It’s already time to start thinking about sending the kids back to school (Hooray?!). Some welcome this time of year, while other dread it, but one thing’s for sure: If you have a preteen or teenage girl, she will want you to take her shopping for all the latest trends. Don’t let this be a burden on your wallet with my looks for less and budget shopping tips.
Let’s take a look at the cast of Pretty Little Liars, a popular drama on ABC Family that teenage girls love. Chances are, your daughter’s style falls into one of these looks:
Sporty Emily: 1. Green scarf 2. messenger bag 3. khaki skirt $35.00 4. basic top $24.94 5. converse shoes
Preppy Spencer: 1. Plaid scarf 2. satchel tote bag 3. blazer $27.80 4. skinny jeans $19.99 5. oxford shoes $27.60
Alternative Aria: 1. Blue scarf $12.95 2. black skirt $20.00 3. vest 25.00 4. oversized black satchel $45.95 5. knee socks $3.95
Glam Hanna: 1. preppy tote 3. black scarf $9.97 4. black blazer $24.50
To get the most out of your budget, consider these back to school shopping tips (I know it’s a lot, but stick with me here — you don’t want to miss these!):
1. Condense and consign — Have your teen try on clothes, and create a bin for ill-fitting items. Ask them to choose a predetermined number of clothes to part with. This will give them an opportunity to get rid of clothes they don’t like anymore — and will also instill the value of letting go of unused items. To make a little cash, consign these clothes at Plato’s Closet, or a local consignment shop. Or, donate the clothes to charity. You could even ask your local public school if they take used clothing to give to students who can’t afford new clothes.
2. Avoid high price — Let’s not name names here, but there are stores that sell teen clothing for outrageous prices. Steer your teens away from these stores, unless the price is in your budget. Only browse stores where you’re willing and able to to spend your money.
3. Know the deals — Turn to stores like Target, JCPenney, and Kohls for deals on teen clothes. Also keep in mind second-hand stores like Plato’s Closet. Your kids might be able to find low-cost, gently used items from the aforementioned outrageously priced stores. Also be sure to check out your nearest outlet mall for deals. Growing up near Cincinnati, my parents saved thousands of dollars by taking me shopping at the GAP Distribution Center Outlet.
4. Wait to shop — How many times have you taken your teen shopping for that gotta-have-it outfit — for them to only wear it once? To avoid these situations, I learned the wait-to-shop tactic from my mother. During summer, my mom bought me just a couple back-to-school outfits. During the first week of school, I could see what other kids were wearing and what trends I liked. The weekend after school started, she’d then take me shopping to pick out the rest of my wardrobe. This way, your teens are more likely to wear what you buy them!
5. Remember fashion rules — Buy your teens mix-and-match basics that can be styled into several different looks. Try to steer them away from ultra-trendy pieces (with loud colors, rhinestones, sequins, etc.). Basic jeans, camisoles, tees, jackets, button-ups, and cardigans can be mixed and matched to form many different styles.
Bio: As a bride on a budget, Sarah Beckman knows how to find the deals and get the most out of her money. For her day job, she writes for Affordable Style.