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10 Back-to-school wardrobe staples for kids

You can’t escape the TV ads and store promotions — it’s back-to-school time!

School essentials

You can’t escape the TV ads and store promotions — it’s back-to-school time!

Back to school girl and boy

With the store shelves stacked high and kids begging for every brightly coloured item, it can be confusing to work out what exactly your family needs for the upcoming school year.

Note: If your child is required to wear a school uniform, you might be wondering about accessories. Every school has its own policy on what is acceptable, so make sure you check with it first. However, we have some suggestions:

  • Simple jewellery, such as a necklace and small pendant
  • Small stud or hoop earrings
  • Hair clips and ribbons in the school colours
  • White undershirts and singlets
  • Simple clothes for sports/spirit days that don’t have offensive or loud logos and images

We hope to make your preparations easier with this top 10 list of wardrobe essentials:


Indoor shoes

Once your kids are in the classroom, they’ll have to pop on a good pair of “indoor shoes.” Make sure they’re comfortable and fit well, as your kids’ little feet will spend the most time in them.

Also, this is probably the only area you don’t want to go second-hand. Get your child a good pair now to ensure they’re well-supported throughout the year.


Gym shoes

Again, you’ll want a pair of well-fitted gym shoes for your children. Most schools require that they are non-marking to ensure their gym floors stay in good condition, so make sure the soles comply with what your school expects.

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Easy-to-wear pants

If you have younger kids, then you’ll want to find pants (jeans, cords, cargos, etc.) that are easy to pull on and off. Little hands can often find it hard to use the top button, and when they’re in a hurry to go to the bathroom, a simple pull-off pair will save them from any accidents.


dresses and skirts

While your girls might want to pick out the trendiest or most colourful dresses and skirts, encourage them to choose items in basic colours, such as black, navy blue, grey, etc. Let them express themselves with their tops and accessories instead. And make sure hemlines are appropriate for school.


Gym clothes

Depending on the school, your kids might need a good set of gym clothes (plain or uniform). Most parents don’t have to worry about this until high school, but it’s still good to check with your school’s guidelines.


Quick-wear coats

Before long, it’s going to be cold, so start looking around now for coats that are easy to put on. Think big buttons or easy-to-use zippers. If you don’t want to drop a lot of cash on coats, many second-hand stores offer coats that are in good condition.


Underwear and socks

It might seem obvious, but don’t overlook restocking your kids’ drawers with new underwear and socks. Take advantage of the sales that are on now rather than look for underwear later in the year when holes start to appear. If you have a daughter, consider whether she needs to start wearing a sports or training bra.


Long johns

For those cold mornings walking to school or waiting for the bus, your kids will want a few pairs of long johns to keep them extra warm.

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Toque, scarves and gloves

There’s no denying that you can’t pass on this wardrobe trifecta. Whether for the trip to school or for lunchtime, your kids will need to bundle up with a toque, scarves and gloves. Check the stores for value packs to help save on costs.



Like most parents, you might buy clothes just a little bigger in anticipation of the rapid growth most kids undergo. So a good belt or two is invaluable and will ensure your children aren’t constantly pulling up their pants.

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