Back to School Teen Shopping Tips for Less Stress and More Fashion!

Last Updated on August 28, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster

Gone are the days when I could go out to the store and leave my kids home with dad while I shopped for their clothes.  Back to school shopping used to mean that my husband spent a couple hours playing with the kids and I headed to the mall for some peace and quiet.  Yes, when you have small children, malls are considered QUIET places!

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If you are blessed with teens like I am, you have probably learned that they are not as easy to shop for as smaller children. So, in an effort to keep the peace in my house I have come up with a few shopping tips for teens. I hope they come in handy during this chaotic back to school season!

Back to School Teen Shopping Tips for Less Stress and More Fashion!

Back to School Teen Shopping Tips

Shopping with teens can be fun but also incredibly challenging!  Here are a few back to school shopping tips that may make your week a little bit less stressful for both of you!

Know What You Need:

Nothing is worse than having to grab 12 different sizes of the same thing because your kid grew 4 inches since last winter.  Look at last year’s clothes and see if you can get an idea of how much bigger you need to go. Make a list of things your teen NEEDS as well as a few things that they WANT.  Cross stuff off as you pick them up and when the needs are finished, they can move on to a few wants as your budget allows.

Browse online for Inspiration:

Have your teens create “back to school” Pinterest boards and pin styles and specific items they want to find.  Brows fashion websites or online magazines for looks that they want to match while shopping in store.

More Teen Shopping Tips:

Check the school dress code: 

Many schools have a very particular dress code.  No tank tops, mandatory length on shorts, certain types of gym clothes….any variations can get them in trouble with administrators so stick to the rules.  Know the dress code when you head out so you don’t buy clothes your teen can’t wear to school.


Set a budget:

This is one of the most important back to school shopping tips I can suggest.  Not only do YOU need to set a budget but you need to inform your teen what that budget is.  Bring a calculator so you can show them exactly how far that budget it going.

Invite Friends:

Sometimes, one of the best ideas for back to school shopping is to make a day of it with friends.  Having a ‘young opinion’ on an outfit may be a good thing for your sanity.  While you are undoubtedly cool, you are still ‘the mom’.

Plan Your Route:

You are going to want to go to as many stores as possible in as little time as you can.  Preferably without driving up and down the same roads over and over again.  Plan out which stores you want to visit and in what order.  Then, head out with plenty of time to make it through the whole list.

back to school shopping tips for teens

Set your own rules:

One of the most important back to school shopping tips for teens is to talk things about ahead of time. Discuss with your teen what you will and will not allow them to buy for school clothes.  I will not buy t-shirts with rude sayings on them or shirts that have a deep Vneck unless my daughter wears a tank top under it.  Make up the rule ahead of time so there are no arguments and hissy fits in the middle of the store!  Teen hissy fits can be just as loud and ugly as toddler ones!

Make it fun!

Don’t just set out to get what you need and head home.  Take advantage of the time you have and spend the day together.  Go grab lunch in between stores or if your child is old enough, head to Starbucks for a coffee to keep you energized for the rest of your shopping adventure.  Sometimes a day together like this can be an opportunity to reconnect with your teen.  Take advantage of it.  Even if you have to listen to incredibly detailed discussions of what girl is dating that cute boy your daughter has her eye on!

Have any other back to school shopping tips to share?

(post updated and content added since previous publish date)

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  1. Great tips! Especially the set a budget! That's where my son gets me every time!
  2. These are some really great tips for back-to-school with teens! Setting a budget is a "must" with any age when it comes to back-to-school shopping. :) Thanks for sharing.
  3. Great tips. Not easy shopping for teens!

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