A Kids’ Back-to-School Capsule Wardrobe to Ease Your Shopping Woes

Capsule wardrobes are generally defined as a closet of staple pieces that never go out of style and that you can pair with the season’s latest trends. For kids clothes, we’ve rounded up some basics to build your child’s back-to-school wardrobe. We know it’s tough to know what to spend money on and what to skip, especially when kids’ clothes often don’t make it through a season unscathed or unstained. Generally, our editors agree shoes and coats tend to be investment pieces, and thankfully, many of our favorite brands offer affordable options for the other basics.

We pulled together this back-to-school capsule roundup through the lens of timeless pieces your kids can mix-and-match together, knowing they can build upon these essentials by adding their own style. Whatever their personal preferences – character gear, graphic T-shirts, tacky accessories — this list offers a base as they move into the school year.

Additionally, these classic staples can nearly all be shared as hand-me-downs to younger siblings. That is, if they make it through the recess tumbles, art class masterpieces, and lunch spills.


Plain Tees, H&M

Classic PoloOld Navy

Long Sleeve Thermal, Amazon

FlannelOld Navy

“Nice” Shirt, Target

Sweater, Zara

JeansOld Navy

Comfy HoodieH&M

Joggers, Gap

Lightweight Jacket, H&M

Non-Denim Pants, Gap

Backpack, Herschel

Puffer Jacket, Zara

Beanie Hat, H&M

Sneakers, Adidas

“Nice” Shoe, H&M

Casual Boot, Target


Plain Tee, Gap

Flannel, Abercrombie Kids

Long Sleeve Tee, J.Crew Factory

“Nice” Shirt, J.Crew

Comfy Sweater, J.Crew

Sweater, Zara

Non-Denim Pants, Target

Jeans, Gap

Leggings, H&M

Heavier Jacket, H&M

Half Sleeve Dress, Old Navy

Long Sleeve Dress, H&M

Lightweight Jacket, Old Navy

Backpack, Abercrombie Kids

Beanie Hat, Herschel

Headbands, H&M

Casual Boot, Target

“Nice” Shoes, Old Navy

Sneakers, Adidas