There are many things that we associate with the kids going back to school: supplies, a new backpack, scheduling, extracurriculars, enrolling in classes, and, oh yeah, clothes. Back-to-school shopping can be the most exciting part of heading back to school for your kiddo, and back-to-school sales can make it more affordable to buy them more of the new clothes they want.
Since styles are constantly evolving and changing, it can be difficult to figure out the right outfits to get for your daughter. Of course, there are many various factors that you have to take into consideration when shopping for new outfits for your favorite girl. Here are some things to consider, some tips for picking the right outfits, and some style inspiration.
What to Consider
The first thing you have to do before you start shopping for your child is to think about the practicality of the clothing you’re going to buy for them. You want to buy clothes that are going to be comfortable and appropriate for the schedule that lies ahead of her. Here are a few things that you should keep in mind before you hit the online stores.
What Will the Weather Be Like?
Most kids start school in late August or early September, but depending on where you live and what the climate is like there, the weather during their first week or two could vary drastically. If fall is a rainy season where you live, make sure to prepare with umbrellas, raincoats, or maybe a new pair of rain boots. If August has your summer temperatures easily hitting the 100’s, a breezy dress or shorts and a t-shirt are a better call.
Prepare for the change of seasons ahead of time by buying a few pieces that can transition from summer to fall effortlessly. This preparation will make it easier to go shopping in the future, so you hopefully won’t have to spend money that you don’t have to (hopefully).
What is Their Dress Code?
Another huge factor in back-to-school shopping is the dress code of the school they go to. If they have a strict uniform, then that’s obviously going to limit your choices a lot, but you can let her express her style with barrettes, crazy socks, or accessories (if they are allowed).
If your school only has a minimum dress code requirement, then you have some parameters to play within. Many school dress codes have minimum length requirements and don’t allow spaghetti straps, tank tops, or muscle shirts. Make sure all of the clothing you buy for school can be worn comfortably by your child and that it won’t get them sent home. Luckily many schools are opening these requirements up a bit, so your child can express herself the way she wants to.
What Sort of Extracurriculars is She in?
If your kiddo has an extracurricular that she will be participating in after school, get her some clothes that can keep her comfy throughout the whole day. If she’s into sports, make sure to stock up on some activewear for her to change into before she goes to practice.
If she’s more into theater, band, or choir, her outfit can usually last the day. You will still want to keep in mind that there is still movement involved in these activities, so they should be at least comfortable enough to allow for a little give. When it’s hot out, she should also pack some gym clothes for outdoor practice.
How Long are Her Days?
You’ll also want to think about just how long she’s going to have this outfit on. If she only needs the outfit to last from the start of the day to the bus ride home, she doesn’t have to stress too much about how long it can be worn comfortably (though, obviously, she should always be comfortable in what she’s wearing).
What Does She Already Own?
A good way to save money and time is to check what clothes she already has in her wardrobe. Kids have a habit of growing nonstop, so you’ll want to see what her size is this year. Have her try on the clothes she already has to check if the items still fit her and to see if she still likes wearing them. You’ll need to know if you have to replace all of her jeans because she’s outgrown them.
This can also be a good thing to keep in mind when shopping for new additions to her closet. If she has a cute black skirt that she loves, try to find some new tops that would look good with it. If she wants to buy a new pair of shorts, ask her if she can think of a shirt she has at home that would go well with them.
Natural fibers like cotton are more comfortable and feel better on your skin, and clothing that doesn’t use synthetics has a smaller carbon footprint in production. Well-made clothing tends to last longer, too, so this can be a money-saving move as well as an earth-conscious one. Quality over quantity is a good move to teach your kiddo while they’re young, as it is a skill they can carry with them later in life.
Natural and recycled materials are great earth-friendly options when it comes to choosing back to school outfits for your little one, and it’s never too early to start teaching them about taking care of our planet!
Stock Up on Options
To make sure that she can dress any way she wants, purchase a wide variety of pieces for her closet. Have a few pairs of shorts and pants, dresses, skirts, and shoes.
As she’s going through her early stages of finding her own fashion, she’s probably going to spend a lot of time changing her mind on what she likes and doesn’t like. Having variety makes sure that you’ll always have something that she’ll want to wear.
Have Casual and Fancier Options
Have a few options for play clothes and more athletic wear, some casual day-to-day outfits for her classes, and then make sure you have a few outfit options for special occasions. Buying nicer clothes ahead of time can cut down on last-minute shopping stress that may arise from finding out about an event that you don’t have time to prepare for.
This also goes for shoes and accessories, which can really change the mood of the whole outfit.
Have a Variety of Different Colors
If you’ve asked your kid what her favorite color is and she has changed it every week, then you’re most likely going to want some color variety in her wardrobe. Pick a few shirts and pants in a few different colors, and then have items like jeans or black pants that can go with any color top or shoes.
Give Her Freedom in Her Style
As much as you may hate the pattern combination she’s choosing to roll up to the first day of second grade in, show her that you support her no matter what.
There are plenty of reasons why you should allow your children to figure out what they like wearing best on their own. It can help to foster mutual trust, boundary-setting skills, and an early outlet for free creative expression.
It can also be helpful for motor skills, as children figure out how to button buttons, snap snaps, and balance while dressing themselves. Offer help if she’s struggling to get her arms through sleeves, of course, but the skill set that dressing yourself develops is important in their growing process.
If She Has Her Own Style, Let Her Choose What to Wear
Developing a unique sense of fashion is an important part of growing up, and it is an important thing to show your unconditional love and support on. You want your daughter to feel confident and comfortable in her different outfits, so trust her to put outfits together that she will enjoy wearing.
If she’s old enough to dress herself and knows what she wants to wear, that’s excellent. This is an important part of her developing her own sense of independence.