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August is Back to School Month: Getting What You Need Without Over-Spending on Teenage Girls

August 24, 2012

Getting ready to send your kids back to school in the fall is never an easy feat.  In fact, if many of us don’t start early we find ourselves hitting the major mad last minute school shopping rush of parents who have waited until the last minute to take advantage of the summer sales. 

This year many of our kids have started back to school this month (in August…can you believe that?) instead of starting in the traditional school year after Labor in September.  For many this puts limitations on vacations and kicks us into gear of starting earlier than we expected.  But the question is where are you finding shoes and clothing at great prices, and are you keeping your kids on top of current trends without going over budget?

As the mother a teenage girl (soon to be 18 in four months) staying on top of what’s hot and what’s not so hot this year is just as important to me as it is to her.  She literally gags if she’s wearing something that is not trendy and hot, and makes her look good, and she knows I don’t buy anything that’s not on top of the “Trendy List,” at the same time staying focused on the deals. 

Today’s teenage girls are your not average run of the mill teenagers.  From the latest in styles to the hottest in trends girls are finding themselves more and more fashion sensed.  And with a daughter now in the 12th grade, there are several factors to consider in getting her ready for her senior year:

  1. Fashion:  Where to go for bargains and discounts
  2. Shoes:  Getting hot looks without spending too much
  3. Staying on top of latest and current trends.
  4. Staying within budget
  5. Buying what’s needed vs. what’s wanted

As we know with girls, their styles tend to change from one extreme to the next, and thanks to the internet, there are sites like Polyvore and other girls sites, and blogs that address trends and how to put together the best ensembles. 

Let’s keep it real!  I have found that the best and ideal places to shop getting ready for the new school year in terms of clothing and shoes have been JC Penny, Forever 21, Payless, Western Fashion Boutique, Corrida, Just for You and Love Culture.  The prices are reasonable, the discounts can be unbeatable, and we walk away with quality merchandise.  Plus you can’t go wrong shopping downtown in the Garment District if you know what to look for in quality and prices.

If you’re looking for under garments, don’t get too caught up in designer brands.  Ross, Kmart, Walmart, Target, swapmeets, and JC Penny are among the top sellers in under garment with good prices.  And won’t kill your pocket book.  Take advantage of the 5 for $10 deals wherever you can find them.  I recommend bying by the pack.  You can sometimes get five underwear in a pack and spend no more than $5 or $10 depending on where you go.  Swapmeets usually have socks by the packs, especially if your teen girl is into sports.  Where bras can be expensive in some place…I recommend checking out your local Ross Stores.  You can get good quality bras well below cost than if you went to Victoria’s Secret or department stores.  Check out some local boutiques, too, that sell under garments, too.  You may be surprised at their prices.

Looking for a prom dress…so now you have to start thinking ahead to prom season, which is always the busiess time for your senior.  I can’t emphasize looking at discounts and bargains enough.  If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find the right dress at a jaw-dropping price that is iut of this world.  For instance, this past April we got my daughter’s prom dress from JC Penny.  A $120 dress for $90.  Of course it early, but it was one of those dresses that you just don’t see anywhere.  I’ve looked.  Whether or not my daughter will wear it to her prom next year remains to be the question, but I’m banking on it that she will.  It’s too pretty not to.

Just because kids have gone back to school early, just at the height of the summer season, don’t get too caught up in buying summer clothes.  You have to keep in mind that the fall/winter season is not too far away and that you want to get prepared as quickly as possible for when the colder months come prancing around the corner.  This is what I have seen many parents doing.  

Jackets, sweaters, scarves, boots, gloves, long pants, therman gear, thicker socks, etc. should be at the top of your list right next to the maxi skirts and shorts, and tank tops.  They generally go on sale right about this time just as they are marking tons of summer gear down to prepare to get out of the stores to make way for the fall/winter waear.  Take advantage of those stores offering layaway plans.  You usually can’t go wrong by getting an early start.

Let’s talk school supplies.  Ok, don’t count out your local Dollar Store and the 99 Cent stores.  They are great places to buy notebooks, pencils, pens, erasers, rulers and other school supplies you’ll need.  When my daughter went to the 11th grade, I bought mostly everything from the bargain store and cut my cost more than in half if I were to go to Staples or Office Depot, Rite-Aid or CVS.   The one thing I wouldn’t buy is the notebook paper because you can only find 8  x 10 1/2 and not the standard 8 1/2 x 11 notebook paper there, unless the teachers don’t care, then by all means load up on it.  Otherwise you’ll have to suck it up and go to Office Depot, Staples, Rite-Aid or CVS, or other school supplier resource — wherever the deals are, which is what  I recommend…looking for the deals. 

Right around this time when all school supplies start to go on sale or are already on sale, is when you have to act fast because, remember, some parents are not just shopping for one child returning to school.  And if you get stuck in the mad rush of school shopping, go with a list and check off as you go.  Get in and get out, and go early.

Happy School Year!

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