With the uncertain economy, my goal for this Fall was to find outfits for my girls that are cute, classic, and won't be worn by every single other little girl in their class.
I like for Natalie and Michaela Byrd to look nice, since nothing seems to fit me particularly well anymore. I hunt for looks appropriate for little girls, and I haven't been disappointed this year. I thought it would be fun to share a few of the ways I've found to save....
- Patience is Key!
I am really picky when it comes to little girls' shoe styles, and I knew I wanted plain brown Mary Janes. After searching high and low (in both expensive shops and bargain stores), I came up empty handed. Everything had peace signs, glitter, or Hannah Montana on it.
Then we happened upon a clearance rack in Target with brown Mary Janes for just $4.98. They had my girls' sizes, so I tossed them in the cart. I like them because the embellishment (just a small leather flower) is not overbearing, and they seem very sturdy. Most of our Target shoes hold up very well.
- Sign up for store email newsletters
- Keep Your Receipts
- Take advantage of promos!
It's one thing to get the store's email and set it aside. But you have to actually plan and follow through when you hear about those great deals. I planned ahead when Virginia had Tax Free Weekend. I made sure to double up those tax free purchases with store bargains like discounts on jeans, "Gym Bucks," and BOGO.
A local department store manager also invited Natalie to participate in a Fall Fashion Show, and they offered shoppers a special discount that day. Scheduling Natalie for a fun fashion morning paid off...many of the Fall dresses and outfits we took home for both girls ended up being close to 75% off!
- Don't Be Afraid of Bargain Stores
We each have our favorite horror story of shopping in the big box discount retailers. If you are willing to dig past the 72 Dora and Disney Princess rhinestone studded t-shirts (particularly at Wal-Mart), you can find some suitable pieces, like these. Consignment sales are also great, but I've done so well so far, I don't need to rely on the big consignment sale for "staples."
I found the adorable little ruffled cotton dress for Michaela Byrd at our local Wal-Mart for just $6.50. It will be great during these warmer Fall months, and we can easily pair it with tights and a sweater when it gets cooler. Natalie's leggings and short-sleeved t-shirt are perfect for a busy kindergartner.
- Mix n Match
Searching for items that you can create multiple outfits with is a big part of saving on clothes. If I buy leggings or a top from Wal-Mart or Target, I always look for things I can pair it with. This little polka dot skirt for Natalie has shorts underneath. She can wear it with a cotton top next month, and tights with a long-sleeve shirt in January. The pink leggings and tops for Michaela Byrd came from Kohls:
To keep mix and match outfits from being too plain, we dress them up with extra special hair bows or clips, and maybe a cute necklace or two.
- Don't forget yourself
Adults are much easier to shop for as we can (hopefully) wear the same size as the previous year. It's hard for me to resist, so I usually do add a few trendy pieces to my wardrobe each season, knowing they'll eventually make their way to the donation bin unlike their classic closet relations.
I'm pairing this uber-affordable Old Navy cardigan with skinny jeans and adorable Oxford "shooties" from Payless. I love that I can embrace a trend or two without feeling guilty for overspending. Add a gold cuff bracelet and some gold earrings, and I'm set!
And as for T, despite my best efforts, he is happy so long as he has clean dress pants for work and some jeans to wear when he is home. After 10 years of marriage, I have learned that trying to make him into my own personal Ken doll doesn't yield great results.
So, there you have it. Some of the best ways I've found to save on Fall clothes this year.
What are your best shopping tips for Back to School Clothes?
If you have a chance, visit Courtney's first day of a Back to School Week series over at Courtney Out Loud, and please tell him I sent you! He's got a great series going on this week!