Every year, when school is about to start, the parenting blogs and the parent groups on Facebook all talk about one thing: which kid’s clothes to choose for kindergarten.
Whether you’ve already received a list of the clothes from the kindergarten or you try to find your inspiration online, don’t panic. Things are not as complicated as they seem. A well-done plan will help you sail through the hundreds of lists and recommendations you will find online.
Here are a few suggestions that will help you organize better:
Start by establishing the main categories of kids’ clothes that you will need during the school year. The easiest way is to plan your toddler’s wardrobe in layers that you can use separately or together, depending on the season.
If your toddler is diaper-free you will have to bring at least one set of extra underpants for those unpleasant situations. It would be preferable for you to use natural fabrics, such as organic cotton, bamboo, or modal. Depending on how often you plan to use your washing machine, you can calculate how many underpants you have to buy.
For winter, you’ll need to add some wool socks and stockings on the list. They will be priceless in the freezing days or while playing in the snow.
The base layer
Whether we are talking about a vest, T-shirt, or a long-sleeved undershirt, these items will fulfill multiple roles, spring to winter. You can use them as an external layer in late winter and at the beginning of the fall. As temperatures drop, your child will wear them under thicker clothes while outside.
Their role is to absorb perspiration and to keep the body warmth as close to the skin as possible. In this case, too, we recommend you to choose natural fabrics, such as organic cotton or wool. Since they will be next to your toddler’s skin, it’s better to choose clothes that are not chemically treated. For cotton, check the label and opt for the fabrics with organic certifications (such as GOTS – Global Organic Textile Standard – the highest fabric certification). This certification is a guarantee that all processes the cotton has been exposed to, from seed to fabric, were safe for the environment and people.
For the whole school year, you can buy a few sets of blouses and leggings that your kid will wear in class, or outside, underneath the thicker clothes. Some moms recommend up to 10 sets, others think 4-5 will do. You can decide on the number based on how often you intend to wash and how naughty your child is. If your child is a miniature Picasso, you may want to make sure that you have enough clothes not to limit his/her creativity.
The middle layer
The second layer may be used for extra warmth during the frosty days, but also as an outer layer during fall or spring.
We recommend two or three items that are a must-buy: a jumper/cardigan, a hoodie, and a cotton jumpsuit, such as the ones from iELM. The latter has the advantage that is easy to put on and keeps your little one warm all over.
This category also includes outer trousers. You can choose jeans because they are dirt resistant, but a few pairs of comfortable cotton jersey trousers will come handy for indoor use. Unlike jeans, the jersey ones don’t hamper your child’s movements. They can also be used for the midday nap at the kindergarten.
The outer layer
This category usually confuses most of the parents. The online lists include fall jackets, winter jackets, rain and wind-proof jackets, each with suitable pants. The budget increases exponentially, your pulse is running wild and panic is settling in. If you also take into account that a growing child will only wear these items for a season, you’ll already get hyperventilated.
Of course, you can buy a set of each category or, if you want to protect your budget and have some money left for the winter holidays, you can find smart solutions to cover a wider range of situations.
The softshell has the benefit of carrying out many roles: it preserves the heat inside, it’s wind and water repellent, and it allows the skin to breathe. Since softshell is a technical fabric, it is light and does not limit the kid’s movement. These clothes are also easy to clean, a bonus for the lovers of mud, sand, or puddles. If you buy a softshell jumpsuit (or two, to have a spare one), you will be able to cover the entire cold season, including the wet or windy weather. You can add an extra layer or two underneath the jumpsuit and use it during winter as well.
For kindergarten, you will need a pair of comfortable indoor slippers. Those with flexible, anti-slip sole and easy to put on are better for the little ones (The kids who are not used to tying their shoelaces are very fond of the velcro strap).
For outdoor activities, you’ll need to buy at least 3 pairs for the whole school year: a pair of shoes or light boots for the fall-spring season, a pair of rain boots, and a pair of snow boots
We don’t recommend you to buy more than one type of shoe of the same number. Based on the kid’s age, their feet pass to the next size in 2 to 6 months.
Pay attention when you choose the size of the shoe. Measure the foot and follow the manufacturer’s size guide. Measurements may differ between various brands.
Invest in a set made of a hat, scarf, and gloves to cover the whole season (or, if you’re lucky, even next winter). Choose warm fibers, such as merino wool, alpaca, or cashmere. For fall-spring, choose organic cotton.
For babies, a balaclava may be a better investment, because it will save you from buying a separate scarf.
Regardless of the budget, age, or experience, we hope that the list above will help you make your own plan for this year’s shopping.