Bloggers’ Back-to-School Tips

We recently asked five of our favorite budget-conscious style bloggers to document their big, back-to-school shopping trips. Of course, they did not disappoint. Not only did they send us cute pics from every department, but they divulged all of their top tips for prepping the kids’ closets for fall. Among the standouts? The musts to buy year after year (Hint: It’s more than just jeans and backpacks!), how to balance “durable” and “fashionable” and when it’s truly safe to let them do the choosing. Read on, and take notes!

sS_20130731_ Bloggers- Back-to-School Ti

Alison Waken

Blog: All For The Boys

Her Back-to-Schoolers: Parker and Colton, ages 7 and 9

Her Musts: Jeans, screen tees, favorite colors, backpacks and comfort. “For my boys, it doesn’t matter if the outfit is the best-looking outfit they’ve ever seen,” she says. “If it isn’t comfortable, they won’t wear it. Especially on PE day!”

Sold on Jeans: “We want our jeans to be cut well, have a good wash…and to last until they grow out of them…We fell in love with Levi’s 510 and 511.”

On Individual Style: “I have always tried to give my boys freedom to choose clothes that fit their own personal style. My oldest is a bit more conservative…my youngest is more daring and adventurous.”

Check out the full post here.

Crissy Page

Blog: Dear Crissy

Her Back-to-Schooler: Evan, age 4 (also mom to Kara, age 1)

Rule of Thumb: “For my busy family, fashion has to be versatile.”

Her Musts: “Foundation pieces, like great denim and solid tees that can be mixed, matched and layered.”

On Choosing Jeans: “Comfort is definitely king! I go for a boot-cut jean, and usually seek softer denim that will move and flex with my kids as they run, jump and play.”

Check out the full post here.

Jennifer Brandt

Blog: Perfectly Disheveled

Her Back-to-Schooler: 1 boy, age 5

Her Musts: “I generally look for clothing that is comfortable and durable, but still has an edge and is stylish. Plus,…clothing that he can easily get off and on, but that he feels proud of is equally important.”

Her Buys: Jeans, tees, khaki cargo pants, a backpack, a striped tee and an “adorable” plaid button-down that came with coordinating tee. “It’s a two-for-the-price-of-one look, and it screams the first day of school!”

On Deciding on a Backpack: “It’s big enough for carrying his favorite basketball, and bright enough to locate in the cubby roundup.”

Check out the full post here.

Jenny Isenmen

Blog: The Suburban Jungle

Her Back-to-Schooler: Ry, age 8 (also mom to J, age 11)

Rule of Thumb: “Never spend a fortune on über-trendy items; you can save that money for college.”

Her Musts: Neon and printed jeans, graphic tees and chic tops. “Think stripes, tunics and boho styles…to wear with leggings, jeggings, classic and patterned jeans.”

The “It” Backpack: A zebra-print style with neon zips. “In my town, it’s JanSport or bust.”

Check out the full post here.

Tonya Staab

Blog: Create Celebrate Explore

Her Back-to-Schoolers: Marisol and Flinn (twins), first grade

Her Musts: “Clothes that the kids can grow into…but the fabric needs to withstand wear and tear.”

Her Buys: Jeans, tees and backpacks (Hello Kitty and Angry Birds), plus a polo for him and a “perfect” skirt for her. “It has shorts underneath, which is perfect for warm weather—but she can wear long leggings underneath it when the weather cools down.”

On Compromise: “Compromise with my son, in particular, plays a big part in our clothing purchases. I want him to have something he loves, but that I think looks nice—so we often negotiate on colors and how much characters fill the shirt.”

Check out the full post here.