Best Retailers for Back-to-School Kids’ Clothing
Back-to-School (BTS) season is in full swing. Some of our friends even started school as early as this week (yes, it’s the first week of August). Most of us though are starting or in the midst of our BTS clothes shopping right now. But for the next four weeks, you’ll be hearing about Back-to-School season much like you would Angelina and Brad during Hollywood’s awards season.
I surveyed a half dozen of Alpha Mom’s regular contributors– scattered around the country– about their favorite retail stores for Back-to-School clothes shopping. They are parents of preschoolers and of students in elementary and middle schools. Though our opinions vary, many of us have very similar views on particular retailers and their children’s clothing offerings. Here are our favorite retailers and why.
Where we’ll definitely be shopping for Back-to-School clothing this year
Favorite Retailer for Discounts and Deals on Children’s Clothing
“Old Navy is great because you can get a lot for your money. Price! And the sales! Nothing beats an Old Navy sale, either online or in the store. One of team members waits for the sales and STOCKS UP.”
Favorite General Retailer Selling Kids’ Clothing
Winner: Target (by a landslide)
We like Target because it’s a terrific value, rates highly for in-store shopping experience, offers very good discounts, and has a nice selection of clothing for boys and girls.
“Target is where my family does the majority of our general household shopping, so it’s convenient to check out the kids’ clothing section and pick up whatever the boys need. I like that Target carries a mix of simple basics as well as the licensed character/logo-centric clothing. My kids love getting fun shirts with their favorite characters on them, but I also like them to have some plainer (but still stylish) stuff and I can typically find both at Target. The clothing all holds up pretty well, considering the fairly low price.”
“Target has regular sales, nice athletic clothes–namely Champion–and the clothing department is laid out nicely and not too crammed. It is convenient and easy and my kids know they’ll find something they like. It’s pretty much our go-to clothing store. My only criticism would be that our Target sometimes runs out of various sizes that we need.”
Favorite Clothing Retailer with Kids’ Departments
Winners: Gap Kids & Old Navy Kids (Tie)
We like Gap Kids and Old Navy Kids because both offer a nice selection of clothes that are very good quality (especially Gap). Their clothing fits very well, and they offer very good sales and discounts (especially Old Navy). It also gets a thumbs up for their online and in-store shopping experiences.
“We love the style of the clothes from the Gap (both myself and the kids) and the quality is great.”
“I like Old Navy because you can get a lot for your money.”
Favorite Department Store
Nordstrom scores very high with us on quality of clothing, selection and in-store shopping experience. Main issue is that for most of us, its prices are too high for our BTS budgets.
Favorite Retailer for Boys’ Clothing
Winner:Old Navy Kids
Runners-Up: Target, Gap Kids, Children’s Place
We think Old Navy is great for boys because… “The styles and selections offered for boys are very good. These are clothes kids can be kids in — something gets ripped or stained, it’s okay. If something survives long enough to be handed down, that’s great.”
Favorite Retailer for Girls’ Clothing
We really like the selection and fit of its girls clothing offerings.
“Inexpensive and trendy. They have the cutest styles.”
“I love Old Navy for girls because they offer cute, trendy styles for a fantastic price. Old Navy is constantly offering discounts so affordable clothes are even cheaper. You can actually go on a shopping spree (and buy lots of items) without spending too much money. Plus, if your daughter ends up not loving one item – it’s no big deal because you didn’t spend too much money on it.”
Favorite Retailer for Kids’ Jeans
Favorite Retailer for Kids’ Shoes
Favorite Retailer for Kids’ Sneakers
Favorite Retailer for Kids’ Outerwear
Top Row: North Face Oso Hoodie // Lands End Expedition Parka // Old Navy Varsity-Style Fleece Jacket
Bottom Row: Lands End Stormer Jacket // North Face Gonzo Insulated Jacket // Old Navy Uniform Windbreaker
Favorite Retailer for Kids’ Undergarments
Favorite Retailer for Kids’ Fancy Clothing
Favorite Retailer for Girls’ Dresses
Favorite Retailer for Boys’ Blazers
Winner: J.Crew Kids
Favorite Retailer for Gender-Neutral Clothing
Winner: Hanna Andersson
Runners Up: Gap Kids and Target
“Hanna Andersson clothes last forever, they still look brand new after a couple of hand me downs. We love the bright colors and general look of their clothes.”
I was surprised to see that some popular clothing retailers like H&M, Gymboree, and WalMart didn’t rank well in our survey (and no one brought up TJ Maxx). In our survey, H&M is most remarkable for decent value for clothing prices; Gymboree was liked for its excellent quality in clothing but we think its a bit too expensive; no respondent had anything nice to write about the back-to-school clothing available or shopping experience at WalMart (ouch).
What are your favorite retailers for Back-to-School clothing and why?Published August 6, 2014. Last updated April 13, 2017.