For me, back-to-school means I'll be back to doing some volunteer work at my kids school. I was a little uncertain about what to wear to volunteer at school my first few times, and now that I have a few years of experience I've learned my outfit choices vary quite a bit depending on the exact nature of the work I'm doing. With all of my volunteer outfits, I make sure the tops are not too low cut and I usually wear pants vs. shorts since the teachers at our school aren't allowed to wear shorts. Volunteers don't have a dress code like that, but I take it as a "preferred attire" hint anyway.
Here are a few examples of what I wear as a school volunteer for different activities...
Field Trip Chaperone:
When I'm chaperoning a field trip I make sure I have shoes that are comfortable for plenty of walking and possibly some sprinting to chase after that one kid who wants to play in the monkey exhibit. I also like an easy on/off jacket that I can tie around my waist or stick in my bag. And of course washable, easy fabrics for accidental spills and splashes. I usually end up carrying my own lunch plus a few extra items for the kids in my group, and possibly even my jacket for part of the trip, so I like a pretty big bag. The bag I'm carrying below has a shoulder strap which is okay for field trips, but a backpack is would be a better choice for comfort and hands-free convenience. I don't happen to have one I love but might consider getting one before my next field trip.
Similar) | Tee: Old Navy | Necklace: Express (Similar) | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Nordstrom | Watch: Fossil
Shop the Look:
This is one of the easiest tasks at school to dress for because just about anything goes. I don't have to worry about getting messy or walking long distances or getting my necklace covered in paint and clay. Almost any outfit works because I'm just sitting at a desk, but I usually like to wear something a little nicer than in the other volunteer categories just because I can.
Express | Jeans: Express | Shoes: Amazon | Bag: Amazon (Similar) | Short Necklace: c/o Kendra Scott | Chain Necklace: Forever 21(Similar) | Watch: Fossil | Bracelets: Express | Ring: Rebecca Minkoff (Gift)
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This is my personal favorite type of volunteer activity! I make sure I have comfortable shoes for carrying a bunch of food and supplies to and from my car, and I prefer shorter sleeves for things like this so they stay out of the way for passing out snacks and after-party clean-up.
Express | Shoes: Nordstrom | Jeans: Express | Bag: c/o Danielle Nicole | Necklace: Stella & Dot (Gift) | Bracelets: Express
Shop the Look:
Art Project or Reading Helper:
This would be very similar to a field trip outfit for me, but I haven't actually done this type of volunteering in the past year now that my kids are in the upper grades so I couldn't find a good example! In reality I wouldn't bother with the hat, fake ponytail or a long necklace for a day as a reading helper or art project helper. Generally a simple, low-fuss, high comfort outfit is good for this since you might end up sitting on the floor to read, and no one wants to ruin their nicest clothes with art supplies!
Shop the Pieces:
Back-to-School Shopping for the Boys:
Growing up, I always remember asking for a few new clothes to start the new school year. So far my boys don't seem to share my interest in clothes shopping, to say the least. I have an easier time taking them to the dentist than clothes shopping! But there are two areas where they usually need something new for year whether they want to shop for it or not because they completely wear out their existing options: shoes and backpacks.
Both of my kids went to Kindergarten in the Seattle area and I think it was one of our friends there that told us to get Lands' End back packs because they hold up the best. I don't really shop there much (as you can tell from the blog) but I took that advice and have become a fan of their kids' backpacks and repeat customer in that department. They don't have quite as many fun options as some places but they have been the most durable backpacks we've tried, and they do have fun custom embroidery options. Wheeled backpacks are so popular these days, and least year we bought some from Amazon that didn't last long, so we may take the plunge on the Lands' End version this year.
And since this is a brand I don't usually mention, I just want to be clear that this is not sponsored content! Just my honest experience with a shopping category that doesn't come up here too often!
Last but not least, new shoes are usually needed in our house for the new school year because my boys play hard and wear out their sneakers like nothing I've ever seen. I don't do a lot of damage at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale when shopping for myself, but since I usually buy my kids shoes there anyway, now is the best time to do it for the best prices. My kids choose their own shoes and I stay out of the way, but here are a few options I wouldn't mind if they chose!
My kids current favorite shoes are Vans and Under Armour, so I was glad to see those brands have options that are included in the sale.
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I know a lot of my regular readers have kids of their own so I'd love to hear from you ladies if you have tried-and-true brands for backpacks or shoes for your kids. I always see kids with cool backpacks at school but would feel weird asking a child, "Where did you get that?" Chances are most of them wouldn't know anyway since I'm sure their mom did the shopping!