Jump to content

Menu

How many outfits for public school teen?


ksr5377
 Share

Recommended Posts

DD is going to switch from homeschooling to public school for 9th grade.  We're very casually dressed at home.  Lots of PJ/athletic wear days.  Other than once a week co-op and church, she really only leaves the house for soccer practice and hanging out with friends.  We're trying to figure out reasonably how many clothes we should have to start the school year.  I attended private schools and remember needing to add quite a few things to my wardrobe over Christmas break my first year of college.  I don't mind adding things as we go, I'm just trying to get an idea of numbers to help make a budget.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mine had 7 outfits, so she could do laundry on the weekend and still have something to wear. A lot of the outfits were t-shirts and comfy pants. If she's interested, buy a dress or nice skirt for dances. We would buy 7 outfits at a time (twice a year, for hot vs cold weather) until she stopped growing. Once they stop growing, we do two new outfits per year, unless something has worn out.

Also, be prepared to buy specific clothing mid-year. Choral and band concerts, as well as theater productions, sometimes request black slacks, white blouse, etc. If only the teachers would send those notes home at the beginning of the semester, instead of waiting until mid-December...

ETA: my oldest went to public for 8th and 9th grade, until Covid hit.

Also, not quite clothing, but sometimes teachers make kids turn in their cell phone during class. If your DD has one, consider getting a unique or customizable phone case so she can quickly identify her's at the end of each period.

Edited by rutheart
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would say 10 decent outfits, but some pieces were left from previous seasons. 
 

We live in a 4 season area so we usually start a school year by buying 5 new outfits and 2 shoes. Then we add 5 more warmer outfits and winter shoes as the seasons changed in October-Nov. Then 5 more outfits and summer shoes in spring. And then shorts /tanks/ swim suits were added in summer
 

PE / sports cloths were on top of those numbers. 
 

My kids are tall so they never stopped growing in school. Shoes and most clothes didn’t fit year to year, so buying 20 outfits a year, meant they had 10 at the most that were the right season and size. 

Edited by Tap
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing to remember when you’re shopping is that you don’t always need to think in terms of “outfits.” If you’re on a budget and want your dd’s wardrobe to look larger than it is, buy fewer bottoms and more tops. You don’t necessarily have to go along with the standard recommendation of neutral colored bottoms; just make sure that if you go more colorful, you have at least a few different tops that will go nicely with each of them. 

 

 

  • Like 15
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with thinking in terms of pieces, not outfits. If a kid really just had 7 outfits in circulation over and over, I think that would get old. And possibly in a sort of negatively noticeable way to peers. But if a kid has 10ish tops and 7ish bottoms that mostly mix and match and then there are some pieces that layer, then that's a lot of outfits for the same number of pieces of clothing - more or less. If that makes sense.

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I agree with thinking in terms of pieces, not outfits. If a kid really just had 7 outfits in circulation over and over, I think that would get old. And possibly in a sort of negatively noticeable way to peers. But if a kid has 10ish tops and 7ish bottoms that mostly mix and match and then there are some pieces that layer, then that's a lot of outfits for the same number of pieces of clothing - more or less. If that makes sense.

Yes, and it’s also easy to add more tops as you go along. It’s usually harder to find pants and skirts that fit well, but tops are a lot easier, and even if you order them online, the odds that they will fit are pretty good. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My youngest attended PS. 

Our typical 'new school year shopping trip' started with 2 new pairs of jeans and one new pair of neutral slacks (she liked to dress 'business casual' some days).  She already had lots of T-shirts but we would add 4-5 new blouses that she could wear with the jeans or slacks.  For shoes-- one athletic pair and one semi-casual (typically flats that she could wear with jeans or slacks).  It was usually time to update 'unmentionables' too.

DD's wardrobe did not have to be 100% replaced-- we just added to it as needed-- but the back to school shopping was pretty standard. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, Farrar said:

I agree with thinking in terms of pieces, not outfits. If a kid really just had 7 outfits in circulation over and over, I think that would get old. And possibly in a sort of negatively noticeable way to peers. But if a kid has 10ish tops and 7ish bottoms that mostly mix and match and then there are some pieces that layer, then that's a lot of outfits for the same number of pieces of clothing - more or less. If that makes sense.

