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The 8 best places to buy cute back-to-school outfits

Here's where to buy cute, affordable, first-day-worthy back-to-school outfits.
/ Source: TODAY

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If you're a parent, there's probably a lot of back-to-school shopping in your future (if you haven't been there, done that already).

To make things a little easier, the TODAY Parents and TODAY Style teams put together a roundup of our favorite stores for back-to-school shopping. (We did one on the best backpacks and school supplies, too!) They have stylish, on-trend clothes that are also affordable!

1. Gymboree

A striped maxi dress is the perfect back-to-school outfit, especially when paired with a denim jacket and sparkly sneakers.

Mom maxi dress, $10, Gymboree

Denim jacket, $10, Gymboree

Sparkle sneakers, $21, Gymboree

Graphic tees are a closet must-have, and love it here when paired with a ruffled skirt. This outfit hits on a bunch of trends: stripes, graphic tees, ruffles and embroidery.

Swing skort, $8, Gymboree

Paris bike tee, $13, Gymboree

Hi-top sneakers, $10, Gymboree

The patchwork detail on this button-down makes this piece a school must-have. We paired this top with jogger-style denim — comfy yet on trend.

Patch shirt, $15, Gymboree

Color lace sneakers, $22, Gymboree

Denim joggers, $15, Gymboree

This is the perfect fall outfit: a red flannel top layered over a graphic tee with a pair of jeans.

Plaid shirt, $15, Gymboree

Color lace sneakers, $22, Gymboree

Straight jeans, $15, Gymboree

Awesome tee, $13, Gymboree

2. Crazy 8

This ruffle dress is stepped up with this sparkly bomber jacket — a jacket every girl will love! Finishing off the look with metallic shoes makes this the perfect outfit for the first day of school.

Ruffle dress, $12, Crazy 8

Metallic fringe sneakers, $18, Crazy 8

Sparkle bomber jacket, $30, Crazy 8

This striped dress will transition perfectly from summer to fall when layered with this denim jacket. This look is completed with metallic sandals and you’re good to go!

Stripe maxi dress, $12, Crazy 8

Metallic sandals, $10, Crazy 8

Jean jacket, $21, Crazy 8

Vests are always a must-have for the fall, and this one is styled perfectly with a striped polo and jeans.

Stripe polo, $9, Crazy 8

Colorblock puffer vest, $21, Crazy 8

Stretch rocker jeans, $18, Crazy 8

High-top sneakers, $18, Crazy 8

Gingham shirts are another versatile piece, but we kept it casual and simple here with jeans and white sneakers.

Stretch rocker jeans, $18, Crazy 8

Gingham shirt, $12, Crazy 8

Three-strap sneakers, $15, Crazy 8

3. JCPenney

Graphic tees and boyfriend jeans are the perfect back-to-school pairing, and what better way to complete the look than with a pair of bright white Adidas trainers?

The Lion King graphic tee, $15, JCPenney

Arizona boyfriend fit destructed jeans, $54, JCPenney

Adidas NEO sneaker, $40, JCPenney

Because a boy can never have too many flannels or joggers in their closet, we selected this perfect back-to-school look. A flannel is always a statement piece in the best way, and is paired here with camel-colored joggers and a pair of sneakers to finish off this casual yet on-trend look.

Arizona long-sleeve woven shirt, $12, JCPenney

Arizona trekking jogger, $11, JCPenney

Arizona boat shoe, $25, JCPenney

4. Nordstrom

When getting dressed in a hurry in the mornings, a jumpsuit is the way to go. A striped jumpsuit is an easy and trendy way to have a complete outfit you can throw on in a rush. One and done! All you need to pick out are your shoes.

Mia Chica cold shoulder jumpsuit, $45, Nordstrom

Steve Madden silky slide sandal, $30, Nordstrom

Embroidered jogger pants are extremely comfy and stylish for back to school. The embroidered style, as seen trending everywhere this year, is the perfect added touch. With a simple matching tee and white high tops, the look is complete.

Bowie X James embroidered pants, $58, Nordstrom

O'Neill top, $36, Nordstrom

Steve Madden Elkya high-top sneaker, $42, Nordstrom

As fall settles in and the weather gets cooler, flannels are a must-have. Here we paired a versatile flannel hoodie with a basic pair of jeans and Converse sneakers.

Quiksilver hooded plaid woven shirt, $50, Nordstrom

Volcom straight leg denim jeans, $45, Nordstrom

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Street mid-top sneaker, $45, Nordstrom

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Two other must-have staples for the boys for back to school: graphic tees and skinny jeans. The look pulls together here with a bomber-style jacket.

Volcom concentric graphic tee, $22, Nordstrom

Vans mixed media graphic tee, $18, Nordstrom

Alpha Industries MA-1 flight jacket, $75, Nordstrom

5. Old Navy

While we generally pack up our floral dresses once fall rolls around, it’s actually the perfect time to get in your last few days with these dresses. Pairing your floral dresses with a lightweight jacket and a pair of booties makes them fall appropriate and right on trend.

Sleeveless trapeze dress, $16, Old Navy

Fitted utility jacket, $30, Old Navy

Western ankle boots, $22, Old Navy

Keeping with the ruffle theme, this adorable ruffle tee is perfect for the first day of school, especially when paired with this denim skirt with embroidered detail — another huge trend we’ve been seeing. We completed the look by adding some edge with leopard-print sneakers and an embroidered denim backpack.

