First things first. Decide what is needed by cleaning out her closet. The items that are in good shape but no longer fit can be taken to a consignment store. The Style Exchange will pay you cash on the spot. This usually yields a little money to invest in some of the items you’re replacing.
Be sure to toss the damaged items, and set aside ones that need minor repairs, like adding buttons. Promptly take these to the dry cleaners if you know you won’t get around to repairing them.
Moms can usually buy after-season sales, (Feb. for winter wears and Aug. for summer wears). Because it’s hard to gauge how much your daughter might grow in a years time, it’s usually best to buy season to season.
Shop at stores you know won’t break the bank. Teen clothes usually last for one season, either because of wear or size. Don’t invest too much if she’s still growing.
Stores known for being “Teen Stores” typically are made from cheaper materials and either pill quickly, snag or are easily damaged by washing machine use. Some of the stores I have listed are notorious for cheaper fabrics, and that’s why I might only buy accessories there. Item’s that need to be of better quality, like bras, should be purchased with higher standards. Jeans can be bought at less-expensive stores because they’re made of denim—a stronger fabric by nature. I rarely skimp on shoes because if my feet hurt, my whole body hurts.
Finally, make a list (with your daughter) of the items you’ll be shopping for. Stick to your shopping budget and the list. Map out your destinations and even plan for your lunch-break and an afternoon or early evening snack-break. (Hunger will inevitably ruin a productive shopping trip.) Keep up with your purchases and go directly to sale racks before venturing through the rest of the store. Have a discussion with her—before you begin—outlining your intent to stay on track.
Make it a day of productivity, modesty and memories that will guarantee to last longer than the styles you’ll be shopping forSummer shopping list:
- Finger-tip length solid shorts: (Gap, J. Crew) (White, denim, black, and at least one with a pop of color)
- Light rinse book-cut jeans: (Old Navy)
- Dark rinse skinny jeans: (Old Navy) *By “skinny,” I mean tapered from the hip to the ankle. I do not mean “skin-tight” jeans.
- White boot-cut jeans: (J. Crew)
- New Undergarments if needed: (Dillard’s or Kohl’s) Look for flesh-colored items.
- Tank tops in every color: (Target, Old Navy) To wear alone or for layering low cut tops.
- Short sleeve scoop neck tees: (Kohl’s)
- White cotton blouse, that can be dressed up or down: (Dillard’s or Kohl’s) Avoid linen blends due to their “must-iron” quality.
- Dresses: (Dillard’s, Kohl’s or TJ Maxx) Knee-length, (or no more than 4” above the top of the knee) that can be dressed up or down
- Casual knit dresses: (Target, Old Navy) These can double as swim cover-ups, same length as above.
- Shrugs or a cardigan for chilly nights: (Dillard’s, TJ Maxx, Kohl’s) Basic black and/or white
- Flats and wedges, Metallic flip flops: (Gap, TJ Maxx, Dillard’s) Shop for shoes that meet a variety of outfits.
- Accessories: (Forever 21, Body Central) Shoot for inexpensive accessories, they are the easiest option for changing an outfit, especially when trends change so quickly.
- Swimsuits Tankini’s are perhaps the best option for modesty, style and fit. (c) 2012 Rachel Lee Carter, Modeling Christ