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Before You Shop for Back to School Clothes

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Mother and daughter shopping for children's clothing
Blend Images - Erik Isakson/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

Before you hit the mall during the big Back To School Rush, have a plan and be prepared. With a little preparation you'll save money, buy only what you need, and have a better shopping experience with your kids.

Take Inventory

Go through last years' fall, winter and spring items. First, weed out items with holes, stains and other imperfections. Second have your kids try on the remaining items. Too-small items can be stored in an airtight container for a younger child, or donated to those in need.

     

    Write It Down

    Once you've gone through all of their past season clothes, take stock of what you have. Write it down.

       

      Make a Checklist

      Make a checklist of what your kids will need for the coming season. Your list will depend on many factors: the climate in your area, how far in advance you decided to purchase clothing for upcoming seasons; the school's dress code policy; what activities your children are involved in that require certain types of clothing.

         

        Check Schools' Dress Code Policies

        Most schools have a dress code policy. Be sure you know exactly what your kids' school approve of before you hit the mall.

           

          Shop the Summer Sales

          Before you shop the Back to School section see what you can get in the summer sales. Many summer items, that are currently deeply discounted can be used for fall:

          • Short sleeved tees are ideal layering pieces under sweaters, sweatshirts, cardigans and blazers.
          • Summer basics such as underwear, socks, tees, jeans and more are year round items.
          • Accessories that were meant to accompany a store's summer lines can be worn with fall items as well.
          • Lightweight summer sweaters are perfect for the beginning of fall.
          • For girls, skirts and dresses make excellent transitional pieces.

               

              Shop the Front Racks

              Once you've exhausted the sale racks, move forward to the front of the stores and shop the full-price racks. If you are on a budget, try to buy only what your child needs to get through the first week or two of school. Why? Because once the big Back to School rush is over, all those full-priced items go on sale.

                 

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