Ruffle-trim jersey top, $11, Old Navy

Leopard-print mid-top sneakers, $26, Old Navy

Embroidered-flower denim mini skirt, $22, Old Navy

Drawstring backpack, $26, Old Navy

Jogger-style pants are THE pants to have this year. The best part is they’re super comfy, as they fit like a pair of sweatpants but are tailored so they can be dressed up. Here we have these extremely versatile khaki joggers paired with a simple V-neck tee. The bomber-style jacket perfectly completes this look.

Cargo joggers, $27, Old Navy

Soft V-neck tee, $4, Old Navy

Fleece bomber jacket, $23, Old Navy

Color-blocked sneakers, $18, Old Navy

Here’s another jogger-style look. These camo joggers are a little edgier and are paired with a graphic tee. We finished the look with a pair of red sneakers and a structured backpack.

Printed cargo joggers, $27, Old Navy

Graphic crew-neck tee, $10, Old Navy

Canvas lace-up sneakers, $16, Old Navy

Utility backpack, $21, Old Navy

6. Target

Here’s another way to get your last wears of those floral pieces after summer has come to a close. A simple ruffled top paired with colorful floral bottoms....

Art Class knit blouse, $15, Target

Art Class floral track pants, $18, Target

The '90s are back in a big way, so don’t be surprised if your kids are wearing pieces you wore as a kid and are now trending again. I love this tee-and-tank pairing; what’s best is that it's one piece! It takes all the guesswork out of layering. The look is completed with patchwork denim and faux fur sneakers, a perfect back-to-school ensemble.

Cat & Jack patched skinny jeans, $18, Target

Stevies fluffy pompom sneakers, $22, Target

Bueno canvas star backpack, $21, Target

Stripes are a universal trend that will never go out of style, mostly because there are so many ways to style your striped tee. Here we paired it with cargo joggers and high-top sneakers for the perfect back-to-school look.

Cat & Jack Henley shirt, $6, Target

Cat & Jack cargo jogger pants, $17, Target

Cat & Jack Neo sneakers, $25, Target

7. Gap

Joggers are not just for the boys! We're loving these capri-style joggers styled here with an adorable ruffled top. The look is completed with an embroidered, ruffled jean jacket and Velcro sneakers.

Off-the-shoulder top, $22, Gap

TENCEL joggers, $25, Gap

Classic trainers, $28, Gap

Disney sequin denim jacket, $33, Gap

Jean skirts are a closet staple and a must-have for back-to-school shopping. Always on trend, a versatile denim skirt pairs perfectly with just about anything. Here we styled it with a a graphic tee and floral bomber jacket.

Sequin graphic tee, $18, Gap

Distressed denim skirt, $15, Gap

Floral satin varsity jacket, $39, Gap

Metallic chelsea boot, $33, Gap

Stripes are a boy’s best friend when pulling for something to wear in the morning. They instantly make an outfit an “outfit.” Just add a pair of skinny jeans like the maroon ones here and you’re all set!

Stripe pocket slub tee, $12, Gap

Stretch khaki, $25, Gap

Faux suede mid-top sneaker, $33, Gap

When denim is distressed it adds instant edge. Just a touch of distressing is all you need to make a statement here. These distressed skinny jeans happen to be ribbed at the knees, and we paired them with a simple graphic tee to complete the look.

Marvel slub tee, $14, Gap

High stretch skinny jean, $28, Gap

Perforated classic trainers, $28, Gap

8. Zara

Celebs were loving mesh this summer, and the trend has carried over into back-to-school fall fashion. A mesh skirt is an adorable trendy piece and perfect for school when paired with the ever-so-versatile graphic tee. Complete the look with a pair of sneakers to keep the outfit casual yet cool.

Mesh skirt, $23, Zara

Metallic sneakers, $36, Zara

Sequinned tee, $16, Zara

Mini backpack, $30, Zara

Jumpsuits are another great option for school and make getting dressed in the morning a cinch — one piece and done! We love the idea of pairing a tank-style jumpsuit like this one with a cute ruffled tee. Ruffles, as we know, were a huge hit this summer, and the trend is carrying through to the fall. Metallic sparkling high tops and a furry backpack are the perfect accents to complete this outfit.

Jumpsuit with ribbons, $26, Zara

Tee with full sleeves, $16, Zara

Metallic high-top sneakers, $30, Zara

Simply put, graphic tees and sneakers are always a great staple for the boys. Graphic tees are so easy to throw on but still add an element of edge to any outfit.

Trousers with zip pockets, $30, Zara

Printed high-top sneakers, $40, Zara

New York tee, $10, Zara

Minimalist backpack, $36, Zara

Distressed denim for boys is trending big this year. These trousers have the perfect touch of distressing. Since there’s a lot going on with the pants it’s best to keep the top simple, and a basic hoodie is a closet staple and the perfect addition to complete this back-to-school look.

Trousers with distressed knee seams, $30, Zara

Sweater with seam pocket, $23, Zara

Retro high-top sneakers, $36, Zara

Want more? Check out H&M and Century 21 for more stylish first-day deals!