Among all of the change that comes along with a child transitioning from elementary school to middle school, one that is new to us is the shift from uniforms to mainstream fashion. Time for back to school clothes shopping! But first…
SCHOOL UNIFORM PROS AND CONS
- There’s no competition in school as to who is wearing what brand, style, etc.
- There are no distractions in the classroom with respect to clothing.
- It’s super easy for the boys to get dressed every morning. All of the solid colored shorts match all of the the solid colored tops. Done.
- In most cases, school uniforms are a slam sunk when it comes to shopping. I order just about everything online.
- The kids do not get to express themselves with their clothing – they are all the same.
- My boys dislike collared polo shirts like there’s no tomorrow. They complain that they are so uncomfortable.
- In some cases uniforms can become very expensive, especially if the school your child attends requires very specific tops and bottoms.
THE SHIFT TO MAINSTREAM FASHION
My boys have “street clothes” that they change into once the school day is over. That part of the wardrobe consists of soft, gym-like shorts and t-shirts. Now that my oldest is heading into 6th grade, we need to outfit him in clothing that is not “as casual” as their street clothes but not formal and rigid as his old uniform.
I planned a fun afternoon of shopping at The Mall at Wellington Green – just N and I. We would walk the mall, dipping in and out of the many stores trying to find his style.
OH, SO SIMPLE REWARDS
Upon arrival, we first signed up for the Oh, So Simple rewards program. Once you spend $250 at the mall, you will receive a $10 credit to your credit card. There is no time limit to add up to the $250 either. It’s super easy to sign up too – all you have to do is visit one of the kiosks around the mall, enter some basic info and swipe the credit card (or 15 max credit cards) that you will be using to purchase items throughout the mall. You receive a text and email confirmation that you’ve signed up and the fun begins. (You can also sign up ahead of time HERE).
(If you swipe a debit card, be sure when you check out to ask them to run it as a credit card in order to get the credit). Shortly after I purchased from each of the stores, I would receive an email confirming my purchase – I was super excited when I received the email that I received the $10 credit!!
WHERE TO BEGIN?
Our first stop was Hot Topic. N is a huge anime fan and loved browsing around. He wished one of the hooded sweatshirt that he loved was a bit smaller, but decided on a keychain for his new backpack.
Macy’s was next – so many great brands that N loves in one department store!
Next stop Foot Locker. We can’t go to the mall without at least doing one lap around. This lap ended in a cool pair of socks that he “had to have”.
I’ve always loved the kids’ clothing in Abercrombie so I steered him inside. At first I received a bit of slack “Why is it dark in here?” and “I don’t like jeans, Mom”, but once he set his eyes on a pair of super soft pants with an elastic waist (it wouldn’t have flied otherwise) and elastic cuffs…Let me just say, he walked out of the store IN the pants, he loved them that much.
On to H&M, one of my all time favorites. N is always chilly so he picked a lightweight long sleeve striped hoodie and matching shorts (I had to instill some “Florida weather” into this outfit). So cute.
back to school clothes shopping continues
School is unfortunately also synonymous with germs. It’s inevitable that kids are going to get colds and worse throughout the school year. I like to protect the boys as much as I can, so I steered N into Bath and Body Works. I love their hand sanitizers. N loved the names of some of the scents and the cool keychains that can hold the little bottles. Being the sweetie that he is, he picked out one for him and one for his brother.
Last stop before we headed to dinner with R and G was Nordstrom. I had to hold myself back from going up the escalator to my favorite shopping areas (not to mention the shoe section, jewelry section, makeup section…) N scored a great pair of cotton twill pants – with an elastic waistband and cuffs of course, another long sleeved shirt and sweatshirt. My husband and little one met us there so G walked out wearing a cool pair of bright active shorts and even brighter t-shirt.
After grabbing a bite to eat at our favorite restaurant at Wellington Green, California Pizza Kitchen, we packed up the Mitsubishi Outlander and headed home. Thankfully the SUV has a nice, roomy trunk to fit all of our bags!
There were so many other stores we wanted to visit – American Eagle, Champs, and Lids to name a few but we can always go back another day! The Mall at Wellington Green is our go-to shopping spot for anything really that we need as well as gifts! Below is the final haul, all laid out. (There is a romper in there for me too 😉
Have you been to the Mall at Wellington Green? If not, it is definitely worth a visit! They have great anchor stores (Macy’s, Nordstrom, JC Penney and Dillards) as well as independent clothing and housewares stores and restaurants!
Check out the mall directory here.
I have an amazing giveaway just in time for school shopping! Enter to win a $50 gift card to The Mall at Wellington Green!