How to Prepare for Back to School Shopping

Thank you to Towne East Square for sponsoring this post and for hosting two of our team members for a Back to School shopping day. We had so much fun!

Details on how to enter our giveaway are at the bottom of the post!

Back to School brings a heap of emotions (and nostalgia!), a lot of paperwork, and an overwhelming shopping list. 

As a kindergarten mom who wore uniforms my entire life, back to school clothes shopping seemed like a bit of a challenge. So many choices. So many options. So many little pieces of clothing!

Of course as a busy mom, I love online shopping. But I actually prefer in-person shopping for some occasions – and back to school is definitely one of them. Here are a few reasons why:

1. My kids need to try things on. Because, kids grow like weeds, and I can’t keep up. 

2. Returns are free. (Most of the online shopping I do is from non-local stores, often charging a small fee for return shipping).

3. Fun traditions. I love me a good tradition, and back to school shopping is going to be added to the list! My kiddos loved checking things off their school supply list this year and having a say in their new back to school wardrobes. 

4. The in-store sales are sometimes better than online. Especially on clearance items – I got $5 pjs and $7 pack (normally $20) of undies on clearance in store at Old Navy. 

Additionally, my kids are still at the age where they have short attention spans, so I absolutely have to have a plan before heading into the mall. Below are a few simple ways to make Back to School shopping a breeze:

Take an Inventory. I am that person who goes through my children’s wardrobes at least twice a year. Of course I make impulse buys here and there, but I also try to have a good idea before going on my usual “seasonal shopping sprees” of what wardrobe items are needed or replaced. For example, my kindergartner has absolutely no pants that go past her ankles and both my girls refuse to wear denim. And I also recently made quite a few purchases with all of the massive summer sales – so I knew we didn’t need anything summery and that my girls prefer dresses over pants. I was on the hunt for clothes heading into fall/winter.  

Make a Plan: The mall is large, and there are distractions everywhere. I’m a big fan of making a plan, creating a route, and avoiding all the fun distractions until the very end of our spree. My favorite mall stores are Old Navy, H&M, Von Maur, Dillard’s, and Children’s Place – so those are the stores we visited. And we made sure to park by the $1 merry-go-round, so that it was a constant reminder that was the reward on the way out of the mall (if my kiddos behaved and didn’t fight – that was the deal)!

Stick to a Color Scheme. I have several friends who create capsule wardrobes for their kiddos successfully . I’m not that organized or patient. However, I do stick to a color scheme when we are building a back to school wardrobe. I’m a fan of neutral, meanwhile, my kiddos are fans of all things rainbow. So we compromise with fun prints and make sure that the items we buy are interchangeable and also will easily transition into the next season. (i.e. navy, cream, and gray short-sleeve dresses can easily be worn well into fall with some leggings and cute cardigans).

Don’t Forget Basics & Accesories. I’m usually so focused on scooping up cute outfits and hunting for the best deals (I rarely buy anything that’s not on sale), that I often forget the basics and accessories! So on this shopping trip, I made sure to get underwear, PJs, and plenty of socks – all on sale. And my daughters each got to pick out an accessory as a fun reward and way to incorporate their unique styles. Accessories are a great way to change up outfits and keep them feeling fresh. 

Do you make a plan for back to school shopping?
Or is it a free-for-all?

And a huge thank you to Towne East Square for partnering with us on this post. Just in time for the B2S Shopping Season, they are giving away $50 gift cards to SIX different winners. Check out the WMB Facebook Page for more details! 

Angela Green
Angela is the founder of Wichita Mom, the premier parenting website and community for local moms. Wife to her high school bestie, mom to two girls, and native Wichitan, she is thrilled to be raising her family in her hometown after telling her family for years she "would never move back". She is a strong advocate for mental health, believes in the power of community, and walks the talk of "babes supporting babes". She is a self-proclaimed connector, enthusiast of many things, cheerleader of moms and women, and recently converted homebody.