All my “Reggies (regular readers)” know that being a mother is my greatest joy. They also know I was blessed with two amazing children. My son, Zay, is a 19-year-old Sophomore at Georgia State University and my daughter, Daja, is a 15-year-old sophomore at Monroe Comprehensive High School. With the above in mind, you must know that the back to school blues are currently weighing heavily in my household.


Each member of my household has the back to school blues for different reasons. Now that I think about it, my son may not even have the blues at all; because he is returning to his place of freedom… College! However, Daja has the back to school blues and I have the back to school shopping blues. Well, I had the back to school shopping blues until I discovered JCPenney’s blues (denim) and their resolution for the things I hate most about back to school shopping.Maui B of PHAT Girl Fresh and daughter Daja Amyia


Please don’t get it twisted, I am thankful that school is back in session especially since I no longer teach in a traditional classroom. However, the thought of back to school shopping gives me anxiety for two reasons; the first reason is financial and the second is the headache of finding trendy, age appropriate clothing for my curvy teenager. So yeah, as if shopping with and for a teenager wasn’t enough, now I must consider my budget and her curves.


As a single mom, I am always on a budget and I know most mothers(married or single) can relate . However, aside from Christmas shopping, nothing challenges my budget like back to school shopping. Between replenishing wardrobe essentials, adding new trendy pieces and purchasing school supplies, I have been forced to rob Peter to pay Paul (classic idiom) several times.


My second and most bothersome issue with back to school shopping, is finding clothing for my curvy teenager. You would think that brands would have learned how to accommodate junior plus girls while perfecting (sarcasm) clothing for plus size women but… nah! My Daja is bottom heavy and this has proven to be a challenge more times than not while shopping for her. Now, pair her size with the fact that she is the daughter of a plus size woman who has empowered her in many spaces, including fashion. PROBLEMATIC! Why? Because Daja understands that her size is only a minor detail and that only style determines whether or not she slays.


Like many mothers of teenagers, Daja fashion choices and style tends to work my nerves at times. However, I know that her fashion choices and display of personal style is a form of expression that she is entitled to. So, although I would love to see her in more dresses, skirts and pants; I let her rock her jeans, blouses and graphic tees. Simply because, I want her to always be true to herself even when it is hard, and it is definitely hard to find jeans that properly accommodate her curves.

Maui B of PHAT Girl Fresh and daughter Daja Amyia

For the past two years, Daja has been forced to settle for jeans that were just okay. Many times, she loved the wash and style, but the fit was always off (inseam, waist and/or length) or vice versa. However, all of that is over! Thanks to JCPenney’s amazing selection of junior plus denim; not only did Daja find clothing that accommodates her style, the fit was great and mommy saved some coins too! Now how can you beat that?


Distressed denim, button fly jeans, black wash denim and high waist jeans… Daja was in heaven! She was able to pair her jeans with more of her faves; graphic tees, crop tops and a denim shirt. Wait, did I mention she also got a cute dress? YES, a dress with beautiful floral details!


Since I know most of are visual like me, stroll down to check out some of the looks Daja created courtesy of our shopping trip at JCPenney. Keep in mind that I only had a $300 budget.Maui B of PHAT Girl Fresh and daughter Daja Amyia Maui B of PHAT Girl Fresh and daughter Daja Amyia Maui B of PHAT Girl Fresh and daughter Daja Amyia Maui B of PHAT Girl Fresh and daughter Daja Amyia

Pretty cute right? Yeah, I know… She get it from her mama!


Here’s some mommy math for you. 1 dress, 5 pair of jeans, 6 shirts and a bookbag; #AllAtJCP for a total of… $202.98! JCPenney cured my back to school shopping blues; thanks to their junior plus fashion options and budget friendly prices. I was able to use the remaining money to shop Boutique Plus for myself and Big and Tall for my son. Yep, JCPenney is my one stop shopping destination for back to school and beyond!


Moms, how excited are you that school is back in session? How is back to school shopping going? Have you shopped JCPenney for your back to school needs?


*Photos by: P. Dillon Photography