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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Back-To-School Clothes-Never Bought Them

One summer day, I was sitting with the other swim team mothers at the pool. The conversation turned to BTS clothes shopping.  Since I never shopped for BTS clothes, I volunteered this. Now, my children were very well-dressed. But, I was not stupid.

The other mothers were shocked at my statement and wanted to know why I did not buy clothes for school. I pointed out my children wore clothing all summer long, and most of it still fit. We live in the South. My children and I are warm-natured. So, summer weight clothing is fine for at least the first month, for sure, and often down into November.

Children down here might wear shorts for a week, long pants for two days along with a light jacket, and then wear shorts again for weeks. We mothers have to be on our toes in order not to send children to school in long pants when it is too warm. I, especially, having warm-natured children had to watch carefully.

If one needed a new pair of shoes because their shoes were too small, only that one child got shoes. Of course, there might have been a whine or two, but generally my children were not happy shopping for shoes. So there was some relief. The one year they both needed shoes, I was pregnant and only three weeks from giving birth. I felt too bad to deal with it and had to have husband go along. None of us were happy!

They did get new crayons, and the old crayons were for home use. It seems the lists from the schools were not as long and formidable as the ones today. I don't even remember a list! Paper and ring binder along with proper pencils and some glue were all they needed. No one used backpacks, and paper bags were fine for lunches.

One woman related to me how her little girl did not want to go to first grade. She made a big deal of talking up the new outfit the little girl was going to wear. Her mother had bought 8 new outfits because she wanted her daughter to have all-new clothing for school. Every day she and her child picked out one of the new outfits to wear the next day. When the child had to start repeating outfits, she refused to go to school without screaming and begging for something new.

My children were very well-dressed even if the outfit was worn at the end of the last school year and through the summer. They had no problem because their clothes were "old." My children wore nice clothing to go to the grocery store. They had to come in from the yard and wash the dirt off themselves with a washcloth and comb their hair and change their clothes before we went out in public. They did not play in these "town" clothes. So, nice things stayed looking nice until fall. Outgrown clothing were put in the yard sale box. Of course, when we went out to eat, they either wore church clothes or nice shorts and sandals for the girls. So, they always needed clothing for the summer and those clothes went back to school.

I might be out buying new shorts the second week of school, but I was not out fighting the crowds with three children in tow, children who really wanted to be outdoors playing.

Of course, when children are older, high school age, shopping is a different story.  But, up until high school, shopping is easy.  Of course, you can be sure I bought clothes a size larger for the spring. Plus, I bought clothes on sale at the end of the seasons.

Now, if a child needed clothes for the beginning of school, I did not make them wear ill-fitting clothing just to save money.

Your turn
Did you do BTS clothes shopping? Did each child get new shoes and clothing for school? Or, did you start them off with clothes worn in the spring and/or summer? Up to a point did you buy clothes larger for the next season?

12 comments:

  1. I am like you and live in the south, plus I only had sons who never really cared what they wore anyway. Since it was blazing hot at the start of school they wore their shorts. I only bought new if sizes had changed or the shorts were torn and couldn't be mended. They all hated to shop anyway and there was no way we would go out just to buy school clothes. I don;t remember about shoes. I guess if they needed new shoes they got them and if not they didn't.

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    Replies
    1. Anne,
      Even though my girls liked to shop for clothes, there was no driving desire in any of the children to have on never-worn, brand new clothes or shoes on the first day of school. I do know one year one child got new shoes and another said, "Do I get new shoes?" I just said the other child needed new shoes and you don't. That was the end of that. No discussion. No more asking. I was the one who was more concerned with how they looked. I made most of the girls' clothes, so there was not much shopping for them.

      Delete
  2. They usually got some new clothes for the start of school and shoes if they needed them. Oldest daughter was always picky so about age 9 or 10, I gave her money and she bought her own clothes and learned budgeting. One thing I did back then for the older two was buy a new lunchbox every year. They really enjoyed picking it out. Do you still sew, Linda? I really enjoyed it but not so much now- I might take it up again and make some Christmas things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no, have not used my machine in a few years.

      Delete
  3. I had to wear uniforms till the end of High School. A knee length navy jumper with white or light blue dress shirts in it. Boring but practical.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I didn't go clothes shopping for school unless the 3 boys did not have enough for a week of clothes. So one kid might need a shirt and another a pair of jeans. Usually by Christmas all 3 needed some clothes so Santa brought them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bellen,
      That is such a practical way to clothe children for school.

      Delete
  5. I only buy what the kids need, when they need it. I'm not into BTS. Just another way for people to spend money.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle,
      Yet, millions of parents buy into this each year!

      Delete
  6. I grew up with four brothers; no one seemed to care about 'new clothes' for school, including mother.
    On the other hand we would have a fun time going to Woolworth to buy shiny new pens, pencils and clean folders, from a list the teachers provided . This was exciting to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ur-spo,
      Your mother had the right focus, unlike the little girl whose mother focused on new clothes for school as the reason to go. I can imagine you boys did have a great time. Her focus shines in your education. I don't know about your brothers. Thanks for the comment.

      Delete

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