And even that sounds like a lot to me! I’d  do fewer and add accessories. But capsule wardrobes are the way to go, for sure.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd agree with the others to focus on the shirts, and you can have fewer pants/shorts/skirts.  My DD usually has 8-10 seasonally appropriate shirts of various styles but rarely more than 3 pairs of jeans she likes at any one time, plus maybe a couple casual skirts or dresses she'll wear to school.  She wears each pair of jeans 2-3 times at least before washing. 

When DS14 goes to school in the fall, he will probably wear athletic pants/sweats every day (or athletic shorts) and those can't really be reworn quite like jeans...especially not for smelly teenage boys.  😉  He always has 8+ pairs of athletic pants or shorts anyway since he doesn't rewear them, so I want to make sure he has 8-10 T-shirts that he likes that aren't ratty, too small, or full of holes. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say 10, but I would start with 5 and shop again later.  Around here, it's still summer weather when school starts, so summer clothes are still in use.  Once she gets into the school and sees what styles everyone is wearing, she might make different choices than she would before attending.  5 outfits that can transition to fall, plus summer clothes, can get you through until the weather changes or you're ready to shop again as long as you can mix and match your selections.  My daughter was gifted in the whole capsule wardrobe concept in a way I never was, so she could create loads of looks with a smallish wardrobe.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I meant outfits as in 7 tops and 7 bottoms, or 6 tops, 6 bottoms, and a dress. It takes a long time before she wears the same outfit head-to-toe again.  Mine refuses to wear jeans, so everything gets washed after one use.

We also give fandom t-shirts and sweatshirts at birthday/Christmas, so the total number of possible combinations increases over the year.

For what it's worth, the only thing my daughter has noticed about her clothing at school is that the other girls started to copy her style. It's a rural school (you can see cows from the parking lot), and they were pretty much athletic t-shirt/jeans type people beforehand. My daughter wears the fandom shirts, plaid, pineapples, and men's turn of the century clothing, so it was pretty obvious when they started copying her. Your mileage may vary with an urban school.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't buy anything but jeans and black leggings for bottoms -- no matter how much your kid likes other things in the store. School norms will passively suppress almost anything else, and she won't get a lot of wear out of other looks. Is it shorts weather in the fall for you? Maybe a couple of pairs would be handy. For tops, buy maybe 5 or more, but don't get anything she's 'not that in to'. Chances are she will only wear her favorites anyways. (My DD16's wardrobe is very narrow and favorites-oriented. There's a lot of repetition and a lot of unworn choices hanging out in the closet.)

Edited by bolt.
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Around here kids are still wearing shorts in September, then transitioning to warmer clothes. School and team sweatshirts are definitely part of the wardrobe, like if she plays for the school soccer team and they get warm-up shirts or hoodies, those kinds of items are worn a lot at school. I will ditto the black leggings and jeans comment above. I work in the high school and that's what most wear, but there are also other people with unique looks. I would get enough bottoms for a start (at least 5) and make sure she has more tops she can mix and match with the bottoms, and then plan to go shopping with her in a few months. I really like filling in wardrobe gaps on Black Friday--best prices of the year!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This depends very much on the school and the kid. My kids have 6-8 bottoms plus about 10 tops to work off of. We don’t re-wear worn clothing due to germs (everyone strips and showers after school—we do a daily load of school and work clothes daily).

My older has a capsule wardrobe based off of the basics—so black leggings + white tee + olive jacket works for her as a basic outfit because part of the building runs warm and part of it is a freezer. She had the same formula as above + more hoodies or jackets + jewelry. She does have daily gym so we have had to budget for gym shorts; school provides the t-shirt top.

