Kids' school clothes

What are back-to-school clothes

Back-to-school shopping is a tall order! There's so much to get and everyone else is shopping at the same time. You might wonder what kind of clothes are a good choice for back to school shopping. Besides that, how many tops or bottoms should you get, and which type? If these questions have been bugging you, check out the basics for great back-to-school clothing choices.

Required Uniforms or not?

The first big factor when choosing back-to-school clothes is whether or not there are school uniforms. If so, that will clarify the exact types of basic clothes you need to get, such as boys' school uniform khaki pants and blue polo shirts. If winter gets cold where you live, you'll still want to get accessory items and outerwear, such as boy's winter gloves, warm hats, and girl's winter jackets. If your child's school doesn't require a uniform, then it's up to you to buy clothes that match their wants and needs.

Boys versus girls

Back to school clothes shopping is going to vary depending on whether your child is a boy or a girl. For example, boys don't have as many one-piece clothing items available to them as girls do. That said, be careful about buying too many girls dresses or other one-piece items for girls, as they are harder to mix and match.

Boys clothes can also tend to be more durable, out of the assumption that boys are more active. When shopping for a girl, be sure that what you're getting is made to last. Another factor that changes depending on a child's gender is the accessories they need. Boys may need ties for formal occasions such as dances or certain clubs. A girl with long hair might need clips or ponytail holders.

Don't forget about shoes!

Footwear needs will depend on the school's dress code, your child's style, and their needs for classes such as gym. At the least, a durable and comfortable pair of regular shoes is a good idea, and if they can double as gym shoes, all the better. For that reason, a good set of sneakers is a must!

Dress shoes are also a good idea, especially if your child is a teenager who will be going to formal events such as homecoming. If the dress code allows it and your child finds them comfortable, feel free to get some sandals, flip-flops, or other open footwear. They'll be more comfortable during the hottest months of the year.

Preparing for heavy weather

Depending on the climate you live in, you'll also want to get certain outerwear items in preparation for extreme weather. In general, a windbreaker or another type of solid jacket is good for general weather protection. In rainy states such as Florida, you may want to get your child a raincoat. For places with snow, winter boots, mittens, hats, and coats are essential. If you have to worry about the sun and heat, get your child some hats or other head protection that will fully shade the face and neck.

How many of each item?

How many of each general clothing article you buy for your child will depend partly on how often you do laundry in your home. For homes that do laundry frequently without issue, a smaller number of clothing items will work fine. For bigger households or ones where getting laundry done is more complicated, you may want each child to have enough clothes to last more than a single week.

The absolute basics

If this is starting to feel complicated, don't worry! Here is a baseline for what a child should have going into a new school year:

  • Four or more short-sleeved tops.
  • Two or more long-sleeved tops (more if it gets cold where you live).
  • Three or more pairs of jeans.
  • Three or more other bottoms, such as pants, shorts, and skirts.
  • At least one hoodie (more if it gets cold).
  • Two or more sweaters.
  • A good pair of athletic shoes.
  • At least five pairs of socks, tights, leggings, etc.
  • Seven or more pairs of underwear.

Shop for all four seasons

It might sound like getting everything your child needs to wear for school is a tall order, but you can make things a lot simpler by shopping for clothes that match with as many seasons as possible. For example, short-sleeved shirts can work just fine in every season, even winter, if worn with a jacket. Whereas items like summer dresses or winter hoodies will not be usable outside of their appropriate seasons. The more seasons of the year your child can wear the same clothes, the fewer items you have to buy.

Back to school shopping can feel like an ordeal, especially with multiple kids, and you can't just buy whatever they want. However, knowing that you're successfully preparing your children for the upcoming school year makes all that hard work worth the effort. 

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