Back-to-school shopping on a budget for teenagers in Fresno

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ByMargot Kim via KFSN logo
Tuesday, August 2, 2022 2:04PM
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Back-to-school budgets are shrinking as fast as inflation is rising, and many families are making tough choices about how much to spend on clothing.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Whether you're a news crew or a single shopper, Pum Bum Society welcomes all guests.

The Fresno River Park boutique is ready for back-to-school.

I brought my daughter, Makayla and her friend, Raeanda on this assignment to find the most for the money at a time when families are deciding where to spend every dollar.

Owner and Personal Stylist, Alma Wolverton stocks her store with the latest trends but with the Valley customer in mind at any age.

"People want comfort," she said. "Comfort is a priority, so anything that's over-sized is really fun. We're also seeing a lot of faux leather, we're also seeing puff sleeves and that's such a great trend for us moms who are also going back to school in some ways. It's good for teachers, it's really universal."

The girls have no problem spotting styles they love within school dress code.

Alma says good quality classics as the foundation of a back-to-school wardrobe will save money in the long run.

"More basics, more neutrals, those are going to last you all year round so if you want bang for your buck, that's what you want to buy," she said.

Basics and more for both girls and guys are wall to wall at Plato's Closet in north Fresno.

The store calls itself "gently used with tags" and sells many of the hottest brands in clothing and shoes at deep discounts.

A men's outfit includes a North Face jacket with original tags, a FILA shirt and Levi's jeans. It's a retail total of $184 and a Plato's price of $56.

The staff sorts through the "best of the best" clothing that customers bring in to sell and sets it aside for the annual Back To School sale.

"We have very popular brands like Brandy Melville, John Galt, anything that you'd find in the mall and that's mostly what people come for," says Manager Mikaila Thomas.

As if the deals aren't enough, Plato's Closet holds a 90% off sale two to three times a year and items can go down to 20 cents! The next one is in October.

Our next stop is a Fresno fashionista favorite, Ooh La La in Clovis, where back to school is front and center.

Tailored looks such as trousers and blazers are making a comeback after two years of lounge-wear during the pandemic.

The girls found plenty of options and a discount to boot.

"Once you're on as a VIP customer, you'll be in for special offers, events going on and every Tuesday, you get 20% off your entire purchase being a VIP text club member," says Manager Ani Tateosian.

Customers can also sign up for a payment plan on the store's website and Ani also offers free personal styling.

So from boutique to budget, local back-to-school shopping never looked so good at great prices.