Making the Grade: Back to School Shopping with Your Grade School Child

Because you can never have too much back to school information, here’s another bit of advice when mapping out your march to victory….It’s that time of year! Your child needs school supplies and clothes. Where do you start? How do you pay for it all? Here are some tips for making the grade with your grade school kid this year.

Dressed for Success

Your grade school child may not have the picky tastes of a teenager, but he or she is going to need some new clothes this year. Go through last year’s clothing and find out what fits and what doesn’t. This includes shoes, socks, and underwear, too. Grade school kids can grow really fast! Here are some more ideas for clothes shopping with your grade school child.

* Plan your shopping trip for a day when you don’t have to rush, and when you don’t have anything planned the night before. Being rested and ready helps everyone’s mood, and so does being able to take your time.

* Call the school where your child will be attending and make sure there aren’t any changes to the dress code. If your child will be attending this school for the first time, then find out what the dress code is.

* Keeping it simple helps a lot. Depending on his (or her) age, he will be better able to dress himself as the year goes on. Having easy-to-fasten clothes can help a lot to facilitate this process. Tough buttons (or lots of buttons), lacings, belts, and small head-holes can make dressing a frustrating experience. Go for clothes with large head-holes, zippers, and easy (and few) buttons.

School Supplies

Moving on to school supplies – like the clothes, it’s a good idea to check with your school and teacher to find out what specifics might be required. Some teachers specify brands, colors, and so forth. Here are some other tips for shopping for school supplies with your grade school child.

* Go generic on writing items like pens and pencils. Getting fancy, unique writing implements only leads to competition in the classroom and the possibility that your child’s fancy pens will get stolen. Unless the teacher requires otherwise, go with standard #2 pencils.

Markers should be water-based, and crayons are usually needed in packs of 16. Consider a box to store and carry these small, easily-lost items.

* Erasers are always needed in grade school. A large, pink eraser like you had in school is a good purchase. Some erasers that fit on the ends of pencils are inexpensive additions, too.

* Your child’s school may not supply paper like they did in the old days. Find out from your teacher/school if you need to supply ruled (lined) paper, which will differ from teacher to teacher and grade to grade.

* Notebooks come in many forms. Your grade school child will probably need some spiral-bound ones as well as some binders. Think slim and trim so the notebooks fit in your child’s desk, no matter what type is required.

You also might want to purchase some dividers or pocket folders to help your child stay organized.

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Beyond Basic Black for the Working Moms Wardrobe

Kids back to school, mom heading back to work?  Well the RichMama has your back to work wardrobe issues solved.

Corporate black – for many of us, the workplace dress code always meant black, black, and more black. Today, though, it doesn’t have to be that way. More and more workplaces are embracing color. Here are some ways to add color to your work wardrobe.

Solid Tops

Colorful knit tops or a jewel-tone silk blouse can add a splash of color to a blazer or suit. It’s considered a good idea to go with solid colors here; jazzy patterns may not work too well.

Say It with Shoes

There are so many options for colorful shoes these days, and when you’re talking color, the cheap ones are not necessarily more or less colorful than the expensive ones. Go for a pair of colorful pumps or jazzy flats, or even dress sandals (wear colorful toenail polish!). Unlike boots, pumps, flats, and sandals can be colorful without being distracting.

Necklaces and Jewelry

Put some sparkling color around your neck with necklaces. There are so many possibilities here, from polished glass beads to rhinestones on colorful cords. Stay away from tacky or heavy necklaces, but choosing something with a nice pop of color can dress up even a drab outfit.

Bracelets and earrings can be worn for the same reasons, adding a splash of color to business attire.

Handbags

Handbags are where you can bring a bit of whimsy and jazz into the workplace without catching a lot of flak. Patterns and colors can spice up a plain suit and show a bit of your personality. If you like, start small – carry a little handbag with pretty colors. Then, depending on your workplace atmosphere, maybe you can work up to a large, patterned handbag.

Scarves

Scarves were a workplace stand-by not too long ago, but you can bring them back in all kinds of ways. Folded scarves can work as a headband for your hair, or you can find various ways to tie them around your neck. You can also use them as a creative alternative to a belt. Solid colors might be a good place to start, or subtle patterns that match your work outfit.

Belts

Tucked-in shirts and elaborate belt buckles were popular in the 80s, but you can still dress up an outfit with a solid band of color around your waist. Belts can add color to pants or skirt outfits, and you can add a matching handbag for color coordination.

Colored Suits

If you want to really go for it, wear a solid-colored suit. To create the least controversy (if you have that kind of workplace), choose one where the style is fairly conservative and traditional, just colorful.