How local parents shop and save on their childrens’ clothing
Madison Atkinson of Eutawville has an unusual sense of style.
Her mom, April Atkinson, says she can always tell her 7-year-old’s mood by what she puts on in the morning. Fashion means a lot to her and her daughter.
“I believe that fashion helps children make a statement of who they are,” she says. She lets her daughter pick out her own outfits when shopping.
“Their little minds are so creative and, yes, there have been many times that I have said, ‘You want that?’ But watching her confidence burst out putting that outfit on brings a smile to my face every time.”
Michelle Helferich of Summerville says her daughter, Kayla, 8, and son, Lucas, 4, don’t care too much about what they wear.
“I think because they are still young,” Helferich says. “But I try to give them choices of what they want to wear each day out of their closet.”
Lucas is excited about clothing with characters on it, such as Spider-Man, while Kayla likes to wear dresses that flow.
Tips for parents
As a parent, it can be hard to shop for children’s clothing.
“Kids go through growth spurts and grow out of their clothing so fast,” says Susan McWatters, Belk regional vice president and Citadel Mall store manager. “They (parents) really must think forward when shopping for their kids.”
She says parents should think about buying children’s clothes for the long term. “Kids might not wear the clothing now, but will in a few months.”
Kathie Sizemore, a Summerville mother of two, not only takes advantage of back-to-school sales, but also marks her calendar for the best times of the year to buy clothing.
“I am buying summer clothes for next year now since everything is deeply discounted,” she says.
Clothing quality is important to Sizemore’s strategy.
“I pay attention to the quality of lines and how they change over the years, and I am loyal to the brands that I know maintain their quality over time,” she says. “I am not trendy; I stick with cuts, fabrics and styles that are classic. I don’t have time and money to waste on the myriad of new brands out there.”
But quality doesn’t have to be expensive, she says.
“I am a consignment-aholic. I consign a lot of my children’s clothing, and I also purchase a lot of clothing on consignment. If clothes are made well and cared for, they can last for more than one season,” she says.
To Helferich, price is most important.
“Kids are kids, and clothing will not last on them. They play hard and grow up quickly,” she says. “I shop the sales and clearance racks.”
Jeff Thompson, manager of Gap Inc. in Mount Pleasant Towne Centre, says this fall’s children’s fashion revolves around reclaiming inventive American style. For girls, it’s all about colored skinny jeans, and for boys, action stretch jeans are in.
“It’s all about denim this season,” he says.
“The price of denim is coming down,” she says, “which is great for everyone.”
She also says she’s seeing more skinny belts and day- glow belts this season.
“Kids are putting them on for a pop of color, which is ‘the thing’ now. It’s all about color, color, color,” she says.
This year’s school uniforms even show more character than in previous years.
“There is more detail,” McWatters says. “For example, the sleeves on girls’ PK tops are a little more feminine and don’t look like the boys’ polo shirt. Different choices in skorts for girls and even some dresses are stylish for back to school. Leggings and two-piece outfits are also popular.”
Reach Shannon Brigham at 958-7393 or on Twitter @shannonbrigham.