It’s only the end of July, but believe it or not, it’s time to start thinking about back to school!
I know, I know-it’s hot out, the kids are running around in bathingsuits and flip flops. School seems like a speck on the horizon-here in Upstate NY we don’t go back till after Labor Day. But those 6 weeks? They will pass in a flash and next thing you know it will be early mornings and packing lunches!
Walmart has a cool new tool you can use to help get ready for back to school-the Back to School Closet Creator. They asked me to create a closet, buy a few things for one of my kiddos and tell you all about how it works.
After using the tool myself (don’t worry, I’ll get to that in a minute) I realized that there are three really great ways this tool can be used by the frugal minded.
#1- Budgeting back-to-school better. You can build your closet with the exact size, brand and style of clothing your kiddos need and see exactly how much it will cost. That way you’ll know if you are right in the ballpark, if you need to set aside extra money or if you need to cut back on what you are buying.
#2-Time is money, so save time. Make your whole closet ahead of time and head into the store with a very specific list! That’s a great way for a busy parent to save time.
#3-Real world education. Why not use this opportunity to get your kids involved with shopping and teach them some valuable life skills about budgeting and priorities? Use the Closet Creator to set a budget and then let your child choose their own clothing and build their own outfits. When they are done you can have a discussion about how they did on their budget. Looking at the outfits they created is a great way to discuss multifunctional clothing and getting the most “bang for your buck”.
So on to the tool! I decided to build the closet for Buddy. Sure-it can be more fun to shop for a girl, but that’s exactly WHY I chose him-I wanted to show you that planning a wardrobe isn’t just a “girl” thing. However, if you really want to see a cute girls closet check out the one my friend and fellow Walmart Mom Jennae of “Green Your Decor” made for her daughter. It’s adorable!
The closet creator tool was easy to use. You just go to the Back to School Closet Creator on Walmart.com:
See those pink buttons on the bottom? You can just go and browse other folks ideas (which is great if you aren’t confident about picking out styles yourself) or you can go straight to “Create Your Own Back To School Outfits”.
Then you start your closet. I chose boys ages 5-12 (Buddy is 9), narrowed down the age range to 7-9, named the closet and gave myself a budget (note: you can adjust these things later-I wound up changing the budget to $110)
If you want to save your closet you’ll need to connect through Facebook. If you don’t want to, that’s fine. You can “Continue and Save Later”. Connecting with Facebook does NOT post anything to your account. You will only post updates to Facebook if you choose to later~I promise!
Then you’ll be in the closet creator.
This picture is from after I’ve built my closet-but the sections are the same. Across the top you will see the name of your closet (Buddy’s Closet) a slider with your budget (starts at $0 and moves as you add items) number of outfits you have created from the items you selected (stays at zero till you start building your outfits), number of items in closet, and possible outfits.
Then you can see that below the blue bar there are tabs for different types of clothing. Sets. Pants. Shirts. (note: these are items from brand you know and trust like Fruit of the Loom, Danskin, L.E.I and Wrangler as well as Walmart’s own Old Glory brand). You just choose a tab, use the gray slider on the right to scroll down and select the items you are interested in by clicking on the “+” that appears when you hover over an item. Those will appear in a box on the right (you can’t see it here, it’s under the “save this closet” section). Remove items from your closet by clicking the X.
When you’ve got all your items you click on the pink “Make/View Outfits” button on the right.
They you will just add items to the outfit by clicking on them. They appear in the big box so you can see how they go. Save each outfit as you build it! Easy! You can even print out a list of the items that you selected to take in store or you can even buy things right there online.
For Buddy’s closet I chose:
3 pairs of pants-jeans, khaki cargos and camouflage cargos.
1 long sleeve polo
1 long sleeve t shirt
1 button up shirt/grahpic t-shirt combo
4 printed/patterned t shirts
1 printed long sleeve shirt
1 pr sneakers
The tool stated that I’d be able to make 27 outfits with those items, but utilizing layering (I’m in the north here folks!) I came up with 50! The long sleeve white polo and the long sleeve red t-shirt were huge outfit multipliers–I could layer them under most of the t shirts. And of course the zip up hoodie could be worn over all of the t-shirts. It also helped that I kept the colors somewhat similar-I used mostly red or orange for the highlight colors-which meant that most of the items coordinated.
So what do you think? Are you going to check out the Walmart Back to School Closet Creator?