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Disclosure: Thanks to the great folks at Target for sponsoring and making this post possible. My comments, opinions, and desire to make back-to-school shopping as painless as possible are my own.
Last year’s back-to-school shopping was a bit of a mess. Back then, I made a “note to self” on what not to do next time. Well, it’s next time. And instead of listing what not to do, I thought I would turn that list on its head and offer five tips for back-to-school shopping (each learned the hard way).
Do involve your kids in choosing the clothes they will wear.
Shopping with kids can be challenging in almost every way. But not involving them has it’s challenges, too. One of my boys can be very finicky about clothes he doesn’t have a say in choosing, and the other seems very sensitive to anything “scratchy.” This year we got the boys to “buy in” to the shopping adventure by having them first check what was available at target.com, then making a list. Having them arrive at the store with a list of their own made the trip much more fun and efficient than last year. It became a kind of detective game, looking for the right item, size, style, and color.
Remember they are going to grow during the year.
Last year, my boys were wearing high-waters by the end of the school year. This year, we wanted to plan for their growth better. We looked for relaxed fit jeans and bought both slightly larger jeans for now as well as the next size up for the end of the year. (It’s hard for all four of us to get back to the store once the extra-curricular activities start.)
Don’t forget dress clothes.
Remember, back-to-school also means photo day, holiday concerts, and other dress-up days as well. Last year we bought plenty of t-shirts and jeans, but forgot dress shirts and shoes.
Don’t forget the weather.
It’s warm now, but 4 months from now it will be a different story. Where we live layering is very important as the weather can change in seconds, and then change back again.
Split the kids up at the store.
If it’s an option, try splitting the kids up at the store. My husband took one and I took the other. We found this helped each focus on his own shopping with fewer distractions and allowed for each boy’s individuality to shine without being influenced too much by the other. After they each found their own clothes individually, we used the family fitting room (what a stroke of genius that invention is) to share and compare choices and make sure everything fit all at once.
What a difference from last year. In about two hours, we found everything we needed for the school year at Target. My son kept mentioning how soft the clothes were and I kept marveling at the low prices. The family fitting room was fantastic, making it all faster and easier.
I learned that listening more closely to what my kids liked and needed really helped make our shopping more efficient and pleasant. For example, my younger son was very easy-going about most choices, but when it came to t-shirts with graphics, he was very particular.
Truly amazing how affordable it all was.