Teens Guide to Back to School Shopping

With a just a few weeks left in summer it’s time to start thinking about Back to School shopping. If like many teens, you’ve been hard at work this summer, it may be time to spend some of your hard-earned cash on clothes for fall.

If you’re lucky your parents are going to kick in some financial support to further enhance your wardrobe. Either way, you’re going to want to make smart purchases. This guide should make Back to School shopping relatively painless and maybe even a little fun.

Getting Started

1. Set a budget. Remember you don’t want to buy a year’s worth of clothes all at once. The weather (and styles) is bound to change. Sit down with the folks and come up with a number that’s reasonable for the year, then divide by three. The first portion of the clothing budget will be what you use for BTS shopping.

2. Contact your school to see if any rules have changed when it comes to your dress code. Things may have changed over the summer and it’s best to be prepared before you head out to the mall or get online.

3. Read up on the styles in your favorite magazines. Websites like Seventeen.com, Cosmogirl.com or TeenVogue.com can help you spot trends.

4. Make a list of all the items you will need in the upcoming year. Include clothes for gym classes and any other special activities you may be participating in (soccer, cheerleading, band, etc.).

5. Before you whip out the credit card, give last years clothes a review. See the list below for ideas on cleaning and organizing your closet.

6. Once you are sure you have the list prepared, tear out pictures from magazines or print images from the Internet to show your parents. There’s no need buying items they are just going to make you return. Save everyone some aggravation and agree to approved styles before you plunk down your cash.
7. Save your receipts until you’ve tried everything on and made sure the clothes fit properly.

Getting Organized

Set aside an afternoon to sort through your closet. You may want to enlist a fashion-savvy friend to help you weed through the options. Crank some inspiring tunes and get busy getting organized. Bring three bags or plastic storage containers with you. Mark the containers:

1. Give: These clothes are in good shape but no longer fit your body or your fashion sense. You can give them to charity or sell on them on Craigslist.com or eBay.com – it’s your choice. Maybe you can even organize a clothing swap with your friends. Little siblings may snatch other cast offs up.

2. Keep: Clothes that fit and still meet your fashion standards.

3. Toss: if the clothes are stained, torn or otherwise damaged, add them to the rag pile for cleaning or toss them with the trash.

Ikea, Hold Everything, and The Container Store carry products designed to help keep your closet under control once you’ve done all the hard work of clearing up the clutter.

Fall Fashion Trends for Girls:

o Jeans are skinny and continue to be low-rise.
o Pleated skirts.
o Leggings worn under mini skirts. Black is the most popular color though other colors are starting to pop up.
o Rounded toe shoes – like ballet slippers.
o Bags with lots of pockets and zippers (Marc Jacobs make the pricey versions but Old Navy makes great interpretations).
o Military jackets with metal buttons.
o Victorian inspired tops and blouses.
o Cargo skirts and shorts are a great look for fall.

Fall Fashion Trends for Guys:

o What’s new in denim? Think skinny legs (like the classic punk rock band the Ramones). Low-rise waists are also popular.
o Horizontal striped polo shirts layered under long-sleeve tee are cool.
o Skate boarding inspired clothes are popular with logos prominently displayed. These styles tend to be baggy and loose.
o World Cup mania is going strong: Look for soccer jerseys and logo gear from Adidas, Puma and Nike.
o Camouflage and cargos are still cool.
o Vintage-looking t-shirts & rugbys (or the real deal – vintage clothes from your Dad’s closet).
o Belts and shoes are also inspired form vintage collections. Converse sneaks are still hot.

Top 10 Teen Clothing websites

Lovetoknow.com lists the following as the top ten websites for teens to find their favorite fashions.

1. American Eagle Outfitters
2. Abercrombie & Fitch
3. Old Navy
4. Pacsun
5. Urban Outfitters
6. LL Bean
7. Fashionmall.com
8. delias.com
9. gojane.com
10. Torrid

Shopping Advice

Shopping can be a minefield for teens. It’s hard to make your parents understand that you have a unique style that differs from what they want to wear. Here are a few ideas to make the shopping easier.

* Involve your parents in making the shopping list.

* Once you’ve agreed to a budget, stick to it! Your parents will be impressed with your maturity and who knows this may be the next step to even more freedom.

* Look for bargains and promotions before you buy. Many retailers offer BTS savings and specials.

* Remember:
o Don’t give into peer pressure. Buy clothes that you feel comfortable in and that will make getting dressed fun.
o Don’t shop with friends who have unlimited clothing budgets, you’ll only get frustrated by your own monetary limits.

Now that you know here to looks and how to approach your Back to School Shopping, here are a few budget-friendly ideas for your teen wardrobe: check out your local resale shop for cool name-brand clothes a deep discounts, organize a clothing swap with friends what old to them is new to you, and consider a part-time job at your favorite clothing store: You’ll gain valuable work experience, received a discount on clothing and be able to sock away some cash. Groovejob.com is a good resource to locate potential employers.

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