Trying on clothes probably isn't on most kids' list of favorite things to do, but it is an essential part of shopping for back-to-school or other new clothing. There are ways to simplify the process.
- Ask the child to try on clothes and make a list of still-usable items. Sort clothing — some may still fit, but may be stained or out of style and no longer suitable for school wear.
- Decide on a manageable back-to-school budget. Establish a separate budget for each child, but recognize that not all children may require the same expenditures. For example, an older child is likely to need a greater share of the funds available because their clothing is more expensive. Spending can sometimes be spread out. Plan to buy some items after school has started.
- Before shopping, check school district recommendations and/or dress codes.
- Try to shop when the stores are least crowded.
- Plan to shop for the most needed items (like shoes) and staples (like jeans or khaki slacks) first.
- Choosing clothes that offer growing room is recommended. Allowing growing room should not, however, compromise children's safety.
- Take items that will need to be matched with you when shopping. As an example, if you plan to match a new top to a red skirt that still fits, take the skirt with you when you shop.
- Try before you buy. Keep receipts in case returning clothing is necessary.
- Ask children to help keep track of expenses for their clothing. Asking a child to help track their expenses can help them develop a greater appreciation for what things cost.
Jana McKinney is a McPherson County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences.