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Back to school clothes - what's too much?


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So a little venting here, I guess. I went shopping with my 14-year-old and 7-year-old daughters yesterday. They both can wear clothes from the Abercrombie kids line and so we were in that store. I was appalled at the amount of shopping going on. We were in the back going through the clearance racks, but there were so many others with armloads of clothes for their kids. I picked up a pair of jeans for my 7-year-old - $60! That's too much for a pair of jeans for a 2nd grader!! So my question is, how much does everyone spend on their kids for back to school clothes? Am I being too tight? I try to keep my kids grounded, but at the same time I don't want to send them to school in clothes that fall apart after the first washing or are so out of style they don't fit in (kids have enough other problems, after all). I make my 14-year-old pay for most of her clothes, and that does help her keep pretty conscious of what things cost, but really, what is going on here? I'm sure parents were spending $1,000 plus on their kids that won't be wearing these clothes again in 6 months time. Any thoughts, opinions on this?
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I know at that age, my Mom bought me a few things that I really liked, but not everything in my closet was brand name. I look back on it and say to myself "would I have been "cooler" if I wore EVERYTHING from ABercrombie?" I don't think your kids clothes should shape what type of social class they are in school, unfortunately, I think it is a big factor.
I just spent $130 on school supplies (lists from the schools) and $160 on new school uniforms that fit better than last years clothes as they have grown some.

I have two kids.....13 and 11

EDIT - and I got sevreal shirts and pants for them both...not 1 pair of $60 school pants! Average pants cost $12-15 and average shirt cost $6-10
awww, school uniforms. if only, if only (I wouldn't DARE suggest that around my 14-year-old daughter LOL)
Don't feel bad- a lot of kids my age will go for all the brand name stuff, but I find it to be worthless. I found a pair of jeans for $10 instead of a brand name version, and I really don't care. The "styles" nowadays are ridiculous- why would you pay tons of money for a ripped up pair of jeans or some faded ones?

Do what you think is right- your kids may not like it, but it really doesn't matter in the end.
Yes, uniforms. Not REALLY though, it's more like a dress code. They can have ANY solid color polo style shirts with no logo....and black, tan or navy slacks (docker style) with no leg pockets, with belts and no logos.

It makes things nice. I like it a lot
I usually buy about 5 new shirts for my son (now 18, so I don't have to school shop for him this year).  We didn't buy pants because here in Michigan, September is still pretty hot, so I justified not getting new jeans for him because he would be too warm & always promised to buy new ones when the weather cooled down. I also told him I flat out refused to purchase new shorts so late in the season when he would just outgrow them by next summer. Now, I have to say, we usually ended up not buying new jeans as soon as the weather cooled, because the expectation of new clothes (because of school beginning) had disappeared.  We would get new jeans when the old ones either wore out or got too small.  As I said, he's now 18 and he really did seem OK with so few new clothes.  Wearing a new shirt everyday made the outfit feel new.  Also, I know he was aware that I really couldn't afford lots of clothes AND school supplies.
Hi Jill, this is a great opportunity to teach your children a life lesson on shopping.  Set a budget and then allow them to help in selecting where that budget will go.  For example, if they want those A&F jeans - explain how that item will affect the budget.  I try to buy high quality base items - such as a pair of nuetral slacks or a nice versatile pair of shoes and then combine with less expensive items - high quality does not always mean expensive.  If they want the A&F brand - offer a less expensive pair of jeans and a very inexpensive "logo" print t-shirt form A&F.  Explain that the impression the logo gives is just the same as the expensive jeans...... You shop at A & F.  Brands are important to children and I think it would be impractical to avoid the issue and more important to teach them to use the budget wisely.
vthompson - Ya, that's what I pretty much do, I was just really aghast at how much money people throw at their kids. You know the kids don't appreciate it. I was also happy to see that my 14-year-old was shocked by it as well. I've seen the same thing at Limited Too. shaking my head . . .
I feel the same way... I can't stand to waste money on clothing but, girls clothes are so much fun!  I run the gambit from Janie and Jack's (my favorite) to Kohls and even consignment shops!  I always go for value though.  I am not looking forward to the day when my 2 year old daughter has input... She is a clotheshorse now and I fear the worst!  Good Luck this year!
I am so lucky with my almost 15 year old son. For reasons I can not imagine, his favorite clothes store is Kohls and he grabs crap off the sale rack. I think he is possessed by the spirit of my dead Polish grandmother.
I have a 15-year-old son as well (They're 11 months and 28 days apart, in case you're wondering!). We're just glad when he goes to school in something clean and not wrinkly! He doesn't care too much about what he looks like - BOYS!
LOL spiro I just choked on my water
I took my twin niece and nephew Back to School shopping at Kohls last week (sister works nights and her husband is useless when it comes to shopping) and did we get a deal....

