Back to School Clothing Checklist

Back to School Clothing Checklist

It’s that time of year again! The summer is coming to a close, and back-to-school clothing shopping is just around the corner. Make your back-to-school clothing shopping a breeze by starting with a list of all the must-haves.

School Capsule Wardrobe

Whether your child needs a uniform or just appropriate casualwear for school, keep in mind how handy a school capsule wardrobe can be. By having the basic mix-and-match clothing they need ready to go, school mornings will be less hectic in your household. At least a month before school, set aside an afternoon to go through your child’s closet and do a back-to-school inventory to see what still fits from last year. If they’ve outgrown anything, save it for a younger sibling or donate it to charity. Make a list of the necessities they need with some input on what they want as far as colors and styles.


Every kid needs basic pants, and five pairs is a good amount to have on hand. Unlike adults who may wear the same pair of pants a couple of days in a row and keep them tidy, kids need a completely fresh set of clothes every day. After all, a kid’s day at school doesn’t just consist of sitting at a desk. There’s lunch and recess to consider, which could wreak havoc on their outfits before the final bell rings. Chinos, jeans, and joggers are all excellent options depending upon the dress code of your child’s school. Neutral colors are usually best, with navy and black having the advantage of hiding stains the best.


Every child will need enough of both short-sleeved and long-sleeved tops in their capsule wardrobe to get through a week of school. Seven is a good number for tops so that you’re covered no matter what the mercury reads, plus you can get through the school week without having to do laundry. Polos are always a nice choice for a crisp look, although many schools are fine with t-shirts. Kids’ graphic t-shirts can be a fun way to express their individuality.

School Uniforms

If your school requires uniforms for school, Lands’ End has you covered boys and girls of all sizes. Whether you need polos and chinos, sweaters and skirts, or anything else, including spirit wear, we’re a one-stop shop.

Jackets and Coats

Unless you live in year-round warmth, your child will need at least one jacket and one winter coat, along with a hat and gloves. Kids’ sweatshirts are also a great go-to when the weather starts to change or if their school is a little too well air-conditioned. In the Midwest, snow pants and boots are also necessities. Even if the weather is still warm, start looking around for jackets and coats. Make sure that your child tries on last year’s outerwear when you take your clothing inventory. Kids’ growth spurts are challenging to predict. They may be okay with the same winter coat as last year, or they may need a new one that is two sizes larger.

Shoes and Boots

Kids always seem to outgrow shoes faster than anything else. So make sure that they have a few pairs of good day-to-day pairs to wear to school. Starting with sneakers is usually a good move, as they will go with all their casual outfits and allow them to run and play. A pair of dress shoes is good for special days at school, while nice warm boots for winter are also key.

Backpacks and Lunch Boxes

Backpacks aren’t officially clothing, but kids can be opinionated about choosing their accessories. The right backpack will coordinate with their wardrobe, including their jackets and coats, and keep them fashion-forward — even if that just means that they want to represent their favorite cartoon character. A backpack is necessary because it’s amazing how much stuff kids must take to and from school. With all books, papers, tablets, art projects, sports gear, and more they have to tote to school, backpacks are a vital part of the back-to-school wardrobe.

Lunchboxes are another accessory that needs to be both functional and fun. Unless you anticipate that your child will eat a hot lunch at school every day, having a lunch box that can fit a meal, including a drink, is key. If they love their lunch box, maybe they’ll even eat some of the healthy snacks that you put into it.

Back-to-school shopping will be a breeze with a good list, and the school year will be off to a great start!


Related Articles