size 5 ugg boots Find out about hot sellers for back to school ahead of Tulsa’s tax
For parents, back to school time is when you need to try to get the most for your money. Shopping on Oklahoma’s tax free weekend (Aug. 7 9) or shopping resale or consignment events like Just Between Friends are ways to stretch those dollars.
The National Retail Federation’s annual consumer survey shows total combined spending for back to school and college is expected to reach $68 billion in 2015. The average family with kids in kindergarten through high school plan to spend $630 with the average college student or college family expecting to spend $899, according to the survey. Add to that, families plan to spend an average of $97.74 on school supplies such as notebooks, pencils and backpacks, the second highest amount since the 2008 recession.
Tulsan Tammy Applegate said she will be looking for uniform pants, shorts and shirts for her 7 year old son. She said she can spend about $300 and outfit him through the winter by shopping at the Just Between Friends consignment event set for Aug. 23 28 at the Exchange Center at Tulsa’s Expo Square.
“I have been dressing him at JBF for the past seven years from there, and it’s been great,” said Applegate, adding she can find high quality items for reasonable prices at the event. “I get what I can for school there, but I also get things like winter coats, boots, shoes, jeans, sweaters and sweatshirts because he has free dress days and weekends.”
Like lots of kids, he asks for favorites he wants his mother to buy, she said. Those desired items include Under Armour athletic wear; superhero gear such as Spider Man, The Hulk and Green Lantern; and anything John Deere.
“I have gotten things to decorate his bedroom like tractors, a John Deere lamp and all kinds of stuff at JBF.”
Applegate’s child isn’t alone in his love for certain brands. Retailers are seeing lots of brands and apparel trends among back to school shoppers.
Phil Meeker of Hartly New Resale in Jenks said this will be his 28th school season and kids are looking for Abercrombie and Under Armour among other brands.
“Justice is very strong, as are American Eagle, and you can buy them so much cheaper resale but still in good quality condition and tax free this weekend,” he said.
For girls and juniors, bohemian wear, the remnants of the ’70s, are popular sellers this season, said Keith Dockery, store manager for Dillard’s in Woodland Hills Mall.
“Athletic wear is also popular as in shorts for girls and Nike shirts for boys,” he said. “A nice trend in juniors is denim with the worn or aged effects like a little bit of the fabric has worn away and you can see the skin as long as it’s tasteful and appropriate. And skinny jeans for junior girls with more emphasis on how they fit and the wear and less about the decorative pockets this year.”
Converse sneakers are popular in ladies’ shoes, Dockery said, as are throwback brands. Bohemian style flats will be huge. In athletic shoes, even if the kids are wearing uniforms, they make their own individual statement with colorful shoes, he added.
At Lolly Garden in Utica Square, shoppers are going for the popular brands like Tea Collection that features clothing based on a different country every year. This year the brand will be showing a lot of blanket stripes, plaids, bright geometric prints and baroque swirls with plenty of color, said owner Marlow Sipes.
“For back to school, there are lots of wash and wear dresses and tunics paired with leggings and shorts and pants for boys,” she said. “I have three boys who blow out the knees of their pants, and what I love about this line is that the knees are double reinforced with the same color fabric.”
Parents can expect to buy a lot of bright colors this season, Sipes added, including reds, oranges, blues and pinks for both boys and girls.
Tulsa’s Kicks for Kids and Kathleen’s Kids stores are selling a lot of tennis shoes.
At Kathleen’s Kids, parents are buying navy Mary Janes, two tone oxford Keds, Tsukihoshi, Jumping Jacks, Keens, Sperry loafers for girls and a ton of Uggs, said owner Kathleen Marshall.
“People already start picking them up to wear when it gets cold,” she said.
For the most part, people are buying tennis shoes because “everyone needs a good pair,” said Amy James, owner of Kicks for Kids. “Sometimes they buy Mary Janes or flats for little girls, but it’s pretty much tennis shoes.”
James said she is selling a lot of Nike, New Balance, Saucony, Tsukihoshi (Japanese tennis shoes with a cult following in Tulsa) plus boutique brands Lizzie Luca and See Kai Run for back to school shoppers.
For boys’ sneakers, the brighter the color the better. They like to pair them with Nike Elite socks that don’t match, she added.
Boho, or the bohemian look, is big for girls at Drysdales, said women’s buyer Leigh Ann Offield. She’s talking vintage, tunics, high low hem, items that can be worn with skinny jeans or leggings and lots of layering essentials plus shortie boots. Looks that can transition through the season are key, she said, adding that fringe is everywhere this fall.
“The jeans are not so much bling this year but more about embroidery on the back pockets, a little higher rise and boot cut, but we also carry straight legs.”
Denim for boys is still a strong performer for Drysdales, said Frank Lambert, men’s buyer. Wrangler 20x, Wrangler Retro, Cinch for boys and George Strait jeans are best sellers, he said.
Shoppers at Stage in Sapulpa are buying up skinny jeans, lots of Nike athletic wear, graphic T shirts, Converse in lots of colors and a lot of old school looks for girls, said manager Sharyl Leverich.
“It’s more like an ’80s look, lots of layering, the ‘Flashdance’ look and still lots of printed skirts,” Leverich said. “Lots of lace is in style and color bright, bright colors is really in style especially putting crazy colors together like hot pinks, oranges, lime greens and fuschias.”
Ida Red on Peoria is seeing a big rush of college kids “who want to take some Oklahoma gear with them,” said manager Angelene Wright.
“So that’s one of the main things we sell here Tulsa and Oklahoma related T shirts. They want to take a little piece of Oklahoma with them.”