Clothing and Shoe Thoughts

Updated on July 30, 2011
D.L. asks from Columbus, OH
10 answers

Hi Moms!
Clothing and shoe questions. With school starting back up soon, I was just curious as to what some of you feel are wardrobe staples for your grade-schooler sons; DS starts 3rd grade in the fall. Also, do you spend a little more for quality items? What do you do about tennis shoes – the cheapest or higher quality? And, how creative do you let them get with their outfits? Sometimes DS will put on a top and bottom that I’m not sure exactly what made him think they went together, LOL! Do you let it go (depending on where you’re going) or make them change?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the great responses!!! A lot of you seem to feel the same way I do. @meganc - I agree!!! I refuse to buy another pair of Skechers - he has had 2 pair and they both have fallen apart (and the lights quit working on one shoe)!!! Thank you all!!!

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answers from Boston on

I buy higher quality but I shop the clearance and sales of off season. Right now I'm buying shorts a size bigger than what he wears for as low as 2.99 they have adjustable waist so he will get use out of them in he spring as well. I wait until pants/jeans go on sale at children's place and stalk up. They have pretty good sales plus usually you can get a 15-20% off coupon to add even more savings. Childrens place jeans are among the few brands I have found that old up in the knees. For shoes I buy Nike or adidas and I am able to pass them down again I wait for a sale famous footwear has buy 1 get 1 half off and that includes sale and clearance shoes. Why buy cheap clothes (walmart, target, etc) when you can find better brands that will hold up better for cheaper than the cheap brands.

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answers from Columbus on

No one put this out there, so here it is... I did a lot of shopping for my kids at the local thrift stores. When they were in elementary school, I found quite a lot of good quality clothing really inexpensive as well as in new or nearly new condition. When they were in middle school, I let them look for their own choices and they were happy with what the found. My son was really picky about brand names, and was a lot happier being able to get something brand name from the thrift store rather than the no-brand stuff from KMart, or Walmart. Shoes were usually bought at Payless, or Sears, but I always steered away from "manmade" materials. Usually, that doesn't hold up well at all. Thrift stores today are getting a lot of new (still with original tags) items from stores that donate excess/after clearance items. I think this gives them a tax credit. Anyway, thrift shopping helps your budget and helps some good organizations.

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answers from Washington DC on

Payless Shoes are great! I spent $50 on Sketchers and he destroyed them in a month. The $20 Payless Shoes lasted until the growth spurt so 6+m.

Sears brand Canyon River Blues are really nice, not expensive and have held up well for us.

Shirts - this spans my 'shopping addiction'. I try to get him 5 new shirts just before school starts, then probably 2 new shirts a month, unless he has a growth spurt. Which luckily happens around Christmas.

I let him pick what he wears. Even if its to not wear a belt when he needs one. He learned the hard way one day in gym class why a belt is a good thing.

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answers from Rochester on

Quality tennis shoes all the way. They last longer, but more importantly, are SO much better for your feet. If you want to see proof (although you may not actually want to do this) compare the feet of two fifty year old women, one who's worn K-Mart specials and one who's worn quality shoes. HUGE difference. That's the one thing I splurge on, as far as clothes go. Good socks, and good shoes.

Let them be as creative as they want, that's what I say! Sometimes I just want to cringe at what my daughter comes out with, but really, who cares? As long as it isn't inappropriate or offensive, I say green light.

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answers from Topeka on

My son who is going into 2nd I buy name brand shoes for him Nike,Adidas,New Balance he will get a few new ones to start off the new school year.As for stapled items socks & undies a few packs of each,several new t-shirts,shorts & a few pairs of jeans & sweat type hoodies) for the just in case days.I spend about $400.00 just on clothes & shoes for him.Now for sister who is in preschool she will get Nike shoes then a few pairs of Payless she isn't hard on them so Payless sneakers are fine for now,new socks,shirts,shorts& jeans by the time the new school year rolls around they don't have enough jeans that still fit them properly.I shop for sale & clearance items even better when I have coupons,my kids aren't hard to please so anything with characters on them are great for now Walmart & Target are the places I hit up most of the time Kmart was for summer dresses.I also like OldNavy,JcPenny,Sears,&Kohls.All school year I buy them clothes/shoes so they always have a closet full.As for dressing them my daughter will pick out her clothes does a good job my son does to but I must say from the day I had a baby I have always laid out their clothes & still continue to do so no arguments from them they just get up & get ready for the day .

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answers from Dallas on

I am trying to get as many tshirts and jeans for my 5 yr old boy as I can. I don't go for quality, because I can see him growing as I look at him! He is terribly hard on shoes and I think torn up shoes make a kid look shabby. So, I'm trying to buy well made shoes. Not expensive, but well made. There is definately a differance. For my girl, she has tons of sundresses and sandals. I am trying to buy her cardigans and shrugs to wear over her dresses and clothes toed shoes. It's 1000 degrees in Texas right now, with no sign of it letting up, so, I'm not thinking about fall clothes yet. We wont see fall until the end of October. If I buy fall clothes now, they will already outgrow them before the can wear them.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I have a daughter going into 4th grade. For clothes, I mostly stick with inexpensive, partly because of our budget, but mostly because one unfortunate spill or art class mistake and a shirt or pair of pants could be history. If I spent $5 at Target or Kohls for them, I don't cringe so much.

She picks what she wears, but she is so concerned about "matching" that sometimes I wish she would get more creative. I have to be sure to have done all the laundry so that she has a matching outfit to wear.

With shoes I will spend a little more, so they might last through one school year. They need to fit well and she needs to like them.

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answers from New York on

I have teen girls.

When it comes to sneakers, I want quality. I want them to last and I want their feet protected.

I also think layering is great for school. Often when the head off to school in the morning it can be cold, but it warms up by the time they come home. Also, the temperature in one classroom (gym, cafe, etc) to the next can vary significantly. So t-shirts paired with a hoodie.

I don't buy high quality clothing, unless I find a great deal. Kids grow so fast.

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answers from Toledo on

My DD has school uniforms so I like to buy for quailty. If they only get one use out of a cheaper version it really isnt cost effective to buy replacements. if i spend a bit more money on quaility stains come out easier and the wear is much longer. With shoes I always buy GOOD quaility (I have horrible foot pain) since they wear them all school year..I usually buy stride rite or the payless smart fit brand.
As far as not matching, it does bug the heck out of me BUT they have to wear a uniform any other time so I feel this is their chance to express themselves.

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answers from Kalamazoo on

Jeans and T shirts.
Sweatshirts to go over Ts for winter.
By 3rd grade my son could wear 1 size shoe for the year (mostly) so I would spend a little more on shoes, but not more than $40.
Bottoms are basic so any shirt will go with - it's fool proof!

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