Tax free weekend, sales of all kinds, peer pressure, and marketing in general tell us that we must purchase a whole new wardrobe for our kids every fall. Complicate all of those factors with the temperatures in August and September versus temperatures in December and January. What they can wear now is not what they will be wearing soon enough. So how many new school clothes should we really be buying?
The biggest variable is how often can you wash clothes? If weekly washing works for you then you will be buying a little more than those who wash more frequently.
Here is a list to get you started, along with my recommendations for each child and it is okay to have a few more but make sure that you aren’t overbuying and can store what you have. For example, if your kids have one drawer dedicated to jeans, when the drawer is full – when everything is clean, that is enough. Purge old to make room for new. Donate clothes that no longer fit or that simply won’t get worn. There are more than enough needy families in any community. If your kids wear uniforms, check with the school about donating to the school to be distributed to families anonymously.
When clothes are only worn for a short period (like church) and are not completely dirty, use a special closet area for hanging clothes or a basket for play clothes to store these.
Remember, children of all ages become overwhelmed just as adults when presented with too many choices. Too many clothes and your kids will wear the same pieces repeatedly; wasting all of the money spent on the others.
Finally, get your kids involved in the clothing pare-down. If they do not like it, don’t make them keep it. Buy them clothes in which they feel good, no one likes to wear clothes that are uncomfortable or make them feel self-conscious.
Happy school shopping!