3 shirts - a set mind you - One polo and two coordinating plain nice quality t-shirts - the set was $7.50 and I had 15% off!  Great deal for an eleven year old boy! 
Haha one year my son was into this phase where he would wear clothes that didn't match on purpose. I mean garish colors and prints. I dunno. One day he accidentally matched very well and I stupidly said "oh wow, that looks good together" to which he barked "IT DOES NOT" and stormed upstairs to change.
Hey, Im a 16 year old and ive never liked the prices in abercrombie...if they want high quality jeans like that...try taking them to american eagle. The jeans there are half the price of what they are in abercrombie, and they are great quality. Also, Aeropostale is a great store since they have quality clothes for a quality price.
We live in a highly affluent area where kids are raised in mansions with nannies and moms who spend their days doing the "ladies that lunch" thing. It's tough because kids around here aren't just wearing A&F, they are big into Juicy Couture and some middle-schoolers are even carrying Coach handbags!!!!!

Meanwhile we aren't that affluent ourselves, and even if I was, I would never in a million years buy a middle schooler a Coach handbag or JC sweat suit... that's just plain insanity, IMO!!!

For my kids' clothes we've always shopped at Wal-Mart, Old Navy, and the GAP outlet. I spend about $150 per kid two times a year. My older daughter really likes Express, and I will buy her an item there for a xmas or bday present - i.e., a very special occasion only. But that place is expensive! The girls understand that they can have several articles of clothing for the same price as one top or jeans at Express.

I have taught my kids that it's not the brand you wear, it's how you wear it. I point out to them very fashionable people and even celebrities who look fabulous in a $5 tee shirt. I've shared fashion books with them, like What Not to Wear and the Lucky Style Manual, which show how to put outfits together. That is what makes the outfit - it's not the price.

I tell them all the time that since they are still growing it makes no sense to spend any more $ on their clothing. There's no value in that. I do, however, tell them that once they are done growing, I would be more open to spending $100 on a great pair of fitting jeans or something that is timeless and will last more than one season. My DD14 is pretty much done growing now, so with her, I am more apt to spend a little more on select items. DD13 is meanwhile still growing like a weed.

But both girls (13 and 14) have really gotten into the whole budget-shopping thing now... they both have developed their own amazing style. They also both know how to sew.

DD14 will go to the thrift shop where you can buy used clothing at $1 per pound. She'll search through and find old tee shirts (the XL kind you get for free with company logos and stuff), take them home, wash them thoroughly, then get out the scissors and start deconstructing, ala Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink.

She can make mini-skirts, dresses, cute little tops out of a tee shirt. Totally unique and nobody else at school has one of these. She's become quite popular at school and always gets a chuckle when one of the A-lister rich kids envies her one-of-a-kind creation and wants to know where she bought it!!
jenmcc - sounds like you've risen to your challenge well. I've got to get my daughter a sewing machine! She's always bugging me for one and she can sew, she's done a few years of 4H. I can totally see her doing the same thing. Thanks for the suggestion!
I have a 17 yo girl, 15 yo boy and 10 yo boy.  I buy the older two 1 pair of jeans, 1 khaki, and a sweatshirt and a few shirts before school starts.  We do go to Abercrombie, Hollister and American Eagle but we look at the clearance racks first, or look for sales.  My younger son doesn't really care yet so we do Target, or consignment shops still. 

They all get 1-2 new tennis shoes at the beginning of school.  Except my oldest daughter has quit growning so she hasn't gotten that for 2 years now.  But we have a store that always offers buy 1 pair get the 2nd at 1/2 off.  That really helps.  With both th boys really into sports, they need a pair specifically for gym/sports and than a pair for every day.  they really wear these out so I buy them quality pairs. 

We are lucky to have a teen consignment shop that my kids don't mind shopping at so they do wear alot of brand name clothing but I generally can get jeans for $15 or under, so it works for me.
Jill - your daughter would love this book: Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt.

That's what got my daughter going. She has known how to sew for years, since her grandmother taught her, but it was this book that really got her into it. It's a really fun book for preteens/teens.
jenmcc - THANKS so Much! I'm going to go to B&N today and see what I can find!
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