School Clothing for Toddlers.

*As a preface, because I am often asked, mini wears a school-issued backpack (every child has the same one, with the school’s insignia on it), but we also have this mini Lorimer backpack in the blue toile for trips/excursions and I think it’d make a fantastic option for school — lightweight, the right size, and wipeable. I also love this one from Livly (seen above!) if having a water bottle pouch is a requirement! For lunchbox, we have a monogrammed seersucker style from Saddle Stitches, which is almost always packed with one of these “easy lunchboxes” or a Yumbox.

For the better part of the first two years of her life, mini wore bubbles, smocked dresses, and items that often required hand-washing, ironing, and general supervision. Sending her to school this past fall required me to re-think her wardrobe for a few reasons. To begin with, we commute via the subway to school in rain, sleet, shine, snow. So for the cooler months (most of her school-going existence here in NY!), I have been more inclined toward layers and less attracted to dresses, which require tights (and I have an informal rule that if it is under 45 degrees out, it’s too cold for tights and she needs proper pants!) Further, the school was adamant that children wear clothing that “permits freedom of movement” and specifically indicated that frilly/long dresses were to be avoided. And I do find that she comes home with stains and markings and snags, which incidentally makes me happy, as it reminds me that she’s had a busy, adventurous day learning and playing and exploring — but it also leaves me hesitant to send her off in a $80 heirloom-worthy dress. Finally, most of mini’s classmates look like miniature versions of their chic, downtown parents: lots of jeans, biker boots, chunky sweaters, vests. You don’t see much smocking in those parts and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything with a monogram on it. Not that I cow to the fashion preferences of others, but it has factored into my thinking as the vibe is more dressed-down and downtown.

Still, I will put mini in a peter pan collar until the cows come home. (Or she turns five or six and refuses?)

In short, we currently fall somewhere between her dressed-up infant days and her downtown-cool classmates. I aim for a traditional look; if the weather would cooperate, I’d send her in a jumper and peter pan collar blouse with knee socks every day, but that’s not entirely practical.

Below, a few of my favorite recent purchases for her school wardrobe, almost ALL of which were purchased on sale and many of which were purchased with the intent of easing us into warmer weather!:

PETIT PEONY STRIPED TEES

LES GAMINS PINAFORE

LITTLE ENGLISH PETER PAN COLLAR TOPS (ON SALE FOR $14!!!!) AND $13 OSH KOSH ONES

PINK FRILL SWEATER

BUSY BEES GINNY DRESS

JACADI RIBBED TIGHTS

CABLEKNIT CARDIGAN

LES GAMINS SMOCK DRESS (HAVE BOUGHT THIS FOR MINI FOR THE PAST FEW SEASONS — LOVE)

PUFF SLEEVED LAYERING TEES

TEXTURED KNIT SWEATER

MAUVE HAIRBOW AND A WISTERIA GRAY ONE

JACQUARD SWEATER

PATTERNED JEANS

RUFFLE COLLAR SWEATER ($13!)

Slightly dressier than she usually wears to school, but I have also sent her wearing this darling La Coqueta (and I am counting the days until she can wear this sweet La Coqueta dress I bought this winter!). I am also eyeing this Rachel Riley dress (!!! 50% off!!!)

What are your favorite sources for schoolwear for the littlest ones?

P.S. How to build a layette for a new baby.

P.P.S. Time is a thief.

P.P.P.S. Baby gear I wish I’d known about earlier.

4 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *