You don’t have to spend a fortune to give your child a stylish boost in the school yard this year. In fact, there are loads of affordable options that will not only take the sting out of back-to-school shopping but might also put your kid on the best-dressed list.
TODAY Style went shopping to bring you the best sources for chic yet inexpensive kids' clothes. Read on for our top picks.
The store that has everything carries a huge selection of baby and kids' clothes, plus one of the cutest collections around: Cat & Jack. The collection delivers styles with spunk and imagination for boys, girls and babies alike. Their graphic T-shirts are popular and start at just $3. Time to get shopping!
Cat & Jack™ Toddler Girls' Long Sleeve Sweatshirts, $12, Target
These graphic sweatshirts could not be cuter and are exactly what kids of all ages want to wear right now. The fun sayings and spaceships inspire and make last year's skirt or pants look totally fresh.
Cat & Jack™ Boys' Patched Medium Wash Denim Jacket, Target
A cool denim jacket is one of those wardrobe staples that will always come through for you, especially when emblazoned with trendy patches and embroidery.
Boohoo, the Manchester, England-based online fashion retailer never disappoints, especially when you're seeking looks for less. Who doesn’t want that cool Br"it" girl style? And it's not just parents who reap the benefits (and bargains!) — both boys and girls can shop their “cutting edge designs with an affordable price tag.” Plus right now everything at Boohoo is an extra 50% off!
Girls Flute Sleeve Denim Dress, $20, Boohoo
We bet that Mom would like a version of this dress in her size. This denim fluted-sleeve dress is wonderfully on trend.
Boys Tie-Dye Denim Shirt, $18, Boohoo
An unexpected way to do denim, this tie-dye garment (it looks more dip-dyed) brings a new point of view to an otherwise familiar shirt.
Girls' Bunny Ears Glitter Skater Shoe, $18, Boohoo
Put a spring (or should we say bunny hop) in your step with these glitter bunny ear skater shoes. Glitter is still having a major moment in the accessories world — not just for kids but also for grown-ups.
The Japanese fast-fashion retailer is the place to go for simple, well-designed essentials that your kids will wear every day. From classic Breton-inspired striped T-shirts to trench coats, Uniqlo offers perfect wardrobe staples. And they are THE place to go for lightweight puffer vests and coats, available in sizes 3 to 11 for under $40.
Boys' Light Warm Padded Jacket, $40, Uniqlo
These puffers are light, warm and cuddly — an absolute must-have if you live in a colder climate.
Girls' Trench Coat, $40, Uniqlo
A classic trench is a never-go-wrong option for those transitional months, and we were thrilled to find this stylish and affordable take.
Kids' Boatneck Shirt, $10 , Uniqlo
We are buying these classic Breton-inspired T-shirts in every color. They're perfect for boys and girls.
Here's a little style secret for our readers: Forever 21 has a tween girls' line called Forever 21 Girl, in sizes 6 to 14. You'll find statement-making jackets, cool tees and jeans in the cut and wash of the season at not-to-be-missed prices.
Girls Moto Jacket, $22, Forever 21
Every gal needs a moto jacket in her closet to add a little downtown cool to her wardrobe. Forever 21 has a great selection of affordable styles.
Girls Star Swing Dress, $11, Forever 21
Be the star of the class in this fun, woven mini skirt. It looks both comfy (with the elastic waistband) and sassy.
You love H&M as a spot to try out trends without breaking the bank, and you'll love the kids' section for the same reason. The Swedish superstore is always on point with the latest trends and modern silhouettes (think lots of adorable animal embellishments and slim-cut joggers), making it one of our go-to spots for shoes and sparkly accessories.
Sweatshirt with Printed Design, $10, H&M
Cuteness overload! We love the collection of critters available at H&M and think we'd all get better grades if we wore a kitty sweatshirt.
Padded Parka, $50, H&M
This parka is too cool for school! The hood is lined with faux fur and the jacket itself comes with hand-warmer pockets and a quilted lining.
Sneakers, $25, H&M
These are slip-on sneakers with "cat"itude.
The affordable sister line of Gymboree also showcases outfits — great for moms who don't want to spend time mixing and matching. And with prices starting at $8 for dresses and jeans and $12 for sweaters and outerwear, you'd better run, not walk!
Sparkle Bomber Jacket, $26, Crazy 8
The bomber jacket is one of those key back-to-school pieces. Add some gold sequins, and you've got yourself a real statement piece.
A For Awesome Tee, $9, Crazy 8
Graphic tees always pack a punch in the style department. This shirt features glitter screen printing embellished with sequins.
Gingham Shirt, $12, Crazy 8
Gingham has been quite the trend this spring and summer and it's not going anywhere for fall. We love this mini-me look. It's quite possible that Dad has each of these pieces in his own closet.
You might not have immediately thought about Amazon as a place to shop for kids' clothes, but the online retail giant totally delivers, and at prices you'll appreciate. From brands you know and love to new brands you will be happy to know and love, the site has a tremendous selection of affordable fashion for every age.
Fiream Girls' Cotton Long-Sleeve Dress, $9-$16, Amazon
Animals and critters! It's the back-to-school season's biggest trend.
Fiream Boys' Cotton Pants Drawstring Elastic Sweatpants, $7-$14, Amazon
Star-spangled joggers? Why not! One of our favorite kids' trends is the mixing and matching of patterns. These joggers are a good place to start.
Old Navy always gets high marks for their back-to-school fashion for kids of every age, but this season we are particularly excited about their selection of so-right-now denim for both boys and girls — from the new perfectly fitting (and stretching) ballerina cut for girls to the karate style with built-in flex for boys. Old Navy has the bold colors, patterns and styles that kids are looking for in denim. Be sure to browse the shoe department, too, which has on-trend styles at affordable prices. Plus, don't miss their 50 percent off "Back to Cool" sale — it's happening as we speak.
Slim Built-In Flex Max Pop-Color Karate Jeans, $19 and up, Old Navy
These "powerfully stretchy jeans with major comfort chops" get their name because they're so comfy you could do anything in them, even karate. We love the colorful options as an unexpected way to wake up the everyday staple.
Ballerina Jeggings for Girls, $25, Old Navy
Pirouette your heart out in Old Navy's ballerina jeggings. Jazzy colors and washes will have you wanting one of each.
Faux-Leather Lace-Up High-Tops for Boys, $22, Old Navy
We love this modern take on the classic high-top, and the faux leather gives this shoe great versatility.
Metallic Sneakers for Girls, $24, Old Navy
Metallics are everything (in the style department, that is) this season, and these silver city sneaks will have you moonwalking your way to class.
This article was originally published in February 2016 on Today.com.