The finest clothing made is a person’s skin,
but, of course,
society demands something more than this.
I find back-to-school clothes shopping to be ridiculous. When I was young, and my September Seventeen magazine would arrive, all hundred pounds of it stuffed full of back-to-school layouts, I was totally baffled. Did people’s parents really take them out shopping for a whole new wardrobe each year, bullied by a date on the calendar? Insanity.
Granted, I went to Catholic school for 12 years, and I wore a uniform that I both loathed (scratchy brown plaid jumpers or skirts, gold or white collared shirts, brown knee high socks) and loved (hid coffee stains better than anything else I have ever owned, did not require forethought of any kind in the morning).
My kids do not attend Catholic school, and they do not have a uniform, and their dress code is very lax- the only rule that comes to mind as ever being enforced is that shoes have to have a back (so when girls wear Crocs the strap has to behind the heel. I don’t know why I’m telling you this).
But am I taking them out to buy new clothes because the first day of school looms on the horizon? Oh, hells no. They have plenty of clothes that fit them just fine.
With all this talk of how poorly everyone’s family budget is faring, I have to hope this is one yearly tradition that people will rethink. You don’t need to buy back-to-school items just because there are back-to-school sales.
The weather is still warm- 90 degrees here today in sunny PA- their summer clothes will do for at least another month, at which point these fall items will be going on clearance to make room for winter jackets and boots.
Here’s the few additions I’ll tack on to get us through until Christmas, when they’ll receive whatever they need to get through the winter. Most selections are from the Gap, as I find their clothes hold their shape, last a long time and aren’t too fashion-y (i.e. quickly dated, limiting hand-me-down potential). Also, I’m guessing I’m not the only one who took advantage of the awesome Gap groupon deal yesterday!
As much as I’d like to do organic for all the kids’ clothing, they grow out of everything/beat them up so badly so quickly I can’t justify the cost. If you know of any reasonably priced organic clothing companies, shoot me an email and I’ll change my wicked ways.
Plain long-sleeve T in black and gray.
Get as much play out of all those clever short sleeve Ts you can’t resist during the summer, by layering them over a long sleeve shirt. (Some places actually sell tshirts with the long sleeve built in, which makes zero sense to me.)
Gap sells good sturdy long sleeve Ts and they’re only $9 when you buy 2 or more. When the season’s over, cut into short sleeves and iron on an appliqué, or use as a shorty pajama top.
I favor leggings over tights, as they are sturdier and warmer. Only little girls can really pull off the dress-leggings-mary janes or boots look, I think.
I am always tempted by the stripey leggings, but since Cassidy’s dresses tend to be patterned, black or gray make more sense (and are cheaper, too).
I buy one sweater dress every year from Gap Kids, and I’ll tell you why. They are indestructible and they are roomy. They tend to fall somewhere around just-below-the-knee, with long loose sleeves, and Cass has worn these for three years running: first as a long dress as intended, then as a shorter dress with leggings, then as a 3/4 sleeve tunic sweater with jeans. And then I hand them down to another little girl and they still look awesome.
I really love this year’s sweater dress! Very Audrey Hepburn.
I should note, I do buy the dress early in the season because they tend to run out of sizes. But I don’t give it to Cass until Christmas.
This is pretty much what serves as a fall jacket for my kids- they go straight from hoodie to snow coat. I buy them at least a size big to get two years+ out of them. Cass still has a couple from last year (hand me downs, hoodies that are broken in are perfectly acceptable). One is on the smallish side, but I like the look of a shrunken hoodie over a long sleeve T, as worn by our secret-telling model here.
While looking for that photo I discovered that Gap hoodies are 30% off online and in store until August 24th. Just FYI.
I have the world’s slowest growing daughter, so I don’t need to buy her any shoes. Overall we’re a black Converse kind of family, and then Cass has these Keen winter Mary Janes for dressing up and for inclement weather. I love that combination in a shoe.
I got them for dirt cheap from 6pm.com and they appear to be a good, quality shoe. She’s been wearing them around already in spite of the faux shearling inners; she claims they’re really comfortable and whatever, I guess I have no choice but to believe her.
My boys, on the other hand, have been outgrowing shoes like crazy, so we’re sticking with reasonably priced Converse for now. Jacob’s next pair of shoes will be the same size Jeff and I wear (yes, I have giantess feet and wear the same size as my husband) so I’m thinking he’ll be getting a pair of Doc Martens boots- stylish, hard-wearing, all-weather and can be handed down to me 🙂
P.S. I give my kids shoes for Christmas. And winter coats. Is that wrong?
Do you feel pressured to buy, buy, buy at back-to-school time?