Shopping for teens can be tricky, especially when you are working with a limited budget. They want the latest styles from all of the hottest brands, but your bank account may not be equipped to fulfill all of their requests. Plus, trends come and go with the seasons, and teens are constantly looking for new ways to express themselves. With that in mind, it’s difficult to drop a significant amount of money on a garment that you know they are not likely to wear for more than a few months.
As a parent, you want your kids to have nice clothing that they feel good in. You also want to provide them with the things they want and need without draining your bank account or going into serious debt. Fortunately, there are ways to outfit your teen in stylish clothing without blowing your entire paycheck. Keep scrolling to learn how to shop smart for teen clothing!
Table of Contents
Make a List
Before you even start shopping, make a list of what your teen actually needs. If you and your teen head to the mall without one, you’ll quickly find yourself feeling overwhelmed and likely end up buying way more than necessary.
Take the time to go through your teen’s closet to determine what can still be worn and what needs to be replaced. Then, make a list of what they need. Put the most important items at the top and then work your way down to less important items. Organizing your list in this manner ensures that the most important things will be taken care of even if you don’t have enough cash for the things that aren’t absolutely necessary.
Buy the Basics in Bulk
No matter what styles and brands your teen is into, there are certain wardrobe staples that belong in every closet. Things like hoodies and plain t-shirts are always in style, and they are garments that everyone needs. Instead of spending a lot of money buying the basics at retail prices, consider buying in bulk.
When you shop wholesalers for fashion basics, you can often get several pieces for what you would spend on a single piece at your favorite retail store. And when you buy things like wholesale t-shirts at affordable prices, you have more money left over for those special statement pieces that your teen really wants.
Wait for Sales
Unless your teen absolutely needs something right away, wait for the clothes they want to go on sale before you go shopping. Most retailers have sales pretty frequently in order to make room for incoming stock, so you shouldn’t have to wait long. Sign up for your teen’s favorite stores’ email lists, and you will receive updates about sales, coupons and other promotions. With a little bit of patience, you can save some serious cash on the clothing your teen wants.
Shop Outlets and Discount Stores
If your teen loves name brands, you can save yourself a bundle by checking out outlets and discount stores. Manufacturer outlets are packed with designer clothing that is often sold at a fraction of the normal retail price. If you are shopping at an outlet, though, be sure to pay close attention to what you’re buying. They sometimes sell factory seconds, or garments that didn’t meet their normal quality requirements. Sometimes, these irregulars have very minor imperfections that are a normal result of the manufacturing process and don’t impact the overall quality of the garment. In other cases, however, the mistakes are more noticeable. Be smart when shopping and watch out for any potential problems that may make your teen deem the garment unwearable.
Discount stores–like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls–are great places to score amazing deals on designer duds, too. They carry a wide range of stylish clothing from leading brands, and the selection is always changing. Spend some time browsing the racks of these stores and you will likely find the clothes your teens want at a fraction of the regular retail price.
Buy Secondhand Clothing
When money is tight, shopping for secondhand clothing is a good way to score name brands at rock-bottom prices. If you have the time and patience, thrift stores are where you’ll find the lowest prices. Because they accept just about everything that is donated to them, though, you’ll need to sift through tons of garments your kids don’t want before finding something that they’ll actually wear.
To make things a bit easier, try a consignment shop. They are pickier about what they’ll accept, and they usually only offer up items for sale if they are in good condition. When you are shopping for teens, Plato’s Closet is an excellent place to hit up. This teen resale shop only accepts name brand clothing that is in excellent condition. And since they cater to teens, their racks are filled with secondhand clothing that is as stylish as it is affordable. Shopping at a store like Plato’s Closet isn’t as cheap as going to the thrift store, but it still costs way less than shopping at the mall. Plus, you can sell your teen’s old clothing to earn cash to spend refilling their wardrobe.
Involve Your Teen in the Buying Process
You might think that shopping for clothes when your teen isn’t with you will save you money, but it might not. Teenagers are notoriously picky, and if you shop without them, you run the risk of buying things they’ll never actually wear. It’s best to bring them with you and allow them to pick what they want–within reason.
Before you head out, let them know how much you can afford to spend. Make it clear that you cannot go over the set budget. You may be surprised to see your teen become a more frugal shopper when they know that there is a set amount of money that can be spent. A $100 pair of sneakers may seem like much less of a necessity if they realize there’s only $200 that can be spent. Involving your teen in the buying process is also a great way to help them better understand the value of a dollar and teach them a valuable lesson about spending.
Filling your teen’s closet doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With the tips listed above, you can outfit your son or daughter in clothes they love without breaking the bank.