I know that technically Fall didn’t start until September 22nd, but to me, it started on September 1st. In my head, September = Fall. Unfortunately, though, Mother Nature doesn’t always agree with me, and this month is usually still pretty warm in the DC area.
Because of that sad fact, I know better than to plan back-to-school shopping in August and buy my children a bunch of new pants, sweaters, and boots. If I did that, I’d spend the whole month of September explaining to my children why they can’t actually wear any of their new school clothes TO SCHOOL.
For my kids I usually make sure they have a first day of school outfit that is at least semi-new, and new shoes. (Nothing says back to school like clean and shiny new shoes!) Then I plan to shop for cold weather clothes around the beginning of October, when the weather finally cools down a bit.
Plus, by buying the cool weather gear closer to when they can actually wear it, there is less chance they will grow out of it before they get any use out of it. This is a lesson I learned last year when I bought G a bunch of jeans and pants for back to school in August in a size 6. He couldn’t wear any of them until at least a month into the school year, at which time he had a growth spurt and outgrew them all before Christmas. (On the bright side, there is a whole box of almost brand new size 6 pants in my closet, just waiting for O to grow into them.)
We are just now starting to think about really doing some back-to-school clothes shopping. My first step is ALWAYS to clean out the kids drawers, pull the bins of off-season clothes out of the closets, and make my kids try on a million things. That process takes a few days sometimes, but occasionally I can get it all done in one afternoon.
Once I know what they have that still fits and is in good condition, I know what they need. I’ve taken them shopping with me some years, but I find it easier to shop for them by myself, have them try stuff on at home, and then return things they don’t like or that don’t fit well. Shopping with all four kids usually (always) leads to me buying things we don’t really need at all.
So far, I’ve gotten B’s closet and dresser cleaned out and we have a very short list of things she needs/wants–she is in really good shape because she got a ton of new clothes from her grandmothers for her birthday in August.
Today, I am planning to hit the boys’ room while they are in school. I’ll pull the winter clothes bins out and get rid of stuff I don’t like before I even let them try anything on. I feel like there’s no point in keeping clothes I dread them actually wearing. When they get home this afternoon, I’ll have them try on a bunch of stuff, get rid of whatever doesn’t work, and make a list for each of them too.
Next week, I start shopping. 🙂 That’s the fun part.
How do you do back-to-school shopping? All at once before the school year starts, or in smaller trips? Any great back-to-school shopping advice?