FAMILIES in the U.S. with grade-school children spend nearly $690 on school-related items, according to the National Retail Federation. Fortunately, you can be smart about saving and your kids can be in style with some suggestions from stylist and founder of Momtrends, Nicole Feliciano:
• Don’t buy everything in one shopping trip. Get a few basics (socks, underwear, gym gear) plus a few fashionable outfits, but wait until your kids can check out what other kids are wearing.
• Decide on a budget ahead of time. It’s easy to get swept up in the moment. Know what you have to spend before you get in the store.
• Stick to complementary colors. This helps you put together outfits that can be easily mixed and matched to create multiple “looks,” which makes getting dressed in the morning a lot less stressful. A great color palette for boys is navy, gray and orange.
• Transform a basic outfit with a trendy accessory. Pick up a few fun necklaces, bracelets and scarves to make a solid tee or dress look new and fresh. Bright and fun backpacks can also be a great way to update an outfit.
• Look for adjustable clothing. Kids can sprout up a few inches in as many months. Pants and jeans with adjustable waists and hems are excellent for keeping kids stylish as they mature. Many coats also have sleeves that can be lengthened by up to two inches
• Shop the closet. If your kid has a favorite article of clothing, snap a picture of it and bring it shopping with you. That way, you can look for items that can best be paired with it during the next couple of seasons.
• Use different resources to get the best deals. Comb newspaper ads and see what bargains you can find. Also, go online and research your kids’ favorite brands—L.E.I., Hanes and Wranglers, for instance—to find the lowest prices.
For more fashion tips, visit www.momtrends.com. You can also check out www.walmart.com for a broad assortment of quality looks and brand names that both you and your kids love. North American Precis Syndicate