Shopping with Tweens: Not for the Weak of Heart

"Which one should I wear on Thursday?"

Up until this year, shopping with PunditGirl has been pretty easy — she wanted certain types of clothes (read: whatever free T-shirts I snagged at the latest blogging conference and soccer shorts), but she didn’t want to waste her time shopping.  All that going in stores and looking at clothes was just too “girly” for her.  So she’s been pretty content to let me do the shopping and come home with the basics.

That’s, um, changed.

Someone slipped a switch a few weeks ago and my 11-year-old “I don’t care how baggy that T-shirt is” tomboy is now spending a lot of time in front of my full-length mirror posing with a hand on her hip and flipping her ponytail back and forth.  She changed her outfit three times on the first day of school.  Need I say more?

Tank tops and graphic tees are now on her budding fashion tween radar, and PunditGirl has somehow developed a definite opinion on skinny vs. super skinny jeans, dark wash vs. light, and jeggings vs. boot-cut.  We must now peruse everything in the store to make sure we don’t miss anything cool.  And did I mention that over the summer she grew several inches so all those clothes I thought would fit her for back-to-school are now ready for the giveaway bag?

Thank goodness she’s always been an Old Navy fan, because we can cover all the shopping bases in one fell swoop and not break the bank, because I know in a couple more months we’re going to be shopping again unless someone puts a brick on her head (yes, I did just say that and, yes, I know I am channeling my mother).  Before school started, we had made one Old Navy stop for some jeans, not realizing that the day we went kids’ jeans were half price.  When the cashier read me the total, I said, “Are you sure that’s right?”  I must have sounded dismayed, because from the look on her face I think she was afraid I was going to toss them back in her face because they were too pricey.  I just couldn’t believe I was getting off the shopping hook so inexpensively, especially for clothes I know PunditGirl will outgrow before the spring.

Later, as we went through last year’s T-shirts and tops, I realized another shopping trip was in order.  So the one day my budding Mia Hamm didn’t have soccer practice, we headed off to do a little more shopping.  And guess what?  ANOTHER SALE!!

We snagged some 6th-grader approved tops that were 2 for $10.

Not to mention some funky jammie bottoms that had been marked down to $2.99!

Yes, there are monkeys on those jammies.

Yes, there was a lot of browsing, but PunditGirl is learning my rules about savvy shopping (Lesson one: always head for the sale rack first!), so we scored four tees, one sweater, and those cool pajama bottoms for well within budget. So even though shopping just got a little more challenging with my new fashion plate, I think we’ll be OK if I can stay within this kind of budget.

‘This post is brought to you by Old Navy. Check out the Kids & Baby Sale in store with great deals starting at $5.’

I was compensated for this post.  All words and opinions are my own.  And PunditGirl and I really do regularly shop at Old Navy.

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