It’s that time of year again! School has started and fall activities are filling up the calendar. Growing kids from toddlers to teens need wardrobes that will keep them warm, comfortable, and dressed appropriately for school. Often, that means activewear—whether it’s for class time, morning recess, hanging with their friends in the halls, or actual athletics— and casual is in style and oh so easy. Make it work for you and your kids by being both intentional and stylish with those clothing choices.
Your kids don’t need two dozen new outfits for school but having several that mix and match well can be a lifesaver. Think of a capsule wardrobe, but for kids. A great way to start is with a few pairs of activewear pants with matching jackets that look pulled together. Try to stick with neutrals or colors that are hard to put together in ways that clash (kids can be creative!). To this base, you can add T-shirts—some simple solid-colored kids’ T-shirts, and maybe a few fun graphic T-shirts. If you have a tween or teen, school colors can also be a good choice. They will probably want to collect more of these, and they won’t go out of “style” until they graduate and move on to their next school.
Even with climate-controlled schools, layers are still wise. Whether you are up against aggressive air conditioning or just the changing weather conditions of fall and winter, your kids will need the ability to warm up or cool down appropriately. Think soft fabrics for those layers, too. Comfortable fabrics will keep them happy and focused. A kids’ fleece jacket is always a nice option.
Make sure that you and your kids both understand and abide by the school dress code, but with that said, let them celebrate their individuality. Maybe that means letting your little ones pick out their favorite animated character for some outfits. If they can learn, run, and play comfortably in an outfit, it is probably okay. Try to have lots of solid colors that mix and match, so it’s hard to go wrong when they choose their own outfits.
If you have a teenager, they will probably have plenty of opinions about what they want to wear. As long as their choices work with your budget and the school dress code, give them a little freedom. They may look back on that boy-band T-shirt later in life and smile, but it also might make their school day now. Once again, encourage neutrals for pants and jackets as these can “smooth over” many an interesting fashion choice.
Make sure your kids have the gear they need to play outside throughout the school year. In addition to jackets, kids’ winter coats are key. When shopping for a winter coat, consider how often they may encounter rain or snow and whether the coat is water repellent. If they are still growing, make sure the coat has room to grow so it will at least make it through the school year before needing to be replaced. Make sure it is easy to wash as well. When they are little, kids’ coats may need to be washed weekly, even though an adult’s coat might be able to go much longer.
If snow is a possibility, snow pants that match their coat are a functional and stylish option. In cold climates, hats and gloves are just part of life, so make them comfortable and cute. It’s a great idea to buy extra gloves, too. No one ever lamented having extra gloves on hand when their kid lost one. Some parents will buy two of the exact same set, so their kid can lose either one (or both) and have an automatic replacement that matches. And don’t forget the kids’ winter boots! If you have little puddle jumpers, rain boots will be key (and can be oh so cute). Snow boots and snow pants to match will look fashionable and keep them warm and toasty no matter how hard they play.
It’s hard to guess what the school year may hold, but masks may be with us for a while. Keep it simple by having kids’ face masks handy. Always carry an extra one with you and have a good spot identified to keep an extra mask in their backpack. If they’re little, make it fun with a cartoon character they love. Teens may need a “mask wardrobe” to color coordinate with their outfits. Masks with team mascots or school colors can be fun, too.
With a little planning, your kids can have stylish activewear for school that makes those mornings easier, the rest of the day more fun, and your evenings restful.