I will always remember clothes shopping going into my eighth grade year. The SEARS Fall Catalog was my internet. I made a list of what I needed – maybe 3 pairs of pants, 4 tops, a plaid skirt, and off to the mall we went. Velour bell bottoms stand out in my mind. Everything was fairly conservative. And mom was happy.
My younger sister, on the other hand, was another story.
She was fashion-forward. No velour bell bottoms for her! She exceeded her budget on one outfit in particular – a yellow print crop top and skirt combo that she tried on and “had to have.” She and mom fought about it, and promises were made.
As you might well imagine, the coveted outfit was worn once or twice, did not mix and match with other items in her closet, and ended up on the floor in a corner. She would complain about having nothing to wear. And that was the beginning of her teenage years…
That clothing experience cemented a lesson for me early on – that it is far more practical (and economical!) to have a mix-and-match wardrobe as a base and limit the impulse purchases.
Back-to-School clothes shopping in this day and age can be challenging. Less thought goes into purchases because cheap clothing is available in large quantities. And they are super-cute! Unfortunately, that can make Back-to-School clothes shopping all the more overwhelming, expensive, and wasteful.
As you prepare for back-to-school clothes shopping with your own kids, consider taking an inventory of what is already in your home. Really get your hands on it. And include your kids in the process.
Inventory Those Clothes!
Before you do any back-to-school clothes shopping, inventory what your child has! Crazy, right? But for some families, it has come to this. Kids today have so many clothes, parents/caregivers are not even sure what they have. And neither are they! Piles in the closets, overstuffed drawers, and full hampers make it impossible to know what it actually on hand.
As you inventory the clothes, focus on size first. Then consider whether your kid will actually wear it! Is it itchy, awkward, too bright, too boring, faded, etc…
Once you have everything sorted, you will discover where the “holes” are. For example, as you create piles of like items, you might discover your child has 4 dozen t-shirts, but nothing suitable for a school picture! Or maybe there are so many patterns and colors, it will be difficult to put outfits together?
Nourishing Minimalism reminds you that it is not necessary to purchase an entire wardrobe to be cool! Knowing what clothes you have before bringing home even more clothes makes them easier to keep track of, is more economical, and – most importantly, makes getting dressed for school that much easier!