We have been shopping a lot—old navy sales and the like as clothing availability has been glitchy. Our Targets are decimated—almost no shorts and no jeans, no leggings at all. Thrift stores are likewise bare.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dress at my ds high school was mostly casual ( jeans and shirts type casual mostly, not pajamas). Athletic wear too, was common as regular school day clothing, though rules precluded certain things that revealed too much during class time. Like our school’s rule was no leggings unless under a skirt or long tunic iirc were allowed, no tops so sleeveless as to show bras/ or chests, (if they used that for gym or after school sports they had to change) ...   So check school rules handbook. 

Imo Have more than 7 sets underwear. And at least 10 pairs socks . Plus I suggest  if possible a back up underwear and pair socks for emergency “Mom, I can’t find any ___” mornings 

casual bottoms to fit washing schedules. At least 5 different tops minimum that mix and match with the bottoms. 
 

One dress up outfit  that is cute and flatters her and she can move in for if there’s a dance or similar. 
 

Later expect to add a few things that are “in” and very probably some school logo shirt or sweatshirt. 
 

if she’ll be in any particular activities that might have a dress uniform like orchestra, ask what’s required and make that part of the mix and match outfits if possible. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Catwoman said:

If you’re on a budget and want your dd’s wardrobe to look larger than it is, buy fewer bottoms and more tops. 

Yes! Very common to re-wear jeans and such if they still look clean. You could easily get away with even just 3 bottoms if she has closer to 10 tops.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't even know how many my kids have. Dd mostly wore black leggings, a few jeans, some athletic shorts, and various tshirts. She got some stuff before she started school and then some things through the year and changes of seasons and also after getting a feel for what it was popular (being the new kid was hard enough she wanted to fit in with what she wore). Ds just wears tshirts, (occasional hoodies), athletic shorts, or athletic pants. He doesn't wear jeans so I stopped buying them. Jeans are popular among boys but ds could care less.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2021 at 4:19 PM, Dmmetler said:

Double, triple, and quadruple check the school dress code before buying anything. Especially for a girl. It is surprising just how many rules some schools have. 

Yes! Thank you for mentioning this!  It made me look it up online and we discovered that jeans can not have any holes in them above her fingertips.  We checked with a few people and found out this was actually enforced.  All of her jeans have small holes around the front pockets.  Nothing you can see through, but enough to not be ok.  I would have never even thought about this.  

Thanks for all the comments, they're about what I was thinking.  A few new items to start off with and then adding as the school year progresses is probably what we'll end up doing.  She also just got her first job so I'm sure she'll be picking up some things on her own as well.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2021 at 1:49 PM, ksr5377 said:

DD is going to switch from homeschooling to public school for 9th grade.  We're very casually dressed at home.  Lots of PJ/athletic wear days.  Other than once a week co-op and church, she really only leaves the house for soccer practice and hanging out with friends.  We're trying to figure out reasonably how many clothes we should have to start the school year.  I attended private schools and remember needing to add quite a few things to my wardrobe over Christmas break my first year of college.  I don't mind adding things as we go, I'm just trying to get an idea of numbers to help make a budget.

I'm following this too. My DD is starting 9th grade at PS after being homeschooled and then online charter schooled for several years.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, ksr5377 said:

Yes! Thank you for mentioning this!  It made me look it up online and we discovered that jeans can not have any holes in them above her fingertips.  We checked with a few people and found out this was actually enforced.  All of her jeans have small holes around the front pockets.  Nothing you can see through, but enough to not be ok.  I would have never even thought about this.  

Thanks for all the comments, they're about what I was thinking.  A few new items to start off with and then adding as the school year progresses is probably what we'll end up doing.  She also just got her first job so I'm sure she'll be picking up some things on her own as well.  

YMMMV but dd1's school doesn't follow the published dress code. I made her wait a week or 2 before wearing anything against it but after seeing that it was broke more often than not I said whatever. My niece's school does follow their puritanical dress code (which was only recently even enacted). I'd not get rid of anything just yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agreeing that it's the tops that will matter.

