Shopping for back to school is one of those really fun and exciting activities that kids and parents do together. There is nothing quite so exciting as choosing new outfits to sport in the school halls.
A recently released survey by Parents magazine and Lands' End looked at back to school fashion and found that many moms enjoy shopping for back to school and will involve their kids in the decisions. According to the survey, 74 percent of moms say that they like back to school shopping because its nostalgic of their own childhoods.
What about trends? While your own mom might have groaned over the neon shirts of the 80s, today's moms think fashion is fun. In fact, 69 percent of them like to see the new styles and trends ... especially when those harken back to styles of their childhood. 62 percent of moms admit to buying clothes that remind them of something they wore as a child.
Are moms leaving the kids at home while they do the shopping? According to the survey, 94 percent say that their kids are involved in back to school shopping too.
These days, most moms are looking for quality clothing that falls within their budget. Cheap clothing? It's totally out -- only 22 percent of moms said they are going for cheap clothes - regardless of quality - since kids will either outgrow them or ruin them fast.
"Moms know that buying quality items will help their back-to-school budget go further this year," said Liz Pierce, senior design director, Lands' End. "Details like inside adjustable waists on jeans, cargos and skorts, and graphic tees that are pre-washed to resist shrinking offer parents old school value in the new school styles kids love."
Want your kids to dress well? It's important to teach them how to select the right clothes for them in the right styles and meeting the clothes budget. Here's how.
Tip #1: Color matters: It's no secret that some people wear certain colors better than others -- and that's true for kids too. So, be color aware. "Step one is to find the child's best colors. These are not necessarily his or her favorite colors but the ones that are most attractive on them," says image consultant Barbara DesChamps, author of It's In The Bag: The Complete Guide to Lightweight Travel and It's In The Bag: Your Custom Business and Travel Wardrobe.
DesChamps suggests going to a fabric store and seeing what colors really work with your child's skin tone. "Once you know the best colors, you can shop with fabric swatches or paint chips and know that what you buy will go with other items already in the closet. This saves time and money and avoids mis-matches," she says.
Tip #2: Find out what they like, within your parameters: You want to encourage your child to find their own style ... but you want it to be within reason. So, how do you accomplish that? DesChamps suggests putting together a section of photos (from catalogues, magazines, etc) of varied styles that you approve of and getting a feel for what your child gravitates to. "When they have representative samples, they can show them to the child and elicit feedback. Do this with only one child at a time so they get personal time and are not bothered by negative comments from siblings," she says.
Tip #3: Teach them value - Kids have no idea how much things including clothing cost. It's your responsibility to teach them how to create a great wardrobe on a budget. "Most kids I think, are apt to lean towards the 'name brands' that everyone else is wearing, even if they cost five times more than an unbranded T-shirt or sweatshirt," says Wendy Young of Kidlutions: Solutions for Kids.
What can you do? Stress the importance of saving on the staples -- like t-shirts, sweats, socks and more -- and splurging on just a few statement pieces. "For older kids, giving them a budget for clothing and if the kid wants to spend more than is budgeted (for name brands, etc.), the child will have to pay the extra amount," says Young.
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