From Uniforms to Main Stream Fashion – Back to School Clothes

back to school clothes pinterest

Among all of the change that comes along with a child transitioning from elementary school to middle school, one that is new to us is the shift from uniforms to mainstream fashion. Time for back to school clothes shopping!  But first…



  • There’s no competition in school as to who is wearing what brand, style, etc.
  • There are no distractions in the classroom with respect to clothing.
  • It’s super easy for the boys to get dressed every morning.  All of the solid colored shorts match all of the the solid colored tops.  Done.
  • In most cases, school uniforms are a slam sunk when it comes to shopping.  I order just about everything online.


  • The kids do not get to express themselves with their clothing – they are all the same.
  • My boys dislike collared polo shirts like there’s no tomorrow.  They complain that they are so uncomfortable.
  • In some cases uniforms can become very expensive, especially if the school your child attends requires very specific tops and bottoms.


My boys have “street clothes” that they change into once the school day is over.  That part of the wardrobe consists of soft, gym-like shorts and t-shirts.  Now that my oldest is heading into 6th grade, we need to outfit him in clothing that is not “as casual” as their street clothes but not formal and rigid as his old uniform.

I planned a fun afternoon of shopping at The Mall at Wellington Green – just N and I.  We would walk the mall, dipping in and out of the many stores trying to find his style.


Upon arrival, we first signed up for the Oh, So Simple rewards program.  Once you spend $250 at the mall, you will receive a $10 credit to your credit card.  There is no time limit to add up to the $250 either.  It’s super easy to sign up too – all you have to do is visit one of the kiosks around the mall, enter some basic info and swipe the credit card (or 15 max credit cards) that you will be using to purchase items throughout the mall.  You receive a text and email confirmation that you’ve signed up and the fun begins.  (You can also sign up ahead of time HERE).

Back to school clothes oh so simple rewards thanks for joining screen

(If you swipe a debit card, be sure when you check out to ask them to run it as a credit card in order to get the credit).  Shortly after I purchased from each of the stores, I would receive an email confirming my purchase – I was super excited when I received the email that I received the $10 credit!!


Our first stop was Hot Topic.  N is a huge anime fan and loved browsing around.  He wished one of the hooded sweatshirt that he loved was a bit smaller, but decided on a keychain for his new backpack.

back to school clothes hot topic

Macy’s was next – so many great brands that N loves in one department store!

back to school clothes macy's

Next stop Foot Locker.  We can’t go to the mall without at least doing one lap around.  This lap ended in a cool pair of socks that he “had to have”.

back to school clothes foot locker

I’ve always loved the kids’ clothing in Abercrombie so I steered him inside.  At first I received a bit of slack “Why is it dark in here?” and “I don’t like jeans, Mom”, but once he set his eyes on a pair of super soft pants with an elastic waist (it wouldn’t have flied otherwise) and elastic cuffs…Let me just say, he walked out of the store IN the pants, he loved them that much.

back to school abercrombie

On to H&M, one of my all time favorites.  N is always chilly so he picked a lightweight long sleeve striped hoodie and matching shorts (I had to instill some “Florida weather” into this outfit).  So cute.

back to school clothes hm

back to school clothes shopping continues

School is unfortunately also synonymous with germs.  It’s inevitable that kids are going to get colds and worse throughout the school year.  I like to protect the boys as much as I can, so I steered N into Bath and Body Works.  I love their hand sanitizers.  N loved the names of some of the scents and the cool keychains that can hold the little bottles.  Being the sweetie that he is, he picked out one for him and one for his brother.

back to school clothes bath and body works

Last stop before we headed to dinner with R and G was Nordstrom.  I had to hold myself back from going up the escalator to my favorite shopping areas (not to mention the shoe section, jewelry section, makeup section…)   N scored a great pair of cotton twill pants – with an elastic waistband and cuffs of course, another long sleeved shirt and sweatshirt.  My husband and little one met us there so G walked out wearing a cool pair of bright active shorts and even brighter t-shirt.

