TYLER (KYTX) - The new school year isn't far away and that means back to school shopping isn't either. Some parents may feel pressured to buy their kids the high dollar latest and greatest. But could you justify buying something less expensive and possibly more durable?
Running, playing in the dirt or playing air guitar, kids are a handful. Katie Flores has three handfuls. She has triplets.
"The boy is like whatever, I have a girl that likes pink, the other one likes hats and sunglasses," said Flores.
Her children are 3-year-old Sawyer, Phoenix and Deacon.
Flores said, "They're clothes are pretty durable."
Unlike most parents, Flores makes a lot of her children's clothes. For parents who buy their children's clothes, there are things you should look for to make sure you get the most for your back to school dollar.
When asked, "Name brand would you say, that doesn't always mean it's better?" Tabitha Henry with Hancock Fabrics said, "No it does not mean it's better quality, it's just how its made and what fabric it's made from. The quality of the fabric is really what matters."
Henry is also a mom. "You need to turn your garments inside out, stretch the seams see if they are good, you know pull on the buttons if you're getting shirts with buttons, particularly boys school pants be sure the knees are reinforced , that's a weak spot for boys, make sure the crotch is double stitched."
It may seem like a lot of work, but you'll know what you're paying for.
"If you see through it, it is not stitched good. when you turn it inside out and the seams are crooked it will not last very long do not get them," said Henry.
Something else that won't last long, zippers that get stuck, and when it comes to shirts, Henry said.
"I know it's hot in Texas, but make sure the fabric is a thicker fabric, cause a thicker fabric is a better quality and will last longer."
U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that families spent more than $7.7 billion last year to dress their kids for school. That includes students from kindergarten through college.
"Young people are always gonna be victim's of advertising and what they see on TV," said Dennis Baker who is a track coach and works at Raquet & Jog during the summer selling athletic shoes.
Baker said, the ever so popular hundred plus dollar Jordan's and colorful Nikes, look good but aren't always the most durable.
He said when looking into buying sneakers, running shoes or tennis shoes, tennis shoes will hold up the best.
"But it's not gonna be as stylish and as comfortable, said Baker.
He said the more stylish running shoe may only last six months.
"Running shoe is made of blown rubber which makes it softer and more flexible, but the blown rubber tends to be less durable than the hard rubber used on the tennis shoe," said Baker.
He suggests a mixture of the two.
"To get probably some type of athletic shoe that has an upper that the parent believes will hold up , but then have a hard rubber bottom on it."
Whatever you buy, don't put it in the dryer if you want them to last.
Put them in the washer or wipe them with a wet rag, then allow the shoes to air dry.
Flores said, that's advice she'll take.
"I have a problem with them out growing them faster than really mess them up."
It you're looking to save more on clothes thrift shops are an option. A lot of people head to places like Goodwill and other second hand stores to find durable generic and name brand clothing at low prices.