Old Navy/Victoria Bellafiore for PureWow

From Homeroom to the Playground, We’ve Got Kids’ Back-to-School Dressing Covered...and a Little Something for Mom, Too!

We’re trading in video calls and laptops for textbooks and classrooms, and gearing up for in-person pep rallies and actual playdates with friends we haven’t seen in months. That’s right: We’re going back to the basics this school year. But that doesn’t mean our wardrobe has to do the same. This year we’re looking to bright neon colors, graphic tees, high-tech performance fabrics and throwback ‘90s tie-dye. Because what says “we’re back and better than ever” more than a fresh new look on the first day of school? Here, our top fall clothing picks for every back-to-school activity.

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1. The Classroom

Go back to back-to-school in style

For kids, this fall couldn’t be more exciting...or nerve-wracking. Get them ready to see friends, classmates and teachers in-person again with styles that make them feel confident. We’ve got our eye on a photo-worthy band tee with distressed denim or layered under denim short-alls and a denim jacket. Finish the look with trendy jelly sandals or canvas slip-ons. Oh, and don’t forget the butterfly clips (parents: cue the 90s nostalgia) for the first impression that’ll last all year long.

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2. The Playground

Who’s ready to play again?

Ease them into the transition from at-home learning to a full day of P.E., gym class, recess and little league practice with StretchTech, Old Navy’s best selling activewear. Try the stretchy, breathable, quick-drying fabric as shorts, a skort, a tank or joggers, all with UV protection built in. It even keeps its color and stretch in chlorine and salt water...because we’re not going to underestimate your kids’ ability to ~do it all~ in one day. Finally, top it all off with rainbow-hued athletic socks and sneakers they can run wild in and a water bottle for on-the-go hydration.

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3. The After-school Pick-up

The carpool lane is your runway

Whether it’s music lessons or softball practice, kids need to be able to move and groove well after the final bell rings—and the same goes for the parents shuffling them to-and-fro. That’s why Old Navy’s StretchTech shorts and joggers are ideal for after-school activities. Add a cozy sweatshirt over a soft graphic tee for an outfit that can take kids from inside (A/C on full blast) to outdoors (UV protection built into StretchTech fabric) in a flash. And parents: We know it’s a full-time job playing chaperone-secretary-scheduler-superhero, and you want to look and feel your best doing it. Might we suggest a cozy vintage-feel sweatshirt, distressed boyfriend jeans and canvas slip-ons? Because you’re *not* a regular mom, you’re a *cool* mom...and the pick-up line is the place to see and be seen.

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4. The Weekend Playdate

Make time for fun

Remember having actual plans on the weekend? (Neither do we.) Get back into the social swing of things with mix-and-match activewear for all-day park hangs, family-friendly hikes and backyard sprinkler sessions. In the late summer and early fall, keep kids cool with short-sleeve tees, StretchTech, bike shorts, waterproof sandals and scrunchies that they can run around in for hours. Then, when the temperatures start to drop again, dip your toe in the 90s trend with vintage tie-dye shorts and sweatshirts the whole family can layer and coordinate (for when the fall photo op strikes, of course).

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5. The Sidelines

Your kid’s #1 fan

The only way to cheer from the stands? In bright, head-turning colors that your very own sports star can spot from a mile away. Stay cool and stand out from the crowd while courtside in StretchTech shorts, the softest terry pullover, and a coordinating elastic headband (plus a tote bag for post-game snacks). Or, get loud in the bleachers while rocking StretchTech joggers, fresh white sneakers and a denim jacket during those chilly evening football games.


Director, Branded Content + Cohost, Royally Obsessed Podcast

As Director of Branded Content at Gallery Media Group, Roberta helps oversee the ideation and execution of sponsored content and experiential campaigns across PureWow and ONE37pm...