And as much as I’d like to say it isn’t so. Often, especially for tweens and young teens, fashion is all about the label. It’s their way of fitting in, expressing themselves and aligning themselves with certain groups. As adults, this doesn’t always make sense to us, but to them it’s dead serious.
So what’s a parent to do?
Well, like with all things, deciding on whether or not to buy an expensive fashion item is all about balance and understanding. First off, talk to your kids about how having designer labels does not define them or make them better people. Explain to them the importance of thinking for themselves. Then find out exactly what items are most important on your child’s list and work with your child to make the decision about whether or not the purchase makes sense for your family.
Is your child willing to make sacrifices? Talk to your kids about your family’s budget for kids’ clothes. Is there wiggle room to get your daughter those Uggs she wants if the rest of her clothes come from the Gap and Old Navy sale racks? Is she willing to make that sacrifice? Explain to her that having a budget for clothing means making informed decisions on what items to splurge on and what items to save on. If you can take from her t-shirt budget and add to her footwear budget, she’s just learned to make an educated decision.
Is it the look or the label? How important is it that your child gets the exact label he’s asking for? Will a similar item from a less expensive store do? Sometimes it will and sometimes it won’t. For certain kids’ fashion items, the label is the most important part of the look–unfortunate but true.
Does your child have an allowance? Is he willing to put some of his own money towards the purchase of the sought-after item? If so, consider working with him on purchasing the item. If he’s not willing to spend any of his own money, but still says he wants the expensive item, maybe he’s not ready for the responsibility of owning costly things.
Will your child care for the item? Is your child responsible enough to take extra care of an item that you spend more money than usual on? This is a big factor in deciding whether or not she’s ready to own nicer clothes and accessories.
Can it be a gift? Splurge fashion items make great gifts for kids and tweens. She’ll love it even more if she’s been pining for it for ages.
Younger kids, who don’t understand how much different items cost, could benefit from games that teach kids the value of money. Read more about some Money Games for Kids.