15 Back-to-School Clothing Items That Won’t Break the Dress Code

A new school year brings with it exciting learning opportunities and memorable moments with friends new and old that’ll last a lifetime. But for parents, the back-to-school rush brings with it a long to-do list that undoubtedly includes everyone’s favorite task: shopping for back-to-school clothes.

It’s not just the lines and the dressing room meltdowns that make shopping for back-to-school clothes such a chore; many schools that don’t require uniforms — whether your kid’s entering pre-K or high school — do enact relatively strict dress codes. If you don’t have your handbook in front of you, don’t panic. While each institution may have slightly different rules, most adhere to similar standards, especially when it comes to clothing length, tightness and design.

For instance, most schools will follow the fingertip rule for skirts and shorts (meaning they must meet or be longer than a child’s fingertips when he or she holds her arms straight down against her torso and legs), while pants must fit snuggly around a child’s waist. All tops and outerwear must also adequately cover a child’s chest and stomach (i.e., no low-cut tops, no midriff, and no excessively low armholes) and can’t boast any vulgar or graphic imagery portraying violence, drugs, alcohol, swearing or lewd acts. Some schools also advise against strapless tops and require all shirt straps are at least two inches wide. The increased popularity of athleisure also poses a problem for some school officials. To play it safe, kids should wear longer shirts, dresses, or sweaters over tights and leggings.

Overwhelmed? It’s okay. Just remember that all clothes should be age-appropriate, shouldn’t fit too tightly or loosely, and shouldn’t show excessive amounts of skin.

Of course, these rules don’t mean that back-to-school clothes have to be boring by any means — or that back-to-school shopping has to be a nightmarish activity. In fact, thanks to online retailers like Amazon, you may never have to leave the comfort of your couch to fill your kids’ wardrobe. And, with dozens of brands and styles, Amazon makes it easy to find something for every personality at every budget.

Ahead, we’ve gathered a sampling of back-to-school clothing items from Amazon that are stylish, affordable, and guaranteed to meet school dress codes. So, go ahead and kick your feet up while you browse. After all, back-to-school shopping has never been easier.

This post was created by SheKnows for Amazon.

Rainbows & Ruffles Dress

Light up even the gloomiest days with this darling terry knit dress — equipped with fun ruffles and a statement-making rainbow patch — from Amazon’s kids’ brand, Spotted Zebra. Pair with colorful leggings (like a light blue from this five-pack from Spotted Zebra) on brisk days for the perfect back-to-school outfit. 

Spotted Zebra Girls’ French Terry Knit Ruffle Raglan Dress, from $15.30 at Amazon

Long-Sleeve Flannel Top

Keep kids snug and warm, while also looking totally cool, in a breathable cotton flannel. Pair this long-sleeve with jeans and a graphic tee for ultimate hip-kid appeal. 

Volcom Little Boy’s Caden Plaid Long Sleeve Flannel Shirt, from $17.84 at Amazon

Gender-Neutral Pullover

Not all kids’ clothes have to boast bright colors to make a statement. This gender-neutral pullover sweater from Kid Nation is a great addition to any wardrobe. Pair it with jogger pants or a skirt, throw on some lightweight sneakers, and prepare to tackle the school day ahead — from the playground to the classroom. 

Kid Nation Kids’ French Terry Sweatshirt for Boys or Girls, from $11.95 at Amazon

Embroidered Jeans

Why should shirts have all of the fun? These embroidered jeans from Levis have plenty of attitude with cute flowers and a charming hummingbird. Even better? They’re versatile enough to wear year-round. Rock on. 

Levi’s Girls’ 711 Skinny Fit Jeans, from $15.99 at Amazon 

Floral Romper

Part-dress, part-jumpsuit, total fun: Rompers are fantastic wardrobe staples for any trendsetter. (Plus, this one is stylish and passes the finger-length test.) Wear alone, with a light sweater, or over tights for a look that’s trés chic

Smukke Tiered Ruffle 3/4 Sleeves Romper with Pockets, from $32.69 at Amazon

Hybrid Shorts

The beginning of the school year can boast toasty temps in many states. Keep a pair of crisp shorts, like this stylish pair from Quicksilver, in the rotation for hotter days. As a bonus, look for hybrid shorts that help wick away water and sweat while still looking suitable enough for school presentations. 

