How to Build a School-Friendly Wardrobe for Your Kids

Updated: December 6, 2023 | Published:

Part of preparing your kids to go back to school is making sure they have school-friendly clothes they can rely on. This means providing your children with a selection of clean and well-fitting outfits that comply with the school dress code. Your kids must also feel comfortable and confident when wearing these clothes so they can focus on learning and the day’s activities. Pieces in their favorite colors and preferred styles also allow them to express their personality through clothes. 

Children can quickly outgrow their clothes so it’s important to regularly update their closets. It’s best to do this just before school starts so you can plan to do some clothes shopping when you go out to restock school supplies. Aside from shopping for antimicrobial socks and essentials like underwear, you can help your child build a wardrobe of easy-to-mix and match clothes. This will make dressing easier and save them time getting ready in the morning. Here are five steps to curating a wardrobe selection that suits your kids’ school needs.

School Friendly Wardrobe

Review Each Child’s Wardrobe

As you prepare for the school year, check the clothes in your kids’ closets. See if the items from last year still fit them or if there are pieces that require mending or replacement. Evaluating their existing wardrobe can also help you identify if there are garments that they need more of and what designs you should buy so that they match the rest of the collection. You also want to consider if these clothes suit your child’s age, gender identity, activity level, personal style, and the weather in your area. Take these factors into consideration when drawing up your clothes shopping list. 

Get Multiples of Basic Items

Aside from listing what garments you need to buy, you also need to consider how many to get for each piece. Typically, kids won’t need a ton of clothes as they can re-wear some items, or perhaps your household does the laundry more than once a week. However, some garments should be washed after every wear and may need changes throughout the day. Items that are worn close to the skin such as underwear, bras, tights, and socks absorb a lot of sweat. Having multiples of these essential items allow your kids to stay clean and hygienic.

A good rule of thumb you can follow is for each child to have five to seven pieces of daily-changed items so they have enough to use for every school day. They may also need more if they are into sports or engage in physical activities that cause them to sweat and need a change of clothes. It’s also a good idea to have extras in case there are changes to your laundry schedule or if your child will be taking a long trip.

Consider Building a Capsule Wardrobe for Your Kids

One way to build a school-friendly wardrobe for your kids is by creating a capsule wardrobe. This means filling their closet with essential pieces they can use to put together different school outfits with little effort. Apart from having versatile pieces that kids can easily mix and match themselves, a kid’s capsule wardrobe is more economical in the long run. Since children commonly change sizes at least once a year, having a capsule wardrobe reduces the number of school clothes you need to replace when your kids outgrow them. 

The clothes in the capsule wardrobe will vary depending on your kid’s lifestyle and preferences. To get you started with a general guide on what garments to include, make sure that they have the following:

  • 10 to 12 shirts
  • Two to three pairs of jeans
  • Four to six pairs of shorts
  • A couple of dresses for girls
  • A light jacket
  • A cardigan
  • A pair of sneakers or comfortable shoes, and sandals for the warmer months

Make sure to check with your child’s school for any dress code restrictions so that their wardrobe complies with regulations. Also, your child may need specific clothing and shoes for gym class or a painting smock for art class. If your kid enjoys some after-school activities like sports, their club may have a prescribed uniform for players.

Follow a Color Palette

Follow Color Palette

As you build a school-friendly wardrobe for your kids, remember to make the choices fun for them, too. Most of the time, kids will want to wear their favorite colors. You can take this into account in creating a wardrobe they will fully enjoy and maximize. 

You can choose and follow a color palette using your kids’ favorite color as the main hue. For example, if they like blue and red, pick shirts mainly in these colors. Then, select shorts and pants in neutral shades like gray and white. This makes it easy to match the tops and bottoms, resulting in a more versatile wardrobe and outfits that are visually appealing.

Add Seasonal Items

Since the objective is to create a wardrobe filled with school-appropriate clothes, make sure you don’t leave out seasonal items like thicker or warmer clothing for fall and winter. Also, remember to include some garments they don’t wear regularly but may need for special activities like swimsuits and snowsuits. If your kids enjoy camping, set aside some older clothes they can use for the activity to avoid getting hard-to-remove stains on their everyday wear.

Building a school-friendly wardrobe for your kids doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. You can start by buying items that they need to replace or don’t yet have. Focus on getting pieces that allow your kids to be comfortable and confident. Most importantly, remember to include them in the process and make back-to-school preparations a fun bonding experience.


About Amy T. Smith

Amy is a mother, writer, and your go-to expert for real-life insights into parenting, health, and lifestyle. Amy holds a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and prides herself on finding actionable tips and relatable tales.

Through her blog, AmyandRose, she supports you from pregnancy to the teenage years, offering assurance that your experiences are shared.

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