My fashion-conscious kid has this thing about repeating outfits too often.  For girls like her, I think a minimum of 10 different nice tops are needed, but you could start with fewer and let her add more as she sees what the other girls are wearing and chooses her style.  Bottoms can be generic (within contemporary styles), some short and some long, quantity depending on your laundry cycle.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd think minimum 10 tops, 5 bottoms- plus a few pairs of shoes.  Don't forget jackets.  I also like a few transition outfits that add a long sleeve shirt in the cool morning, and take off for short sleeves in the afternoon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, BusyMom5 said:

I'd think minimum 10 tops, 5 bottoms- plus a few pairs of shoes.  Don't forget jackets.  I also like a few transition outfits that add a long sleeve shirt in the cool morning, and take off for short sleeves in the afternoon.

This is pretty much what I was thinking, in addition to everything she already owns - several things are not allowed in the dress code! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2021 at 2:53 PM, Tap said:

I would say 10 decent outfits, but some pieces were left from previous seasons. 
 

We live in a 4 season area so we usually start a school year by buying 5 new outfits and 2 shoes. Then we add 5 more warmer outfits and winter shoes as the seasons changed in October-Nov. Then 5 more outfits and summer shoes in spring. And then shorts /tanks/ swim suits were added in summer
 

PE / sports cloths were on top of those numbers. 
 

 

Any recommendations for what to buy for PE? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a distinct memory of tracking a girl's outfits in middle school -- she had a schedule for when she wore her clothes. Her favorite outfit was denim jeans, a white top and a denim jean jacket that matched the jeans perfectly.  It was her Wednesday outfit.  She was very popular and one of the "rich" girls at school, so this was the one thing that made her stand out in a negative light! 

My daughter, homeschooled until ninth and then virtual schooled until March, refused to listen to my requests to wear different outfits.  She would come down in the same pants sometimes three days in a row. Ugh. Her sister brought her shopping and got some "in style" clothes", but they weren't as comfortable as the baggy sweatpants and librarian looking sweater she loved.  I figured we would just try more this coming year -- she did have PE last year with no changing allowed, so she had a point in wanting to be comfortable!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

My dd has a couple pairs of jeans, 5-7 t shirts 2-3 long sleeve light sweaters/hoodie s and light jacket.  But she's fairly simple when it comes to clothes.  And wears her converse the entire year.  As she hates shopping so once were done we're done for the entire school year.  She's also rotc so has to wear her uniform or company shirt once a week.

Edited by lynn
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since it doesn’t sound like she has a defined style yet, you might want to start with two bottoms and three tops so she can check out what the other girls are wearing (most girls her age want to fit in, not stand out). Then, a few days in, go on an evening shopping trip to add a couple of more things, wait a bit, until the season changes if you can, and then add more. 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2021 at 6:19 PM, Ottakee said:

You can also buy just a few things and then shop 2 weeks into the school year once she sees what everyone else is wearing

This, for sure. I would make sure she has about 10 days worth of combos and let her know that she'll be able to pick out other pieces during the school year. My girls both had/have way, way, WAY (too much) more than 10 outfits worth but it developed over time. DD16 has a definite sense of her own style and gets almost all of her clothes from thrifting. 

The only thing I really have to spend decent money on is shoes. Almost more than any other piece of clothing, shoes follow definite trends that my kids have wanted to be in on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

If no other help is possible as to local school dress then I like idea of a couple of days worth of clothes and then go shopping. But usually it is better to fit in one Day One, rather than be out of sync on day one and then try to fix that. 

 

If you can find a website for the school that includes photos of kids you might get an idea of styles common at least in recent years. That plus knowing the dress code would be useful. Or perhaps a parent of a child or several there could be found who would give guidance. (Someone with an older girl already there, and another who will be in your daughter’s class for example could be very helpful.) 

If there’s a registration day before school starts especially if with kids present, you could see what they are wearing — even if no kids are present you might learn about dress codes, plus perhaps meet more experienced parents. 
 

There might also be sports that start earlier than first day of school where you can meet people. 
 

