10 Basic Wardrobe Essentials for the School Year

10 Basic Wardrobe Essentials for the School Year | thegoodstuff

If you’ve taken a look at your child’s wardrobe and thought it might need some help, you might be right. Every morning kids’ brains go through a tough decision-making process just to pick out an outfit they can wear to school.

A good idea is to fill up their closets with a few basic wardrobe essentials for the school year that can be mixed and matched to make new combinations every day. This way your kids’ closets won’t be as jam-packed, and they won’t have to deal with the agony of deciding what to wear every day. Best of all, it will also save you from breaking your bank!

Don’t forget to check out our first day of school outfit guide for family photos, plus a full list of all the great back to school sales this year!

Basic wardrobe essentials for girls

No matter what age group your girl belongs to, if she’s going back to school she’ll need a wardrobe with just the right staples to let her choose something perfect every day. Here’s a basic checklist for all girls to keep their closet well-stocked with pieces that are timeless and will always keep their style “on fleek,” or perfect.


Basic Tees


1. Colorblocked Pocket Tee, $9.90
2. Lace-Paneled Tee, $8.90

Basic tops can be mixed and matched with a number of bottoms. Pair a basic top with some edgy denim or a leather jacket and tada! Your daughter has a new, trendy outfit to wear to school.

Blouses & button-downs



1. Stoosh Junior’s Lace-Panel Peasant Top, $24.99
2. Ralph Lauren Girls’ Chambray Top, $29.99

Blouses are literally a girl’s best friend. They’re girly yet chic at the same time and can be worn with both casually and semi-formal outfits. A chambray button-down is another must-have in her closet because it can be worn by itself or layered over a tank top or basic tee. If your little girl likes to glam it up, she can accessorize her look with jewelry or other accessories. If it’s chilly outside and she needs an extra layer, she can layer her blouse with a favorite scarf or cardigan for a timeless look.

Tank tops


1. Decree® Graphic Muscle Tank Top, $18
2. Total Girl® Fringe Tank Top, $8.99

Tank tops in summer are the best thing to wear. They’re a double dose of comfy and stylish, and go well with anything from denim pants to shorts and jackets to vests. If she doesn’t like to have her shoulders bare or if tank tops are against the school dress code, she can also wear a colorful tank top over a neutral-colored T-shirt.

Casual day dresses


1. SO® Textured Knit Skater Dress, $29.99
2. Pink Republic Bar Back Skater Dress, $24.99

Cute day dresses can be paired with bottoms like opaque tights, capris, and leggings to make dozens of new outfit combinations for her day-to-day needs. Find dresses that can work as a dress and a top, too. She can wear them as a shirt, with a belt cinched around her waist, or as a dress.




1. Indigo Rein Juniors’ Destroyed Super-Soft Skinny Jeans, $34.99
2. Soundgirl Embellished Bootcut Jeans, $19.99

You can’t have too many denim pants. Look for jeans in the basic colors of black, blue, and white for effortless outfit combo creations. If your child likes bright colors, you can now find jeans in anything from maroon to teal to pink, too, for a fabulously fun look.



1. Denim Overall Romper, $27.90
2. Arizona Denim Overalls, $24.99

Overalls are back in vogue! She can wear these to school in any way she wants — with a blouse or T-shirt.



1. Wallflower Juniors’ Wide Waist Shortie Shorts with Belt, $14.99
2. Arizona Cuffed Denim Shorts, $14.99

As summer transitions into fall and winter transitions into spring, she’ll love wearing shorts as a treat. Printed and denim shorts are a cute match for most of her tops. Be sure to make sure her school doesn’t have any rules against wearing shorts to school, too!



1. LC Lauren Conrad Print Leggings, $11.99
2. Ultra Flirt Juniors’ Printed Leggings, $16.99

Printed leggings and opaque tights are a great match for dresses in the fall. These come in dozens of patterns, prints, and colors, making it easy for her to mix and match them for endless outfit combinations.



1. Arizona Paisley Skater Skirt, $14.99
2. BCX Girls’ Dip-Dye Maxi Skirt, $25.99

Skirts are a great way to flaunt her girly-girl style when she goes back to school. Skater skirts go well with casual T-shirts and tops. If the length of her skirt makes you (or her!) uncomfortable, you can pair it with opaque tights. This gives her one more outfit to rock!

Basic wardrobe essentials for boys

While boys may not have as wide a variety to choose from as girls, you can still create different outfit combos for your little man with different types of shirts and bottoms. Here’s a list of timeless wardrobe essentials your son should have tucked away in his closet.




1. School Uniform Oxford Shirt, $12
2. Arizona Button-Front Shirt, $9.99

Button-down shirts may be a bit formal for your boy, but come Fall they can be used to layer over any shirt to keep him warm. If he does enjoy a formal look or is attending a special event, button one up and pair it with khakis.

Long-sleeve shirts


1. Arizona Long-Sleeve Striped Tee, $8.99
2. Tony Hawk® Striped Henley Hoodie, $14.99

Colder days are coming and it won’t hurt for him to have a few long-sleeve shirts to choose from. If it gets really chilly, he can layer a favorite T-shirt over a neutral-colored, long-sleeve shirt.



1. Tommy Hilfiger Boys’ Ivy Polo Shirt, $21.99
2. Chaps Performance Polo, $9.99
If your little man needs to dress up but isn’t a big fan of button-up shirts, a polo is the way to go. Polo shirts can also range from somewhat casual to dressy, so it’s easy to dress them up or down as you need to. Most boys have them in several different colors, so don’t hesitate to have a few as well for your little guy.

Basic tees


1. Urban Pipeline® Heathered Tee, $5.99-$6.99
2. Epic Threads Boys’ Superhero Tee, $8.99
Basic tees, aside from being ultra casual and comfy, are also pieces that he can use as a layer under a polo shirt or a button-down. Plain solid shirts will work with any of your kid’s bottoms and are easier to mix and match.




1. Lee® Premium Select Slim Fit Jeans, $21.99
2. Urban Pipeline® Relaxed Straight Jeans, $14.99

Denim jeans are great all year, are easy to style, and make a comfortable outfit for your kid. Denims are the easiest to style, great all year round, and provide the most comfortable outfit for your kid. Pick up a pair in every wash so you have jeans that will match both light and dark basic tees.



1. Boys Straight Fit Stain-Resistant Uniform Khakis, $15
2. Chaps Twill Pants, $19.99

Just like jeans, little boys should own a pair of khakis or two. They’re versatile and easy to style and will work with any kind of shirt. Match a pair with his favorite polo or button-up shirt, slick back his hair, and watch your little one transform into a sharp-dressed man!

Jogger pants


1. Arizona Knit Jogger Pants, $14.99
2. Ring of Fire Boys’ Jogger Pants, $24.99

Although it’s still summer, you can pick up a pair of jogger pants already for the colder days ahead. There are also some jogger pants with lighter material that is still suitable in places with longer summer days like Texas and Oklahoma.



1. Lee Twill Cargo Shorts, $19.99
2. Arizona Twill Cargo Shorts, $14.99

A lot of times a pair of shorts are the most comfortable outfit for a boy, especially during summer. Cargo pockets will surely come in handy for storing treasures!

Dress pants


1. Chaps Gabardine Dress Pants, $21.60
2. IZOD® Flat Front Twill Pant, $17.99

Having at least a couple of pairs of dress pants in your boy’s closet is a must. They’ll come in handy when there’s a special occasion that requires him to dress up. Make sure to find a pair your child finds comfy so he won’t fidget due to scratchy or stiff fabrics.