Back to School: Getting a deal on clothes for kids

Preparation for the inevitable return of school can be expensive. There are the school supplies, haircuts and the biggest expenditure of all — back to school clothes.

Big name retailers, from Costco to Old Navy to Superstore, undoubtedly offer inexpensive deals for kids of all ages, but for parents who want to frequent unique but affordable shops, there are Vancouver options with clothes cool enough to pass the test of young, urban fashionistas.

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For those heading to preschool or kindergarten there is Beansprouts at 4305 Main St. The clothes are built to last and eco-friendly. The store caters to kids up to eight-years old. (They have a few things for big kids, too.) There is also a “pre-loved” section, which has the least expensive options in the store.

Speaking of unique, Angel Vancouver at 2 Powell St. in Gastown has a good selection of kids clothes. For those who really want to stand out this year, order a one-of-a-kind hand painted item. Prices are a little higher than off-the-rack clothes but are affordable for wearable art by a Vancouver artist.  

Because it is a national company, Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), at 130 West Broadway, may not be entirely a unique option, but it still merits a mention for its reasonably priced and comfy clothes for kids of all ages. In particular check out MEC kids’ T-shirts, sturdy outerwear and tights that stand up to even the most active outdoorsy child. (There is a one-time $5 membership fee to join the co-op.)

Often a thrift store is the best option yet for outfitting young scholars on a dime. MacGillycuddy’s For Little People is a Dunbar favourite that has been around for 30 years.

This upscale kids’ consignment store at 4881 MacKenzie St. carries a good selection of quality and brand named school clothes up to size 10. Items are often 50 per cent off original prices.

Value Village at 6415 Victoria Dr. also deserves a thrift store mention. With the right patience, kids and parents can find hidden gems at very affordable pieces. Value

Village’s selection of jeans, in particular, is worth a look. Often there are designer jeans for at least 25 per cent off the cost of new. Just don’t wait until the day before school to start shopping. A productive “VV” haul requires at least one long visit or several return visits to get the best deals.

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