After grabbing a bite to eat at our favorite restaurant at Wellington Green, California Pizza Kitchen, we packed up the Mitsubishi Outlander and headed home.  Thankfully the SUV has a nice, roomy trunk to fit all of our bags!

back to school clothes mitsubishi outlander

There were so many other stores we wanted to visit – American Eagle, Champs, and Lids to name a few but we can always go back another day!  The Mall at Wellington Green is our go-to shopping spot for anything really that we need as well as gifts!  Below is the final haul, all laid out.  (There is a romper in there for me too 😉

back to school clothes mall at wellington green haul

Have you been to the Mall at Wellington Green?  If not, it is definitely worth a visit!  They have great anchor stores (Macy’s, Nordstrom, JC Penney and Dillards) as well as independent clothing and housewares stores and restaurants!

Check out the mall directory here.

I have an amazing giveaway just in time for school shopping! Enter to win a $50 gift card to The Mall at Wellington Green!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About The Author

Dana Peller

Dana Peller

I’m a wife, mom, biz owner, writer, creator, and TV personality. My days are accomplished with a dash of flair, lots of style, and fueled by coffee.

About The Author

Dana Peller

Dana Peller

I’m a wife, mom, biz owner, writer, creator, and TV personality. My days are accomplished with a dash of flair, lots of style, and fueled by coffee.

share on

36 thoughts on “From Uniforms to Main Stream Fashion – Back to School Clothes”

  1. Great finds & your son is such a trooper with shopping! We wear uniforms to school, but socks & shoes are a MUST HAVE for my guys. Can’t say I won’t be lured in by Nordstrom though….

    1. Thanks Alexis! Uniforms were awesome but now with middle school – it’s all “street clothing”.

  2. That’s a great haul and seemed like a fun, productive day! I took my little cousin back to school shopping and it was so cool to see her style starting to take shape. Also, what a great reminder about hand sanitizers. I’ll have to grab a few along with the key chain holders for all my little cousins.

    1. I agree with you Melanie! Back to school shopping is a lot of fun and great quality time with the boys!

  3. Karlyn Cruz

    I love the stuff your kid picks, especially the socks! Back to school days are really big deals for us moms.

  4. victoria

    we didn’t yet finish our shopping for back to school.

  5. Niesha Byln

    Oh, I think wearing school uniform is cool but sometimes boring. Nice back to school clothes choices.

  6. He’ll be styling nicely with all of those wonderful finds. And thank goodness for a nice trunk space in the vehicle.

    1. Thanks Liz – he is so excited to wear his new clothes! That big trunk came in handy for sure!

  7. We have uniforms. I don’t mind, it helps a lot with the budet, that’s for sure.

    1. I love uniforms for the budget reason too, along with the fact that my boys could put their outfits together on their own!

  8. You found some great stuff! We like to school shop all summer because we like to grab stuff on clearance when we can!

    1. Thank you! Year round I’m looking for good sales in the stores that the boys like…and for me too 😉

  9. Elizabeth O.

    Shopping for “school” clothes is never easy because your child’s taste changes every year! I love these tips that you have here! Looks like you got a lot of awesome items!

  10. Kathy Kenny Ngo

    For me, I agree with having uniforms. At least my son will be disciplined to wear his uniform no matter what.

    1. I am all for rewards programs too! I agree with you that either way the uniform/non-uniform concept works. It’s just a change for the kids 🙂

  11. My parents didn’t have to worry about clothes when were in school. Our school provided the uniforms from grade school to high school.

  12. courtneyLynne

    oooo looks like you found some fabulous things!!!! I just love back to school shopping!

  13. Sarah Bailey

    H&M is one of the brands that I have heard a lot about and only great things! Back to school shopping can be so much fun.

  14. Christina Aliperti

    My son wore a uniform up until he graduated high school. He always hated it but I found it made mornings so much easier.

    1. Uniforms do make it super easy in the mornings. I have a feeling it’s going to be a different story once school starts for my middle schooler tomorrow 😉

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *