No matter where your little scholar is set to learn this year—either online or in the classroom—they deserve a stylish return. While ticking the boxes on a school supplies checklist may not excite all kids, choosing a sparkly new backpack or a chic camo outfit to show their classmates probably will. And since back-to-school clothes shopping can be overwhelming and costly for parents, we’ve listed six budget-friendly outfit trends for 2021 that are sure to pass the test with your child.
1. Head-to-Toe Denim (a.k.a. a Canadian Tuxedo)
A back-to-school outfit essential, denim is always a great investment. While denim jeans (for girls and boys) are an obvious staple, your kid’s wardrobe wouldn’t be complete without a jean jacket—a versatile piece that can be worn throughout the seasons. Throw it over a tank top in the summer, over a sweater in the fall and under a coat in the winter for extra warmth. As your child grows, disguise too-short sleeves by rolling them to the elbows. Your kid can even wear more than one piece of denim at a time and mix shades for added flair.
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Although camo is traditionally meant to blend in, your kid is sure to stand out in class with this trend. The neutrality of this print is what makes it so versatile and classic for back to school. The best part? Camo can be matched with most clothing and accessories already existing in your child’s wardrobe, like a classic polo shirt and combat boots. The print also comes in a variety of fun colours and styles, so your kid can mix and match pieces for a full-on camo look.
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3. Sparkles and Iridescence
A little shimmer can make your kid’s school year feel that much brighter! Sparkly and iridescent pieces are a great way to enhance any outfit—especially if your kiddo wants to stand out on their first day of school. Add a touch of glamour to their back-to-school look with a glittery backpack and matching lunchbox (for yummy meal ideas, check out our healthy lunch roundup) or even a shiny pencil case that they’ll never want to put down. The more shimmer, the better. We suspect it may even motivate your child to get out the door in the morning!
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4. Matching Sweatsuits
Who said you can’t dress comfy for class? When it comes to back-to-school outfits, matching sweatsuits are the ultimate trend because they come in a variety of colours and will keep your kid cozy all day long. Opt for soft fleece fabric with a lightweight warmth that is ideal for transitioning between seasons. Bonus: The sweatsuit doesn’t *have* to be worn together. Dress up the sweatshirt with a skirt or try the sweatpants with a cute shirt from your kid’s arsenal of back-to-school clothes.
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5. Graphic Tees
Fashion is personal—even for kids. A graphic tee provides the perfect opportunity for your child to share their current interests with peers, like a favourite video game or cartoon character, and even make a friend or two along the way. Allow graphic tees to stand out by pairing them with basic, solid-coloured pants or classic jeans. And during colder months, when your kiddo needs more warmth, layer a long-sleeve top underneath—they’ll just be glad to showcase their favourite superhero during class time.
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A spring and summer favourite, pastels are a dreamy trend to consider working into your child’s back-to-school outfits. Shades of buttermilk yellow, blush pink and the softest shade of sky blue look great when styled head-to-toe, paired with denim jeans (try high-waisted bike shorts for a sportier look) or used as a pop of colour on accessories. Luckily, there are many affordable and school-appropriate options.
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