It might still be hot outside, but the school year is officially underway — or about to be — for kids around the country. With this time of year comes a return to familiar routines accompanied by new faces and new closet staples, from rain boots and everyday sneakers to jeans and sweatshirts. Back-to-school shopping might come with a heftier price tag this year with inflation running high, but you can still score some trending kids' styles without wreaking havoc on your wallet. We scoured Nordstrom’s back-to-school section and found 20 affordable items worth shopping — and they're all under $50.
Nordstrom’s back-to-school shop has tons of cool and comfortable items, and some brand names have been marked down significantly. We’ve sifted through their inventory for kids' clothing and shoes that will last through all the P.E. classes and mysterious lunchtime spills. Whether you’re looking for jeans or easy-to-slip-on sneakers, below are some of our favorite deals and finds from Zella, Levi's, Adidas, The North Face, Native Shoes and more.
Click the links below to jump to a specific category, or keep scrolling to shop all 20 Nordstrom back-to-school finds under $50.
Nordstrom back-to-school clothing under $50
Whether she's doing monkey bar acrobatics or just sitting cross-legged on the reading rug, these leggings will move with her comfortably. With convenient side pockets and moisture-wicking Zeltek fabric, these cropped leggings are designed for ease of movement and breathability.
For easy-breezy playtime during the waning days of summer, this tank dress is ideal. Coming in a few cute and colorful patterns (we love the tie dye, which is on sale for 40 percent off right now), this dress can also transition into fall with a hoodie or denim jacket thrown over it. "Perfect summer everyday dress," wrote one reviewer who grabbed it in three colors.
This graphic tee is stylish enough to be first-day-of-school material. Whether you go with the trendy purple tie-dye or retro Elton John image, these 100 percent cotton tees will add some nostalgic flair to your kiddo’s wardrobe.
For jeans that look cool but offer a little bit of stretch, look no further than Joe’s Brixton jeans. Slight whiskering give these jeans a bit of an old-school look, while the stretchiness allows some room for growth spurts throughout the school year.
These hipster briefs come in a bunch of fun, super-colorful solids and prints — and they've racked up more than 450 five-star reviews. Made from breathable cotton — with 7 percent spandex for a little stretch — these hipsters are made to be soft and comfortable. “They don't ride up, and they're very cute,” one mom writes in the reviews.
A new school year is a great time to stock up on the basics. Made with stretch-cotton and an elastic waistband, these underwear are made to stay in place throughout the day. They're available in nine vibrant color and pattern combos, and reviewers love the super-soft fabric.
We love this North Face half-zip pullover’s striking colorway — and that it offers lightweight warmth as late summer turns into fall. Made from water-repellent fleece, this is a great transitional piece from the trusted outerwear brand.
The world of undergarments can be intimidating for tweens, but this seamless bralette is a great — and very comfortable — introduction. Made from soft, stretchy nylon and spandex, this no-show bralette comes in a variety of neutrals and provides light support. “I bought these for my niece who has sensory issues and she loves them,” one shopper wrote.
Vineyard Vines is a classic brand known for its relaxed, preppy staples. This long-sleeve shirt is made for comfort with soft, washed cotton. “Seriously, it's a T-shirt,” one reviewer wrote. “But it's soft, a great color, and has a cute whale on it.” Our thoughts exactly.
Black leggings get some extra style points when they have "moto" touches like ribbing and seams with a high-waist cut. These stretchy legging-like pants are made with 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex, ensuring both breathability and comfort. “The detail and quality makes a basic piece stand out,” one reviewer wrote. “Material is soft and holds its color and shape.”
This Adidas shirt with the brand’s signature three stripes is subtly iconic. Made from 100 percent cotton, this jersey shirt is a breathable choice for running around school yards and soccer fields.
Available in toddler, little boy and big boy sizing, these crisp chinos are fit for a regular weekday or slightly dressier occasions like picture day. They have a classic straight-leg cut and a little bit of stretch. “They are our go-to for more formal events like a dinner out or church,” one mom shared in the reviews. “They don't wrinkle and they fit great.” Choose from gray and khaki.
A well-made, reliable pair of jeans is a school-year necessity, and these Levi’s answer the call. With just a little stretch, these jeans will hold their shape all year long. “They do not add too much weight, as he likes lightweight clothing, but these jeans are perfect for him,” one mom wrote. Choose from two denim washes.
Your kid will be looking like a young hypebeast in this throwback Adidas track jacket. It’s a perfect mix of sporty and trendy, and the jacket is made from recycled polyester. The matching pants complete this outfit that you’ll identify as either Y2K or ‘80s hip hop, depending on your age.
Along with the matching jacket above, these track pants are an eternally cool look. For the increasingly style-conscious older elementary student, these pants will work both in the hallways and in gym class.
Nordstrom back-to-school shoes under $50
Toddler rain boots with dinosaurs galloping across them are more imaginative and spunky than your standard rain boots — and same goes for the pink cheetah print option. These boots will keep little feet warm and dry amid all the rainy day play.
Slip-on shoes allow kiddos to put on their own shoes with ease — and save them from stumbling over laces. This pair (available in multiple colors and patterns) is made with odor-resistant EVA, which means that any dirt can be cleaned with a few wipes of a rag. The allover perforations are designed to keep feet cool and dry.
A kid-sized version of Sperry’s classic Spinnaker deck shoe, these washable sneakers are true all-occasion footwear. Versatile enough to dress down with jeans and a T-shirt or pair with a button-up for slightly dressier occasions, these sneakers also come in four handsome neutrals. Elastic laces ensure this slip-on shoe stays put. They also come in big kid sizes.
For a dressier — but not stiff and painful — ballet flat, this shoe from Hush Puppies is just the thing. With a sleek patent leather or brushed metallic finish, this flat has a contoured cushioned footbed that supports the foot through all kinds of running and twirls. The three shiny color options these flats come in are all party-ready.
These high-rise sneakers may have that classic high-top look, but they’ve been upgraded with some buzzy features — namely a colorful zipper accent that loops around the shoe. Billy footwear is designed for people with mobility issues, and the unique zipper feature allows the shoe’s upper to fold over completely so that the wearer can more easily place their foot in the shoe. They're also available in a fun blue shark pattern.