Back to School Clothing Checklist: What Your Daughter Needs

Back to School Clothing Checklist: What Your Daughter Needs

Posted by The Hair Bow Company on Aug 7th 2018

Back to School Clothing Checklist: What Your Daughter Needs

The Ultimate Back to School Clothes Shopping List for Girls

As a parent, you always want your child to feel their best on their first day back at school. And that can be expensive! The good news: Outfitting them in swanky new clothes without breaking the bank can be done! Check out our definitive back to school clothes shopping list to figure out what to buy.

Back to school season may be a welcome time of relief for parents, but it comes with a price: it means some clothing shopping is in order.

Considering the average American household spends over $500 on back to school clothing, you want to make sure your money is going towards clothes that your daughter will actually wear. Kids outgrow clothes so fast, so how do you know how many of each piece to buy?

While you want your daughter to feel her best and stylin' when she hops on the school bus, you also can't let her call all the shots when it comes to picking out school clothing. The struggle is real.

We've pulled together the ultimate back to school clothes shopping list to make this annual chore a little easier for you. Read on to find out what you should be buying for your child to feel their best at school while keeping your sanity.

Make Sure School Clothing is Practical and Age-Appropriate

Before we even get into the list, it may be a good idea to establish some ground rules with your daughter before venturing to the mall. Any clothing that she wears to school should, for the most part, be practical, functional, and age-appropriate.

That means clothing should never expose anything nor feel tight/constricting. Think of the physical activity your little one enjoys at recess or while at home in the yard. She needs clothing that she can run, play, jump, and maybe do the occasional cartwheel in that won't restrict her movements.

Likewise, shoes should also be comfortable, especially when worn outside for recess.

When it comes to your child wanting to express her own style choices, you may want to agree on an 80/20 rule with her. That means 80% of the clothing you buy for back to school will be more conservative while 20% can be made up the of graphic tees or flashy leggings and accessories that she loves. It's a good compromise that makes both parents and kids happy.

One key here is to pick articles of clothing that will mix and match and create outfits. That is why sticking to solid colors and more classic styles will give your daughter more flexibility and she can have fun choosing what to wear and coordinating pieces together in new ways.

Keep in mind this list will obviously vary depending upon what region of the country you live in. If there is existing clothing in your child's closet that still fits them then you can also adjust these quantities.

Back to School Clothes Shopping List


It's good to get a variety of short and long-sleeved tops and sweaters. Layering is important when autumn and spring bring a variety of weather fluctuations in many parts of the country. Also, if your household only does laundry once a week you need to make sure you have enough clean items on hand to get you through Friday.

  • Six to eight shirts in a variety of styles (button down, collared, tees, etc.)
  • Four to six tees or collared shirts
  • A dressier top to have on-hand for special occasions at the school
  • Two to three tank tops or sleeveless tops for warmer weather and for layering
  • Three to five sweaters and/or sweatshirts (make at least one of these a cardigan or zippered sweatshirt or light jacket for easy removal if she gets warm)


  • At least five to seven pairs of casual pants that include jeans, khakis, and maybe a drawstring pair
  • One or two pairs of trousers or dressy pants
  • Two to four pairs of leggings
  • Two to four skirts that come down to just above the knees
  • Two to three dresses
  • Three or four pairs of shorts, for those warm days leading up to the last day of school


  • One or two winter coats; this depends on if they're needed in your part of the country
  • A jacket that can be worn in the fall and spring
  • Optional: a puffy vest
  • Raincoat for those wet days waiting for the bus; don't forget to pick up a child-sized umbrella as well


  • One or two pairs of sneakers
  • Two pairs of closed-toe shoes (including a dressier pair for special occasions)
  • One pair of winter weather resistant boots (if needed)
  • One pair of more fashionable boots that may be worn with leggings, skirts, and dresses
  • Two pairs of sandals, flip-flops, or other summer slip-on shoes for warmer weather


You can never buy too many socks and undergarments because you never know when you might have to skip doing laundry.

  • A dozen pairs of socks in various lengths/materials/textures
  • A dozen pairs of underpants
  • Accessories like Hair Bows - don't forget to snag one in her school colors! (Big hair bows give here a chace to express her style even when she has to wear a school uniform!)
  • Two pairs of gloves/mittens (in case your child loses a pair)
  • Two warm hats for the winter
  • One or two scarves
  • Some bling; a couple of fun and splashy bracelets, necklaces, and pairs of earrings (if your daughter's ears are pierced) to add the finishing touches to her school outfits
  • A belt or two is a good idea
  • Hair accessories including barrettes, hair bows (shop ours!), and headbands

School Supplies

While you're out checking off the school clothing list, you may want to pick up a few school supplies as well. These will vary depending on what grade your child is in and the teacher's list, but at a here are some great basics to stock up on:

  • Backpack
  • Lunch bag
  • Three-ring binder
  • Spiral bound notebooks
  • Regular pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Ballpoint pens
  • Water-based markers
  • Eraser
  • One rounded scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Water bottle

Once you've completed your back to school clothes shopping list and you've brought your daughter's new wardrobe home, resist the temptation to place the items in any random drawer or mix them with her other clothing.

Organize them by groups of like items (tops, pants, etc.) and hang them in the closet. Better yet, group them by so you have some corresponding outfits ready to go for that first big week of school.

Most of all, don't forget to have fun! End your shopping excursion by taking your little BFF to lunch so you can both celebrate getting your back to school shopping done.

Visit our girls boutique for fashionable items to wear to school, for playtime, and for special occasions. We carry 100's of styles of adorable and affordable girls boutique clothing!