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Clothes Calls: Your No-Tears Shopping Guide!

Teens shopping
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Shop Smart
Many Motherboard Moms told us that they talk to their kids about style versus brand name. They explain to their kids that they can create the same look for less if they shop smart.

Scout out the sales. Spend time on retailers' web sites to turn up sales. And mark the tax-free weekends on your calendar! Stores may be crowded, but you won't have to pay sales tax on back-to-school clothing and other items. Consider this: Without sales tax, you might be able to snag another shirt for the money you would have spent on tax, says kids' clothing buyer Melissa Keswin.

Do a preemptive walk-through. Teens and tweens are notoriously fickle, so there's a lot of mind-changing when it comes to shopping (as if you hadn't noticed). "Tweens often get so excited about shopping that they'll jump at the opportunity for new clothes even if they don't really like them," Keswin says. To avoid buyer's remorse, Keswin says, "take her to try on several options, take notes of the ones she wants, then take her back in a week or so and she'll likely be more honest about the outfits she really likes."

Save some school shopping until after school starts. This may seem counterintuitive, but the designer flip-flops everyone is wearing the first week of school may not seem so cool two weeks later. "When it comes to trendy items, buy the bare minimum and promise your tween that you'll shop again once school starts," Sutton says. "By that point the Uggs or North Face jacket she really wants may have become a passing trend."

Tell Us What You Think
What's the strangest thing your child ever wore to school?

Spidey jammies? Toe socks? A teeny-tiny mini?