Resale shops offer back­-to-school lesson in fashion, fractions

Clothing with popular labels sells for half of retail or better


SAN ANTONIO - On the subject of back-to-school fashion, seventh-grader Haley Sanchez has done her homework and knows what she likes.

"I like skinny jeans, definitely skinny jeans," she said.

But what about parents who don't have fat wallets?

Many, like Haley's mom, Jennifer Ramones, are checking out the racks at resale shops.

"I'm afraid to go to the mall," she said. 

While Ramones does shop the mall for sales, she turned to Plato's Closet, 754 NW Loop 410 Frontage Rd., to find the labels popular with her daughter's age group, like Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, Hollister and Miss Me.

"We're going to go with the $12 pair of jeans and still be American Eagle," Ramones said.

Melanie Van Dyke, who runs the Plato's Closet store, said middle school and high school kids come in shopping for specific labels.

"They just want to have an identity with a group of friends," Van Dyke said. "So, they really just want to fit in."

Van Dyke said  the pre-owned apparel at her store is priced from 50 to 70 percent off retail.

For example, a pair of blinged-out Miss Me Jeans that goes for about $100 at a major retailer, is priced at $45 on the resale rack.

Abercrombie jeans were priced at $20, a Hollister skirt was $10 and a blouse with the Forever 21 tag was priced at $8. Boys' apparel was similarly marked.

A survey for the retail industry showed parents of children grades K-12 would spend nearly $400 on clothing and shoes alone this year.

Kate De la Garza, whose son Ethan is entering seventh grade, said she'd easily spend between $300 and $500.

"We actually budget ahead of time," she said.

While Plato's Closet caters to the teen and young 20-something crowd, the younger crowd can also head back to class on a resale budget.

At Once Upon a Child, 16646 San Pedro Ave, the racks were filled with names like Justice, Gymboree, Aeropostale and more.

An Abercrombie hoodie for boys, that retails for about $40, was marked at $9.50, a fraction of the cost.

As for Haley Sanchez, she was getting a good back-to-school less in fractions. She walked out with two bags stuffed full for a little more than $100.

For a list of recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.


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