Julie Morris is in power shopping mode. “We are trying to do everything today,” says the Gilbert mom, scouting back-to-school clothing with her son, Nelson, 13, and daughter, McKenzie, 11, on a recent Tuesday afternoon at Superstition Springs Center in Mesa.
Julie Morris is in power shopping mode.
“We are trying to do everything today,” says the Gilbert mom, scouting back-to-school clothing with her son, Nelson, 13, and daughter, McKenzie, 11, on a recent Tuesday afternoon at Superstition Springs Center in Mesa.
With the start of the school season, parents and children are making their annual pilgrimage to the malls, opening their wallets for backpacks, shoes and new outfits.
Families with school-age children are expected to shell out an average of $231.80 on clothing and accessories this year, up slightly from last year’s $228.14, according to a national survey done for the National Retail Federation.
How these families decide to tackle spending for the new school year varies.
Kelly Forsythe of Mesa prefers to do most of the shopping before her sons Garrett Rickert , 16, and Connor Rickert, 13, head back to school. Forsythe says she’s budgeted $150 per son to update their wardrobes. The teens, who get new clothes throughout the year, were looking for skater-style brands such as Hurley and Quicksilver to wear their first week back.
Sean O’Brien, 8, of Mesa also was checking out the skater-style apparel at Dillard’s, eyeing a pair of plaid shorts and solid T-shirts. Mom Brandi says she set aside $200 for Sean’s school clothes.
But not all parents have a definite budget in mind.
Morris says her family’s one-day shopping expedition is based on what her children grew out of and need, rather than buying with a fixed limit. Nelson, who describes himself as a jeans-and-T-shirt kind of guy, was looking for classics like Levi’s, while his sister was browsing for new shorts and tops.
Amy Wong of Chandler says her back-to-school shopping routine for sons Jake, 10, and Josh, 6, is flexible.
“We’ll get a few pairs of shorts and shirts, and a couple of months later we’ll come back,” says Wong, adding if something catches her eye and her sons like it, she’ll typically buy it. Wong says she prefers to space out the shopping than do it all in one fell swoop: “My sons hate to shop.”
Fall kids’ trends
• Hoodies — with sherpa or thermal lining, all-over prints, and styles with thumbhole s and iPod slots, says Jim Christie, merchandise manager for Dillard’s Southwest division.
• Skater style — layered shirts, long shorts
• Prints and plaids
• Fitted jackets
• Baby doll tops
• Bermuda shorts