Back to School Shopping Dos and Don’ts

The “Back to School” year is a major time for nearly everyone. From the little kindergarteners who can’t wait to get their hands on Justin Bieber T-shirts to teenage girls who are begging their parents for approval on certain items (like those insanely tight denim short shorts), returning to the classroom means something unique to each person. Whether hoping to gain popularity or finally to catch the attention of the quarterback, back to school fashion is nothin’ to mess with. Kids take it very seriously, parents take it very seriously, and so does our commercialist country.

Ultimately, I think this is one of the best times to recreate your look and have fun with fashion—appropriate fun with fashion, of course.  (Too many young girls are wearing too tight this and too tight that, and growing up so quickly! I can’t say that enough . . . .)   The beginning of a new school year means you’re a little older, a little wiser, and I always think, a little cooler. Whether you’re walking onto a high school campus as a 13-year-old freshman or starting college for the first time at 35 years old, your role as a student will be one of the most important roles in your life. I believe that we should always remain students, by the way. But in a traditional sense, experiencing structured education will leave a lasting memory on you. And um . . . how great would it feel knowing that you are allowing your personality to shine through not only by raising your hand and sharing your opinion with the class, but you are doing so while wearing beautiful color, ready-to-wear trends, and flattering fabric!

But how do you start? I know, that is always the age-old question with any task at hand—just how do you begin the process? Well, whether you have a small child in grade school or you, yourself, are a student, here are my top 5 tips for back to school shopping. It’s all about preparation!

Do: Consider your budget . . . and stick to what you can afford!

Don’t: Bring more than one or two credit cards. This will help to prevent over-spending.

Do: Go through your closet and figure out what is still in good condition, in fashion, and fits well before you shop for new items.

Don’t: Feel that you have to buy a hundred new pieces (have fun styling your outfits and learn how to wear the same item five different ways).

Do: Make sure you know school dress code and shop accordingly.

Don’t: Forget that your (or your child’s) personality is communicated through dress.

Do: Create a shopping list.

Don’t: Just buy on a whim! Think about what is practical and what is extra.

Do: Learn which stores are having the best sales and try to get in first day of their promotions.

Don’t: Wait until the last minute to buy back to school items – the trendy stuff will be gone.

What is the saying, “Old habits die hard” . . .? Well, just because you have been following the same shopping routine for years doesn’t mean that it is actually benefiting you.  Remember, using your credit card doesn’t mean the clothes were free. You still have to pay it back, plus interest.  So just as it may be time to adjust poor study habits in order to become more efficient, now may be the perfect time to adjust the way you approach shopping and styling your wardrobe. And it’s all relative because in order to be successful in each of these areas, you gotta be creative. It’s easy to fall into a rut of what is comfortable and familiar, but when you venture out into new territory—be it new study habits or fashion trends—you will discover something new about yourself. Going back to school was always my favorite time of the year—grade school, junior high, high school, and even college. It’s a season of reviving one’s reputation and recreating a new look. So embrace the new school year with open arms and . . . have fun!

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