Thursday, August 18, 2016

Back to School Fashions: Little Girls

My daughter - a self-described "fashionista" - is entering kindergarten in two weeks. So naturally, I have been looking through her wardrobe, pulling any pieces that no longer fit, anything with stains and tears, and clothes that are out of season or inappropriate for school for whatever reason. And once that was done, I realized it was time to go shopping.

Clothing for elementary-aged girls ranges from dull and bland to over-the-top and crazy, and from reasonably priced to ridiculously overpriced. So here are some of my favorite cute, appropriate, and - most importantly - affordable fashions for little girls.

This cute denim dress from Crazy8 is less than $15! It's knee-length, so long enough to wear alone, but also short enough to be cute with leggings or tights. The denim makes it rugged for climbers like my little one, but it still has feminine features like the cute gathered sleeves. Perfect for girls who like to be girly but still get their hands dirty.

This navy polo dress, also from Crazy8, is less than $12. It's a great basic piece that can stand alone in warmer weather but looks great with leggings and a sweater when the weather gets cool. The pleated skirt is a nice detail. And it can be dressed up with tights and dress shoes or dressed down with socks and sneakers.


If your fashionista prefers separates to dresses, get thee to Old Navy for $4 tee-shirts! In a rainbow of colors, v-necks and round necks and tanks, solids and prints, you're sure to find the perfect style for your girl. And at 4 bucks a pop, you can stock up. Old Navy isn't the highest quality, but these will last for one season, and by then she'll probably have grown out of them anyway.


If you want to pair that cute tee with a skirt, stay at Old Navy for a wide range of skirts priced from $8-$14. From ethnic prints to gathered jersey to crisp pleats, there are skirts for her every mood. There isn't a huge range of lengths - everything is short at this age - but pair it with leggings (lots of $5 styles at Old Navy) or tights on cool days (or if she has a tendency to hang upside down on the monkey bars).


If you're looking for leggings with personality, try these from Burlington Coat Factory, for just $5 or a 2-pack for $7.

If you prefer to pick up a collection of pieces that all work together, head over to Macy's and check out their Carter's collection. Each piece is priced around $10 (give or take a couple of bucks), and includes leggings, skirts, tops, pants, and hoodies, all of which can be mixed and matched for tons of different looks. Little girls can choose their own combination and be guaranteed that everything will go together, even in mom's opinion.



And if your little princess just HAS to have that character tee, JC Penney has a good selection for $10-$12. Choose from Ariel, minions, Rapunzel, SpongeBob, and more.

For some reason, girls' pants - not leggings, but actual pants - are hard to find. But if you want real pants, Children's Place has a good selection for $10-$15.

When the weather cools off, plan on adding sweaters and sweatshirts to your daughter's wardrobe. Gymboree can be pricy, but they have tons of sweaters and sweatshirts on sale for $15 right now, so snap up our favorites now! Stars, hearts, stripes, solids, cardigans, pullovers - they've got a little bit of everything.


And of course, no back-to-school outfit is complete without new shoes. My go-to store for inexpensive but good quality shoes is always Payless. They have everything from character sneakers to canvas slip-ons to Mary Janes to cute tennies, and the styles here are all less than $20. You can't beat that!

So if you've been putting off your back to school shopping, click on a few of these links and your little girl will be ready for the elementary school catwalk before you (and your wallet) know it!

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