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.
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?