Quiksilver Boys Union Heather Amphibian Youth 19 Hybrid Short, from $24.41 at Amazon

Bold Zip-Up Hoodie

If your kiddo prefers a bit of pizazz (and humor) over neutral patterns, opt for a couple of eye-grabbing pieces, like this monster-mash hoodie from Spotted Zebra. It’s silly without being too distracting, and the best part is, it’ll keep your little monster warm. 

Spotted Zebra Unisex Fleece Zip-Up Hoodie, $15 at Amazon

V-Neck T-Shirts

Perfect for layering or great on their own, v-neck T-shirts are a staple in any kids’ closet — and, because this collar doesn’t dip too low, it’s completely acceptable by school standards. Another bonus: Spotted Zebra sells these tees in four-packs. Style and convenience? That’s a win-win. 

Spotted Zebra Boys’ 4-Pack Short-Sleeve V-Neck T-Shirts, from $18 at Amazon


Jogger Pants

Stuck in a denim rut? Mix things up with a pair of jogger pants, like these from BYCR. While they fit snuggly around the waist (a requirement at many schools), these pants offer a bit of leg room and cuff at the bottom for a seamlessly fresh look. 

BYCR Boys’ Elastic Waistband Slim Fit Jogging School Pants, from $15.99 at Amazon 

Out-of-This-World Dress

Whether your kid wants to be the next space explorer or simply has her head in the stars, this sequined Saturn dress is a fantastic way to show off her shining personality. Earthlings — they have all the fun!

Fiream Girls Cotton Party Casual Striped Longsleeve Dresses, from $9.09 at Amazon


Colorful Long-Sleeve Shirts

Basics don’t have to be boring. Opt for bold colors and stripes when choosing long-sleeve shirts. This two-pack from Amazon Essentials is ideal for layering under a jacket or vest as fall temps start to drop. 

Amazon Essentials Boys’ 2-Pack Long-Sleeve Tees, from $12.60 at Amazon

Peachy Knot-Tie Blouse

Most schools don’t allow midriff of any kind — yet, front-tie shirts are all the rage. Luckily, this option from French Toast keeps kids on-trend while also providing ample belly coverage. Plus, it’s versatile enough to pair well with jeans or a skirt, meaning you can mix and match all year long!

French Toast Girls’ Short Sleeve Tie Front Top Shirt, from $4.62 at Amazon

Vintage-Inspired Denim Jacket

When it comes to the fall, layers are a kids’ (and parents’!) best friend. Denim jackets, like this vintage-inspired, gender-neutral style from Levis, are excellent for throwing over everything from band tees to flowy dresses. If you want to add even more personality to your kids’ look, accessorize with school-appropriate patches and pins. Trust us — your fashion-savvy kid will be the talk of the hallway. 

Levi’s Boys Denim Trucker Jacket, from $18.77 at Amazon

Lightweight Puff Vest

An airy puff vest will help keep tiny cores warm while adding an extra pop of color to any ensemble. These vests from Amazon Essentials are especially great because they fold up small enough to fit into a portable drawstring bag and they’re water-resistant. Rain or shine, you can rest assured your kid’s covered. 

Amazon Essentials Girls’ Lightweight Water-Resistant Packable Puffer Vest, from $17 at Amazon

Loose Dress Pants

Most schools frown upon pajamas or spandex leggings (unless kids wear a long tunic or dress over the top), but that doesn’t mean you have to forfeit comfort altogether. A pair of breathable loose dress pants adds a sophisticated spin on loungewear while also covering your dress-code bases. 

Dress ’em up with a pair of gold sandals (with straps on the heel to meet most school standards) or keep it casual with a pair of white sneakers. Either way, you can’t go wrong! 

Roxy Girls’ Big Happiest Day Beach Pants, from $13.84 at Amazon

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