Back-to-school shopping can be an overwhelming prospect, especially if you have more than one child. Your kids will likely be scattered in every corner of the store telling you what they want and asking if they can have everything in sight. Here are a few guidelines for dressing your child so that you can develop a game plan.
Have him help with laundry.
The volume of dirty laundry in your home will increase dramatically once school starts. If your child is old enough, teach him how to do his own laundry before school starts. Shop for foolproof fabrics, preshrunk cotton and clothing that won't bleed. Examine labels carefully and shy away from rayon and cheap cotton.
Lay out clothes the night before.
Getting your child to lay out an outfit as part of her bedtime ritual will make everyone's life easier, make mornings less stressful and give your child a say in what she wears. Shopping for pieces that mix and match is a vital component of this strategy. It defeats your purpose if your child tries to pair a red shirt with purple pants and you end up arguing about it at bedtime.
Choose age-appropriate attire.
Often, parents get wrapped up in their children's enthusiasm when shopping for back-to-school clothes. They come home with a pile of clothes that looked cute and sassy in the store but make their children look like fashion-forward college students. Shopping for kids is not a time to live vicariously through them. If you think you'd have to tell your daughter to change her clothes before a visit with your grandmother, then her outfit might be too mature for her.
Shop the clearance racks.
A brilliant way to put off the back-to-school shopping frenzy for a few years is to shop clearance racks the year before. While your child is young (kindergarten through fourth grade), you can pretty accurately predict his size for next year; plus, he's not as consumed with fashion at this stage. A kindergartner is not going to look at your choices and say, "Oh, that is so last year." Stock up on new clothes for a fraction of the price when department stores switch out seasons.
Check flyers, the internet or catalogs.
Get a feel for what's considered cool for school before you go school shopping so you can pre-select styles and clothes, and steer your kids in the right direction when you're shopping. As mentioned earlier, your child's clothes should be age appropriate, but don't be so conservative that your child will get teased. It is a fine line to walk, so doing your homework is imperative.
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