5 Essentials Every Kid Needs to Head Back to School

5 Essentials Every Kid Needs to Head Back to School

The countdown is on! With the start of the school year on the horizon, you’re probably getting yourself into that first-day state of mind. There are supplies to track down and kids’ clothes to buy, and lunches to plan. It can all be a little bit daunting—but if you’ve got yourself a handy checklist of essentials that every kid needs to head back to school in comfort and style, you’ll feel far more prepared to tackle everything that’s on your agenda.

It’s all about covering the basics. Sure, you might find that your kid needs a few more wardrobe essentials as the year progresses, and many of those needs might be based on the season. However, these classic items will make it easier for you or your child to put together easy outfits virtually every day of the week. With these garments in their back-to-school collection, they’ll feel consistently comfortable and stylish. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Polo Shirts

Think of kids’ polo shirts as the ultimate wardrobe wonders. They’re available in both long- and short-sleeve varieties; they’re easy to wear year-round, and you can find them in numerous colors. During fall, they’re great to layer under sweaters or cardigans for a pulled-together look. Girls can easily wear theirs with anything from skirts to slacks, while boys can pair them with jeans or khakis.

The beauty of a polo shirt is that it’s a slightly more refined option than a standard T-shirt or pullover. The collar helps pull the look together, so the outfit can be a little more formal if preferred. At the same time, polo shirts are inherently casual and laid-back. They lend themselves well to scaled-back outfits that are great for anything from the first day back to school picture day.


Today, there’s so much more a pair of kids’ jeans than a good fit—although that is by far the most important detail of all. You’ll find jeans for boys and girls in a wide range of styles, including comfortable pull-on options that even have adjustable drawstrings to help them find the perfect fit. Some jeggings look fantastic with breezy tunics and loose-fit graphic T-shirts.

Casual jeans are, of course, super easy to wear year-round. Whether they’re rocking them during springtime with a tee or wearing them with a cozy sweater during fall or winter, they’ll love the way that denim rounds out their wardrobe. They aren’t limited to basic blacks and blues, either. You’ll find them in a wide assortment of colors and even some fun patterns. Stripes, unicorns, and outer space themes are just a few of the playful varieties you can add to their closet.


Nothing says “welcome back” like a trusty backpack. The quintessential companion for every kid, schoolbags are available in a variety of styles, sizes, and colors. There are even patterned varieties for kids who want to express themselves and add a pop of something interesting to their everyday look. Even kids who wear uniforms can usually get away with a bold and eye-catching backpack.

They’ll use these for everything from their textbooks to their after-school gear, so the bag you select should be spacious and feature plenty of space for them to stay organized on the go. With pockets, compartments, laptop sleeves, and water bottle holders, you’ll find virtually every option they need to keep everything they tote along to school in its rightful place. That’s a big win for parents, too, who won’t have to worry about helping their kids organize their bags.


Sweaters range from lightweight to heavy, so it’s a good idea to invest in a few different varieties for the school year. Cardigans for girls and boys are ideal for wearing on cooler spring days and throughout fall. They can wear them on mild winter days, too. The advantage of a cardigan is that it’s incredibly versatile. They look right at home with everything from jeans to khaki pants to dresses.

For a warmer alternative, a cozy pullover sweater is a must. They can layer it over a long-sleeve top when it’s cold outside or stash it in their backpack if they suspect temperatures might drop later in the day, or tie it around their waist when they’re on the move. Styles range from easy solids that go with everything to bolder hues and eye-catching patterns. Tie-dye, anyone? How about stars or stripes? Let them go wild choosing their favorites!


Comfortable footwear is a must for kids headed into the school year. You usually need to snap up at least a couple of pairs of shoes for kids to ensure that they always have something to keep them comfortable no matter what the weather, the season, or the activities planned for the day. Easy slip-ons and ballet flats with sturdy rubber soles offer plenty of traction and nestle their feet in all-day comfort.

For gym class, practice, and games, they’ll need supportive sneakers that provide adequate cushioning and plenty of energy return. During winter, a pair of boots with insulation and a thick rubber sole is a must. Investing in a few pairs early in the year is a great way to ensure you’re ready for anything—rain or shine.

The beginning of the school year can be a little overwhelming, but with a few basics in their closet, you’ll feel readier than ever. Offering comfort, a great fit, and good looks, their classroom essentials have never been so perfect.


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