Bid farewell to super casual tank tops, shorts, swimsuits under dresses, and pajamas all day long: Summer vacation is ending, and it’s time to start thinking about some back-to-school outfits for the little ones. If your kids don’t wear a uniform to school, then you may be wanting to buy a few items to add to their fall and winter wardrobe. Or, your kids might be begging you to get them a few fun, new things to wear on the first day of school. Either way, since school clothes tend to be more casual and are prone to getting beat up pretty quickly (think recess and art class mishaps), you probably don’t want to spend a whole lot. Fortunately, there are plenty of lower-cost back-to-school outfit ideas out there that probably won’t drain your back account and will still be cool enough to garner your child’s approval.
Picking the right clothes for your child really comes down to finding out what style they like and going from there. Is your little one sporty and casual? Or, do they prefer to dress up and look a bit more polished and put together? Do they like to wear graphic tees that display their interests, or are they more into minimalist clothes in solid colors? Once you figure out what they like, buy some versatile basics that can be worn with lots of different pieces over and over again. The below back-to-school outfit ideas are budget-friendly and will fit pretty much any style your kid might be into.
Sporty back-to-school outfit ideas for kids
Even if your sporty kid prefers to be in comfortable, functional items that they can move around in, you want to spend your whole back-to-school outfit budget on athleisure items like sweatpants or sweatshirts. Versatile pants or sets are great picks and look good while still having that sporty feel to them.
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Preppy back-to-school outfit ideas for kids
For kids with preppy style, look for easy polo shirts and dresses that can be worn a lot of different ways. Striped options with a bit of a nautical feel are fun for the first few weeks of school when the weather can almost trick you into believing it’s still summer.
Minimalist back-to-school outfit ideas for kids
Minimalist style is probably the easiest to buy for — thanks, kid — because you really just need some great basics. A matching set in a neutral tone is easy since it can be worn separately or together, and a great pair of jeans and a plain shirt will go far during the entire school year.
Maximalist back-to-school outfit ideas for kids
Maximalist style goes by the philosophy that more is more: Think bright colors, bold patterns, and no neutrals in site. This is such a fun way to dress your little one and there are lots of choices. Tie-dye shorts are great for warmer weather, while colorful sweatsuits are versatile. And really, you can’t go wrong with a sequined jacket.
Feminine back-to-school outfit ideas for kids
For the kids who love wearing all things lace, floral, and magical, there are a bunch of sweet dresses that are so easy to wear and style. They’re great if you want something more dressed up that is still functional.
Casual back-to-school outfit ideas for kids
Casual, laid-back clothes make the best basics for any kid’s wardrobe because they give kids plenty of wiggle room for play. It’s nice to get them dressed up sometimes in cute dresses or nice linen shirts, but casual clothes are really the normal go-to. Opt for versatile shorts and bottoms or sets that can be mixed and matched.
Trendy back-to-school outfit ideas for kids
Kids definitely don’t need to follow all of the latest trends (no one does, really), but if they want to, then the below options are great choices for even a tight budget. They’re stylish and feel on-trend, but they’re versatile enough to last a while and they don’t cost an arm and a leg.
Boho back-to-school outfit ideas for kids
A mix of casual and whimsical, boho style is easy, carefree and, well, bohemian. Laid-back essentials with fun details, like floral pants or a graphic tee, are cheerful options that your little ones will love.
Finding clothes your kids will be excited to wear back-to-school that are also budget-friendly is easy with any of these options. Many of these lower-cost back-to-school outfit ideas will also stick through the fall and winter, and even the spring if your kid doesn’t grow too quickly. Snatch them up while you can.