Growing up, I loved picking out the perfect outfit for the first day of school. My poor sister had to listen to endless descriptions of what I should wear! Part of me felt that if I dressed the part, everything else would fall into place.
So when it comes to shopping for back-to-school clothing, I can understand my children's desire to find the perfect outfit. And while they're concerned with picking clothes that make them happy - as their parent, I'm looking for value for money and well-made pieces. Also, there's nothing wrong with picking a super cute outfit for those first day of school snaps we all post on social media.
I've been a fan of Carter's | OshKosh clothing for my twins since they were babies. I loved the quality fabric and the colourful prints that stayed vibrant through numerous washes. And now that my twins are 9, I enoy shopping from their older kids' line because the styles are classic and the price points are very reasonable. I'm excited that they've recently expanded their kids sizing to extend to size 14! We recently visited our closest store for a back-to-school shopping spree.
Here's the outfit my daughter picked out. Blue is one of her favourite colours so she was drawn to this pretty layered skirt. We used the skirt as a base, and picked out the rest of her outfit to complement it. This was an easy task, because there were so many shirts, leggings and accessories within the same colour palette. We even found a matching necklace and coordinating hair clips! And while this outfit looks adorable worn together, my daughter can also mix and match these pieces with clothes she already owns. For example, the Lovely T-shirt has an oversized fit and will look great layered over black leggings, while the tiered skirt will look pretty styled with a blouse and sparkly tights.
My son will only wear comfy clothing. As much as I yearn to dress him in preppy button-down shirts, I know they'll sit unworn at the back of his closet. I've gotten used to his uniform of a t-shirt, dark rinse jeans plus a sweatshirt. He picked out this "dragon trainer" shirt because he loves dragons. I'm happy because turquoise is my favourite colour on him in photos. He chose the sweatshirt because it's lined with fleece and "very snuggly". I love the embroidered logo's very classic look. My son is very slender but tall, so we were grateful to have a choice between "regular" and "slim" fit jeans. Along with different sizing options, all jeans come with an adjustable elastic waistband to ensure a perfect fit. The hat is not for school. My son picked that out for an upcoming beach holiday. I think it'll be a fun alternative to his usual baseball cap!
My kids will actually wear these "First Day of School" outfits on their first "Dress Down Day" because their school requires a uniform. Luckily, Carter's | OshKosh has a well-stocked uniform section, and my kids need a bunch of button down white shirts.
I was very happy with our back-to-school shopping trip. While Carter's | OshKosh clothes are high quality, their price tags are reassuringly reasonable! My daughter's tee-shirt + skirt + leggings came out to $48, while my son's tee-shirt + jeans + sweatshirt totaled $52 (amounts before taxes).
Our final purchase of the day was pj sets...and apparently you're never too old for a new beanie baby? At least that's what my daughter told me as she picked out this cat from the stuffed animal stand next to the check-out counter.
If you're getting ready for a back-to-school shopping session - here are a couple of my tried-and-tested tips to get you started:
I know it can be time consuming, but you need to do this. Go through your kids' wardrobes and check to see what fits and what needs to be replaced. Take special note of which items got the most wear, and which were left untouched, then use this information to guide your future purchases - there'll be less waste this way!
I often order my kids' clothing online and have them try them on in the comfort of our home. I can see if all the pieces will mix and match with items they already own. If it doesn't work, we return or exchange everything that doesn't fit right away. If you prefer shopping in person, try squeezing it in on a weeknight, so you don't have to deal with crowds and can find easier parking.
Since fashion is a form of expression, it's important for them to be a part of the selection process. Go over the school dress code with your kids in advance, and let them choose within those guidelines.
Finding pants that fit my son can be a struggle so when I find a good pair, I buy it in several sizes. This was especially handy last year when he went up 2 sizes in clothing. Our back-up pairs saved me from having to panic shop halfway through the school year!
Hopefully this helped you find the perfect (photogenic) back-to-school outfit for your little guys and gal so they'll be extra cute when you post your first day of school photos on Facebook.