Skip to main content

Kids’ clothing checklist: The 7 items every kid should have

Your child’s wardrobe will be constantly changing from their infant stage until they’re in their teens. Unexpected growth spurts, rough play, and set-in stains can also cause you to give away or discard clothing more than usual. Whether you practice minimalism or not, whether you believe in all the reasons why kids need fewer clothes, there are some children’s clothing essentials that should be in all their wardrobes. So start off with our kids’ clothing checklist here.

Group of kids running in a park with a dad
Alistair Berg/Getty Images

An indestructible pair of sneakers

Once your baby is old enough to walk, it will be go, go, go every chance they get. So whether it’s dashing across the concrete sidewalk or climbing up dirt hills, one thing that endures a lot of wear and tear is their pair of shoes.
Consider thick-soled rubber skater shoes that will last no matter how much they run, stomp, and drag. Running shoes are also a great idea because they’re lightweight, breathable, and durable.

Related Videos

Reinforced-knee jeans

Similarly, your kids’ jeans will be used heavily. Save your kids’ jeans and their knees from damage by getting them reinforced-knee jeans. The insides of the knees have an extra layer of fabric to prevent tears.
Some big brands and companies actually offer lifetime or limited-time warranties for children’s denim. If they rip or tear, bring them in and they will replace the damaged pair. For starters, Cat & Jack offers a one-year warranty while Lands’ End offers a lifetime warranty for its products.

A go-to sweater or hoodie

Whatever climate you live in, you will most likely need a hoodie for at least one season. Get your child a go-to hoodie they can grab before running out the door so they’ll always have something to keep them warm if needed. Consider stashing one in the car or in their bag at all times.

Boy in hoodie crossing small bridge
Onfokus/Getty Images

Zip-up jackets offer more versatility since kids can unzip them if they get a little too warm, but crew neck hoodies are slightly more comfortable and are easier to put on. At the end of the day, it depends on your child’s personal preference.

Climate-appropriate shoes

This one might be region-specific but is still important. In places where it snows, snow boots are essential. These insulated, waterproof shoe coverings protect your little one from the cold and from slippery surfaces.

Another shoe you might purchase is a rain boot. If you know your child is the type to jump into a puddle when they’re at school, don’t wait — invest in a pair of rain boots! They’re easy to clean, easy to put on, and last a long time.

A pack of long sleeved and short sleeved shirts

For everyday use, purchase one pack of long sleeve shirts and another pack of short sleeve shirts. This will make outfit choices so much easier in the morning (or at night if you or your child like to plan early), and will reduce the amount of laundry you do each week. Trust us!

One formal outfit

For more special occasions, invest in a fancy outfit your child can rock to any wedding, school event, concert, or formal dinner. It makes sense to hold back on too many formal outfits because your child will outgrow them in no time, and more often than not, they don’t care what they’re wearing, anyway.

A comfy set of pajamas

Lastly, it’s nice to have a comfortable set of pajamas for nights and for lounging around on the weekends. If you do laundry daily, you can get away with a single pair that you wash in the morning. Otherwise, go for a few sets so your child can have something to wear between laundry days. Choose breathable fabrics like cotton and linen, as thicker fabrics like fleece and wool can be too stuffy, especially during warmer months.

Young girl in pajamas om floor drawing
Blend Images - Inti St Clair/Getty Images

Now that you have a good idea of a kids’ clothing checklist, it’s time to hit the shops. On top of must-haves like underwear, socks, and weather-appropriate accessories, these seven items will help complete your child’s wardrobe. Remember to opt for lasting fabrics and materials to ensure a long service life. Luckily, our list is full of durable, valuable items that serve a purpose rather than clutter up your closet.

Editors' Recommendations

5 amazing kid hairstyles for 10-year-old girls that are easy to do
We have kids' hairstyles that look adorable and don't take long to do
Mom fixing daughter's hair and putting it in braids

Looking for the perfect way to keep your child’s hair out of her face and eyes, but aren’t exactly a pro at kids’ hairstyles? You can keep your favorite girl fashionable and cool in any season with these easy kid hairstyles that take minimal skill and hardly any special products. She’ll love the way she looks (and you will, too!), and all her friends will be begging for the same hairdo.

Ready to be the most popular parent on the block? Check out these five amazing kid hairstyles for 10-year-old girls that are oh-so-easy and breezy. And not a single parent needs a beauty certification to do any of them.

Read more
The best Halloween costumes for a family of 4 that are simple to find or create
Group-inspired Halloween costume ideas for the whole family
Family of four dressed in Halloween costumes

Dressing up for Halloween as a family is a bonding experience that your kids will remember forever. Whether you have little ones or older kids, there are a variety of group costume ideas that will get the whole family in the spooky spirit. Check out some of the best ways to celebrate Halloween with these fun costumes for your family of four.

Dress up as your favorite animated or movie family
One benefit to being a family of four is that there are so many animated families that feature four or more members. You can each pick your favorite character and bring your beloved animated show to life. Some iconic animated families that you can recreate include:

Read more
5 irresistible Halloween costumes for baby’s first trick-or-treat
Dressing up your little pumpkin for Halloween? Try these costumes
Baby pumpkin Halloween costume

You can smell it in the air and hear the leaves as they crunch underneath your feet. There isn't any doubt that autumn is here, and that means one thing to kids and fall lovers everywhere: Halloween is coming! For those who relish the holiday, Halloween is an exciting time, and when it's baby's first Halloween, there is a lot to be thrilled about.

Dressing up your baby on any day is a lot of fun, but holidays like Halloween definitely up the cuteness factor. Of course, there are a plethora of baby Halloween costumes to choose from. Halloween costumes for babies are adorable, especially when you pick an endearing theme for their costumes. We've got some fun and popular Halloween costumes for babies that will bring on the oohs and aahs this October 31.

Read more