I tend to wait until a week or two before school starts to purchase clothing for the new school year. My observation is that children will grow at unprecedented rates during school holidays. Maybe it’s the sun, and unlimited access to free range snacking? Or the intense amounts of protein on offer during festive holidays? Shoes in particular I have noticed have a scarily fast shrink rate once they hit the wardrobe. I have sometimes left it too late and found all the right sizes have vanished from the shelves, and there’s no time left for labelling.
Now is the sweet spot. Sales are on and people are still fatigued from Christmas shopping. Time to strike! Here are my hacks for back to school clothes shopping.
Basics and essentials
For underwear, singlets and socks, Target, Kmart and Big W are all Femeconomy approved brands. It’s possible to find some excellent specials on basics in the supermarket aisles at Woolworths and Coles too. My tip is when you find it on sale, buy in multi-packs for your children’s current and next size, and then stash the bigger sizes in the cupboard.
I prefer to buy leather school shoes, and also sneakers, because I find them to be more durable and they will stretch for a better fit. The shoes should be comfortable and provide plenty of cushioning and support. If they require ‘wearing in’, ditch them.
Always ask the assistant to measure your children’s feet. Most good stores will offer as a matter of course. If you find a comfortable well fitting brand, stick with it. Also look out for buy two get one free deals. This offers a great opportunity to stock up on the next size at a discount.
Femeconomy approved brands are David Jones, Target, Puma, New Balance. David Jones are currently offering 25% off full priced children’s school shoes.
Puma Smash Fun Junior Sneaker $42 on sale at David Jones
New Balance Athletic Lace Up Cross Trainer $59.96 on sale at David Jones
Most schools in Australia mandate a uniform, and have a local uniform shop they recommend. Some also offer an in-school second hand uniform shop. The majority of parents are happy to accept hand-me-down or second hand uniforms in good condition. This can be a huge saving each year, and is also incredibly convenient, because you don’t have to shop for them! Cultivate a friendship group at school where you can be the recipient and hander-on in this circle of goodwill. Much of the time children grow out of uniforms before they wear out, so this is a brilliant option for saving on landfill.
Outlet shop for Kids, Seafolly and Babes in the Shade are Femeconomy approved swimwear brands.
Seafolly Gypsea Water Surf Set Rashie
Babes in the Shade Girls’ Chevron Rashie $44, free shipping in Australia
Pre children, I used to look askance at the adults who turned up at work with lunchboxes emblazoned with their children’s names, sometimes even sporting a Disney character motif. Now I don’t judge. It’s a universal law that unlabelled property taken to school will be consumed by the ever hungry lost property box, never to be seen again. This was the reason for the continuous shortage of teaspoons in my childhood home.
For the time poor and hyper organised, it is worth investing in an outsourced sticker labelling option.
If you are *frugal*, invest in some permanent markers, and laundry markers for labelling.