The styles may have changed, but the rules haven't. Parents building their kids' back-to-school wardrobes know that following a few guidelines is the key to keeping their kids fashionable without breaking the bank. Families are expected to spend an average of $204.67 on clothing items as their youngsters head back to class, down 7.7 percent from last year. Before stocking your children's closets with the retro rock-concert tees, plaids, and thin horizontal stripes, check out our tips for stretching your clothing dollars.
- Take stock. Check out your child's closet to assess what she really needs before hitting the store. Pants and sweaters from last year may still fit for the beginning of the school year.
- Spend wisely. Consider spending more on everyday staples like jeans, khakis, and solid leggings. Trendier pieces, as well as underwear and socks, are worn through more quickly and should use less of your budget.
- Travel a bit. Many states offer tax-free