Edmonton·FROM THE ARCHIVES

Aug. 28, 1990: Top trends cost big bucks when back to school shopping

Keeping up with the latest fads in back-to-school clothes was a struggle between budget-conscious parents and kids who wanted to look cool in class.

’They know what they want and you usually give in’

On Aug. 28, 1990, Parents had to pay a premium for their kids to have the latest back to school fashions. 1:34

In 1990, as always, keeping up with the latest fads in back-to-school clothes was a struggle between budget-conscious parents and kids who wanted to look cool in class.

Reebok shoes and New Kids on the Block T-shirts were the must-have items for the 1990-'91 school year — and parents were willing to pay.

New Kids on the Block T-shirts were a top trend for kids shopping for school clothes in 1990. (CBC)

"They know what they want and you usually give in," said one mother shopping with her son.

The in-demand clothes usually came at a premium price and children weren't always willing to compromise. 

To make clothes more affordable for parents, Beth Jenkins from Alberta Consumer and Corporate Affairs suggested they only pay for the basic cost of an item.

"Parents might say: 'Well, listen, I was willing to pay maybe $15 for a plain T-shirt and this costs $25, because it's the latest style or the latest fad. If you can contribute the extra $10, I'll pay the basic $15,' " said Jenkins.

A parent having a difficult time with her child choosing clothes for the 1990-'91 school year. (CBC)

That advice, Jenkins said, would make children think twice about whether they really want the new item or not.

In the video, CBC's Matt McClure follows families trying to balance popularity and price while shopping to get ready for school.

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