It would probably be helpful for her to more or less fit in on the very first day. And you don’t want to have bought new jeggings only to find out they are not allowed.   Or to have her wearing jeans on day one if it turns out other girls dress up in skirts on first day, or vice versa.   Though occasionally for some girls being different like that ends up positive, most want to fit in.

Edited by Pen
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/24/2021 at 11:20 AM, rutheart said:

Mine had 7 outfits, so she could do laundry on the weekend and still have something to wear.

In order to wash clothes every seven days and still be dressed on laundry day, you need eight outfits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, EKS said:

In order to wash clothes every seven days and still be dressed on laundry day, you need eight outfits.

But, there are only 5 school days. Laundry on weekends can be done in your jammies or fave ratty old sweats and t-shirt from 3 years ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Around here, most of the girls wear jeans or leggings with t-shirts, sweatshirts, or hoodies. My own DD had her own sense of style and never cared or tried to fit in with the popular style in school. She wore black pants (jeans or sweatpants), her favorite band(s) t-shirts or random funny t's, with open (not buttoned up) plaid flannel overshirts. She has several flannels in several color combinations of plaid from both the men's and women's sections of the stores, so she mixed and matched t's and flannels. It was easy to shop for her.

My DS lives in athletic pants or shorts, t-shirts, and pullover hoodies. He's easy to shop for, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, hippymamato3 said:

Any recommendations for what to buy for PE? 

 

18 hours ago, Tap said:

Ask the school, sometimes there is a dress code. 

Yes, at the high school here there is a specific dress code for gym, they can only where 4 different color shorts and shirts(ds didn't one day and got in trouble). For girls Nike dry fit shorts or similar are very popular.  For gym random tshirts are fine, like even free shirts for activities and groups, she doesn't care for gym (and she generally likes blending in for the most part).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, EKS said:

In order to wash clothes every seven days and still be dressed on laundry day, you need eight outfits.

Or wear pajamas or old homeschool casual/weekend lounging clothes etc during laundry 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, seven days' worth of clothes allows for some weekend events (hanging with friends, unofficial field trips that give extra credit, etc), but usually laundry day is spent at home anyway, so pajamas are frequently worn all day on laundry day. I'm an introvert, so it was rare to not have a full weekend day at home each week. If you're the kind of family to be out all weekend, you might want to keep more clothes in stock and have your child do laundry on weekday afternoons/evenings while studying or doing homework.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, fraidycat said:

But, there are only 5 school days. Laundry on weekends can be done in your jammies or fave ratty old sweats and t-shirt from 3 years ago.

 

5 hours ago, Pen said:

Or wear pajamas or old homeschool casual/weekend lounging clothes etc during laundry 

True, but if that's the case, why not five outfits?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a similar but different situation in that my DS is paring down his wardrobe.  He has been the recipient of a ton of hand me downs lately. We decided 7 tees, 7 pants, 2 hoodies, three or four long sleeved tees and three or four dress shirts would do it.

i say at least 5 short sleeve shirts because it stays hot here into September, so there are weeks he’d need short sleeves every day, plus he Can layer hoodies over them when it’s colder. But that depends on your climate and the teen’s personal preference. My DD has many nice blouse and shirts and cute tees, and chooses 8 days out of 10 to wear tees she gets from church camp or FFA or band.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, EKS said:

 

True, but if that's the case, why not five outfits?


5 would do. Ideally more underwear.

when at schools with uniforms just two or three usually are enough -  no one expects a new look fairly often and usually if just worn for school clothes the outer uniform can be reworn 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, hippymamato3 said:

Most teens spend time with friends on weekends, so they probably wouldn't want to be wearing pajamas!

I get it--I was arguing for eight.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My teens have a fave style of jeans. Several pairs of those, 5-7.

Then they have tons of t-shirts & sweatshirts. They usually buy their own shirts. They are very picky. They collect shirts like it's a hobby. 

 

Bored? Let's find an interesting shirt at the thrift store.  🤣 

I make sure they have quality shoes, socks, undies. Buy an extra package of everything. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...