Everyday School Outfits for Toddler Girls.

Photo and sweet fall romper above from Canvas House.

We are planning to send mini back to school in just two weeks. I know this is a fraught topic; we are all trying to make a perfect decision with imperfect information and horrifying risks on the table. I have close friends and siblings that have come, very carefully and agonizingly, to different decisions on this matter and I respect and (as illogical as this sounds) agree with them all. My brother, for example, is keeping his children home in no small part because he is living with an aging loved one and does not want to put her at risk. Were we in a similar situation, my calculus would be different, too. Anyway, this is tough stuff and, unfortunately, there is no OSFA. (And if you need a laugh on the subject, watch this.)

But.

Whether you are sending your children in or keeping them at home, they can still wear cute clothes for the occasion. Below, some of the school outfits I’ve selected for mini this fall (P.S. – this is what she’s wearing on her first day, and here are some other precious options):

THIS $15 KNIT SWEATER DRESS (PRECIOUS PRECIOUS!)

LUIGI KIDS KNIT PICOT PETER PAN COLLAR DRESSES (COME IN TONS OF COLORS AND A SHORT-SLEEVE VARIATION; CAN BE MONOGRAMMED!)

LIBERTY FLORAL DRESS (ORDERED THIS – WILL PAIR WITH RIBBED TIGHTS…ALSO CHECK OUT THIS NEW-TO-ME LINE OF RIBBED HOSIERY FOR LITTLE ONES!)

THIS RUFFLED PLAID DRESS WOULD BE PERFECT WITH CABLEKNIT TIGHTS

SCALLOPED COLLAR DRESS (GOD BLESS A NAVY DRESS — DOESN’T SHOW STAINS)

I’VE MENTIONED THIS LES GAMINS SMOCK DRESS COUNTLESS TIMES, BUT IT IS SO DARLING ON — I PAIR IT WITH RIBBED TIGHTS IN COOLER WEATHER AND EVEN LEGGINGS WHEN IT’S A LITTLE TOO SMALL

THIS $12 RIBBED TURTLENECK SWEATER AND THIS CLASSIC CABLEKNIT (ON SALE!) WHICH I’D PAIR WITH JEANS

PROPER PEONY PIMA APPLE PRINT DRESS

THIS CRINKLED COTTON DRESS (MINI HAD THIS LAST YEAR AND I LOVED LAYERING IT UNDER A MAYORAL FAUX FUR VEST)

THIS SWEET OXFORD SHIRTDRESS (OR THIS SIMILAR $23 STYLE)

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE JUMPERS LAYERED OVER PETER PAN COLLAR TOPS/BLOUSES — EYEING THIS DENIM ZARA, THIS OLIVE OLD NAVY, THIS $10 STEAL, AND THIS BELLABLISS

I HAVE HAD GOOD LUCK BUYING HIGH END PETER PAN COLLAR TOPS NWT ON SHOPBAGSY — FYI!

THESE WAFFLE KNIT LEGGINGS AND THIS FOUR-PACK OF SOLID LEGGINGS (I REALLY LOVE OLD NAVY’S INEXPENSIVE, UNFUSSY, SUPERSOFT SOLID LEGGINGS — BUY EVERY SEASON!); CUTE PAIRED WITH SOMETHING LIKE THIS OR A SIMPLE SWEATSHIRT LIKE THIS AND A HUGE MATCHING BOW

THIS FLORAL AND DENIM SET

LOVE THIS FLORAL SET UNDER A CUTE PUFFY VEST

And don’t forget to consider fall coats and boots for her, too! To this list, I would add this absolutely darling gingham jacket on sale for $45!

Separately, mini’s school asks I send her in with a few spare outfits for spills/accidents, and they specifically requested short sleeved tee shirts and leggings. I’m sure it won’t be a surprise to anyone, but mini literally did not own a single tee shirt — everything she has bears a collar! I did some hunting around and found these precious and inexpensive ($5!!!) tees that I’ll be sending her in with. For spare socks, I love the turn-cuff ones at H&M, though I also bought her a pack of these well-reviewed ankle ones to wear with her Vejas.

AND — if you’re a Cienta lover like we are, Gilt has an incredible selection on sale! We love the t-straps for both boys and girls, but I had to order these adorable gingham mary janes for mini for the fall, too.

I’ll do a post on little boy clothing for fall soon, too. One look I’m going for this fall with micro (who is 14 months) is little corduroy trousers (<<already ordered) with a coordinating sweater. I also love this classic sweater with jeans.

P.S. I feel like I haven’t written anything meaningful on parenting in a long while. To be honest, between March and August, it felt like we were treading water, just trying to make it through the day as we balanced full-time jobs with full-time parenting and no childcare. It was exhausting and I don’t think I was at my best as a mother — but I was trying. Since bringing a lovely caregiver on board two weeks ago, I have finally had time to breathe and re-center myself. Sending so much love to the many parents out there still navigating this time without help and without breaks. It is tough.

P.P.S. Baby gear I wish I’d known about earlier. (What else would you add?)

P.P.P.S. Tory Burch’s private sale is running right now, and this gorgeous smocked dress (which has been a Magpie Reader favorite all summer) is now 50% off. More of my favorite picks here, but this is in my cart RN. I probably will have convinced myself to buy it by the time you read this.

2 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh, Jessica – I don’t know how I missed this comment but was just scrolling through and saw it. Sorry this is so late! But WOW, big round of applause to you for your bravery and conviction and also your LOVE for the children you teach. Your students are lucky to have you. Will be thinking of you. xx

  2. Thank you for this post. Most of my friends have children, and of course, like you, have agonized over this decision. One has 3 children and is doing some version of a hybrid for all 3!! What a star she is. As I commented on your IG, I went back to teaching pre-k this week, and also struggled with the decision. One of the main factors was John being high risk… but I finally came to: someone has to do it. I am not more important than any other teacher; I cannot in good conscience leave it to other teachers. And, I just love it so 🙂
    I told all of my friends what you said: you will make the perfect choice. And they did. And so did you.
    One aside… speaking as a teacher, I want you to know that we really, really do care…a lot. We love your babies. We will do everything to keep them safe.
    Please keep us posted on it all!! xo

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