway.

post #4 of 11

She needs a bra. Bra shopping really isn't that bad. Most stores that carry clothes for girls have flat bras, and if you have any trouble figuring out what size, take her to Dillards. They will fit her for free.  If she is a weird size, bras can be ordered on line.

 

Second, I'd be clear what are "basics" and what aren't. In addition to shoes, how are you handling outwear? What will she need where you live? What does she have that will work? Raincoat, heavy coat, play coat, gloves, hat, snowpants etc. 

 

I'd talk to her about how often she'll do laundry, and how many days worth of clothes she is getting. My DD's do best shopping with a plan, like wanting 4 new pants and 6 new shirts. If we don't do that to start, they'll just keep finding shirt and shirt and shirt and no pants (or the other way around).

 

Jeans are a high dollar item for one of my DDs -- she has trouble finding ones she likes, she's are happy to wear the same ones over and over. I know a pair of jeans that she really likes is money well spent.

 

Also, try to make it fun. Stop and have a drink in the middle (my DDs starting liking Starbucks at that age, she might like something else). make it girl time.  Say nice things to her, about how you like her taste, how you like making sure she has what she needs, that a color really suits her, etc. Be positive.

 

For my kids, it needs to be more than one trip. It's too exhausting to do it all at once.

 

We don't have "I'm fat" conversations. One of my DDs is heavy, and one is thin. And they eat the same food and get about the same exercise.  My heavier DD has never worn Junior sizes and the whole Junior section is EVIL for her. She does well in the grown up petite department. She's OK with it now, but when she was still making peace with her body type, reassuring her that there were other stores, other days to shop, etc. was helpful. Not jumping into the idea that that day had to end with a complete new wordrobe or it meant that her body was WRONG was helpful. Find your own center, and stay there. It will be helpful for her (most 12 year old girls couldn't find their center with a map)

 

 

 

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

Second, I'd be clear what are "basics" and what aren't. In addition to shoes, how are you handling outwear? What will she need where you live? What does she have that will work? Raincoat, heavy coat, play coat, gloves, hat, snowpants etc. 

 

 


LOL, I forget how many more clothes are needed for people who live in weather! My kids wear the same clothes year round adding a hoodie if temps drop a bit or opting for shorts if it gets a little warm. I get them a rain coat every few years but they get so little use they last forever. All the things you mentioned would certainly eat through 300 dollars fast!
 

 

post #6 of 11

 

You may want to budget to spend about half or two-thirds now, and get the basics that she needs. The rest you can reserve and spend after she's been in school for a couple of weeks or a month. That way, she can check out any new or different styles that the other kids at her new school are wearing - they may be different even between schools in the same city. I think at that age, following trends can be balancing act. I never wanted my kids to be slaves to fashion but I also know that when you are new and wanting to fit in, clothes can help. I consider it protective camouflage or trying on local costumes. If you live somewhere with a big change in weather from fall to winter, then she's more likely to find the stuff she'll need for winter in a couple of months, rather than shopping while it's still summer.  

 

post #7 of 11

 

 

Quote:
If you live somewhere with a big change in weather from fall to winter, then she's more likely to find the stuff she'll need for winter in a couple of months, rather than shopping while it's still summer.

 

 

Winter stuff is out right now.  If she waits until the fall they'll be bringing out the spring stuff.

 

I agree with buying some stuff & getting some after she's started school to see the trends, HOWEVER beware that the trends may be very expensive.  We have 2 middle schools in town.  There is the affluent one & the mixed one.  

 

The affluent one the kids walk around in $1000 outfits.  75% of the girls wear Miss Me jeans($150), real Uggs($200-$300), real Pandora bracelets that are full ($500+) while talking/texting on their iPhone 4's wearing their Gel nails & hair extensions. All starting in Grade 7.

 

My dd goes to the other school.  I tried to buy her a pair of Miss Me jeans as a splurge item & she didn't want them.  Only 25% of the kids in her school wear clothes that expensive because they just can't afford them.  

 

 

post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

Personally, we don't do "back to school" shopping. We sort of shop little bits throughout the year as needed or as sales hit.

nod.gif We don't do back to school shopping either. I try to buy her things throughout the year because her tastes and her needs may change.

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post

Winter stuff is out right now.  If she waits until the fall they'll be bringing out the spring stuff.

 


 

Must be regional. Where I am, the summer stuff is still prominently displayed, although the summer sales have started. There are a few things for the fall lines, but not the really full-on thick woolly sweaters, hats and mittens, and snow suits. 

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post




 

Must be regional. Where I am, the summer stuff is still prominently displayed, although the summer sales have started. There are a few things for the fall lines, but not the really full-on thick woolly sweaters, hats and mittens, and snow suits. 



This is totally off topic but it drives me crazy how stores stock! In our area, it's already hard to find a matching two piece because all the pieces are picked over and sizes of tops and bottoms don't line up. It's JULY and our hottest month is September! The ocean doesn't isn't even warm enough to swim in for another month. Fall clothes start taking over the racks in August even though you wouldn't want to wear a turtle neck until January around here. We live in an area with very temperate climate (no real extremes.) You'd think they offer more balance because really, we've been known to need shorts at Christmas and a sweatshirt in June.

 

post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

DD's "brand name" phase was pretty short and only during 7th grade really. I understand it. Kids that age just want to blend in and having the "right" clothes makes others focus on WHO you are and not what you look like. I know, it sounds backwards but that is middle school!

 

Personally, we don't do "back to school" shopping. We sort of shop little bits throughout the year as needed or as sales hit.

Oh I sure hope it's short!  I remember that phase (barely) but I was in 8th grade, not 6th when it started :(

I know we will end up getting more throughout the year, but I can guarantee she won't arrive with much.
 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

Second, I'd be clear what are "basics" and what aren't. In addition to shoes, how are you handling outwear? What will she need where you live? What does she have that will work? Raincoat, heavy coat, play coat, gloves, hat, snowpants etc.

 

 

 

 Find your own center, and stay there. It will be helpful for her (most 12 year old girls couldn't find their center with a map)


ROTFLMAO.gifok, no maps!

Thankfully we moved to Nevada!  So that's less, but point taken

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

You may want to budget to spend about half or two-thirds now, and get the basics that she needs. The rest you can reserve and spend after she's been in school for a couple of weeks or a month. That way, she can check out any new or different styles that the other kids at her new school are wearing - they may be different even between schools in the same city. I think at that age, following trends can be balancing act. I never wanted my kids to be slaves to fashion but I also know that when you are new and wanting to fit in, clothes can help. I consider it protective camouflage or trying on local costumes. If you live somewhere with a big change in weather from fall to winter, then she's more likely to find the stuff she'll need for winter in a couple of months, rather than shopping while it's still summer.  

 


We're in Nevada, but this is something I go back & forth with mentioning to her.  For exactly the reasons you say.

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post

 

The affluent one the kids walk around in $1000 outfits.  75% of the girls wear Miss Me jeans($150), real Uggs($200-$300), real Pandora bracelets that are full ($500+) while talking/texting on their iPhone 4's wearing their Gel nails & hair extensions. All starting in Grade 7.


This is the other thing I worry about.  She'll be at the more affluent school, and she knows that.  She is used to being one of the more affluent kids.  Her mom isn't but her mom's parents are & they provide a lot.  She won't be getting that with us.

 

Thanks everyone for all the advice.  I really appreciate it.  I got an email today requesting we purchase stuff from a list online.  She loves to shop online & the deals are pretty good (for these stores).  We'll start with that & build.  Hollistr, Abercrombie (yuck n yuck) &  aeropostle.

 

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