What to Wear to School: 2nd Grade and 6th Grade

Here it is! Your annual guide on What to Wear to School. This post features Betty Blair (6th grader, and new to middle school), and June Blair (2nd grader).

Fun fact: this post marks the first time in 13 years that we haven’t had at least 2 kids in elementary school. Hah!

Come see what Betty and June are wearing to school this year.


Fall 2017 Back to School Outfit #1

Betty is wearing a ruffled, buffalo check top from Target, and a pair of faded pink jeans that have been handed down from Maude to Olive to Betty. Black Converse too.

June is wearing a striped tee and army-green joggers — both from Target (I’m not seeing the pants online, but I know I’ve seen them in-store very recently). Black Nike sneakers. Socks from H&M.


Fall 2017 Back to School Outfit #2

Betty is wearing a pink flare-sleeve top and army-green pants from Uniqlo. Gold flats are from Forever 21 — hand me downs from Maude.

June is wearing a grey pleated skirt from Uniqlo, a pink tee from H&M, a buffalo check flannel shirt and cable-knit knee socks from Target. High-tops with ribbon laces from Zara. This is what June wore on the first day of school.

Fall 2017 Back to School Outfit #3

Betty is wearing yellow jeans and navy top/sweater from J.Crew (the top is sweater material on the sleeves and front, but the back panel isn’t knit — it’s like a polka dot broadcloth). The red ribbon flats are from Zara. This is Betty’s favorite outfit this year by far, and she wore it on the first day of school.

June is wearing jeans with little hearts from Target, a striped sweater from Uniqlo (it’s listed on their site as a tee, but I think it’s more like a sweater — and only $10!), socks from H&M, and navy canvas sneakers from the boys department at Old Navy. (Pro-tip: the boys section often has more durable shoes than the girls department.)


Fall 2017 Back to School Outfit #4

Betty is wearing navy joggers and a navy striped boatneck top from Uniqlo (the top is a thick knit and it’s only 10 bucks!). With salt water sandals (also in navy), and a red bandana. She’s also wearing a blue watch.

June is wearing pencil-print leggings and a sparkly tee, both from Target. Sweater-knit sneakers from Old Navy. And a fleece vest from Amazon (the vest is available in lots of fun bright colors). June sometimes wishes she wore glasses, so she wears these frames for fun once in awhile (some old sunglasses with the lenses popped out).


And that wraps up the 2017 What to Wear to School Guide!

Thoughts? Are your kids wearing similar items this year? Do they happen to have a particular style you can define? Like maybe they love a retro look or a goth look? Do they love putting together outfits? Or are they more in the can’t-be-bothered category? I’d love to hear!

P.S. — More what to wear to school posts — from this year and past years.

44 thoughts on “What to Wear to School: 2nd Grade and 6th Grade”

  1. I’m sorry, but really, these “what to wear” features are one of the main reasons I’ve come to the conclusion that conspicuous consumption is a central tenet of Mormonism. I mean really, seriously? I come from a very large (but not Mormon) family, and the whole idea that you would go out and buy a whole bunch of co-ordinated, Euro-looking outfits to start school just to show how hip you are – well, let’s just say, that wasn’t in the cards for us. I guess that’s your life, but you really need to realize it’s a different planet from where most of us in this country are living.

    1. Not sure what to tell you, Anna. I feature What to Wear to School posts once per school year — always at the request of readers. And the clothes in the photos are a combination of hand me downs from older siblings, plus new items that feature heavily from stores like Target, Old Navy, H&M and Uniqlo — which are as affordable as I’ve been able to find.

      I definitely know some Mormons who are into conspicuous consumption and don’t deny it happens. Am I in that category? Perhaps. But it’s possible that you’re just pointing out part of my job as a blogger (which includes featuring products). If the only Mormons you know are bloggers who feature products from time to time, then I can see how you would come to that conclusion. Though, I don’t see these once a year shopping posts as a good example of it. Maybe the Family Room redesign would be a better example? I guess it depends on how you define conspicuous consumption.

      1. It’s always interesting to see how two people can have two completely different takes on the same post! I was thinking how incredibly thrifty the Blair family is, and marveling that I’d never be able to put together such cool outfits from stores like Old Navy. Also impressed at the longevity of the hand-me-downs.

        Finally, I think something that is very indicative of the ethic of the Blair family is that Maude’s bday present to Olive was a thrift store find – obviously perfectly and thoughtfully suited to the recipient, stylish as heck and, I assume, not a bank-buster.

    2. I’m not sure why you would read a style blog and then complain about conspicuous consumerism. And to ascribe consumerism to the author’s religion. I don’t see how these are related, other than Gabby is open that she is both a designer and a Mormon. She has a nice mix of fun and thought provoking posts. And if you don’t want to be sold a product, you may want to avoid reading most blogs.

    3. Don’t all parents have to make sure their kids have enough clothes that fit and work for school every school year? I would love to have a collection of pictures like this of my own kids each year to look back on and remember how they looked and dressed at every age.

    4. Anna, sometimes I feel badly reading certain posts that are far out of reach for my family. But I continue to read this blog because I think Gabby does a good job of featuring a variety of topics. It seems to me Gabby is aware that her situation is pretty unique.

      I suppose new clothes and new furnishings don’t stir the same degree of feeling for me, but occasionally the Living With Kids does.

      Gabby, I’ll admit I probably had the hardest time while you were in France. I loved reading your blog but it blew my mind that you and your husband could live abroad with a large family (and not in a cheap country) earn a living, buy a property there AND return to buy a home in an expensive part of the U.S. We are still trying to find one house we can afford.

      There have been so many thought-provoking conversations on this blog. If it was only about acquiring cool stuff, I wouldn’t be reading it.

    5. There are quite a few Mormon families in my neighborhood and I admire their focus on faith and family. I often hear them talking about buying used clothes, sharing hand me downs, and overall living comfortably but modestly. In any religion or church I think you will find some who show off or focus on material goods but that’s not indicative of the majority.

  2. I love these posts! Please don’t stop!! Your girls are precious, as are olive and oscar in the previous post. Kids develop a style and that is to be celebrated!
    I have loved watching your kids grow up in these posts. Sending love from CT!

  3. Just felt like sending you some good wishes, Gabby. Can’t quite get over the comment that lumps 14 million people as conspicuous consumers… Actually, I had been considering what action I can take to help those suffering in Puerto Rico, and popped over here for a little color and fun and good feeling. So thanks to your kids for sharing their school outfits with us, and the pleasure in enjoying what we have, from Grandma’s sweater to the amazing lilac jumpsuit to awesome yellow pants. My deeper gratitude is for the love of family and sharing and caring for one another that I am lucky to have in my life and that I feel you support here at Design Mom. I feel like I am living pretty high on the hog what with my full refrigerator, clean water on demand, and electricity any old time I want it. I think I’ll try to share more kindess, like Amy above.

    1. I hear you. Everything happening in Puerto Rico is just discouraging and overwhelming. And it seems like there are a whole lot of people that don’t seem to understand Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens (which I know can be confusing, because PR is a territory and not a state). If it helps, I found some good links for helping here.

      And thank you for the kind words!

  4. I love these bold outfits! I think Betty looks very French on that last one, she could wear the beret with that outfit too! I also love that you featured second-hand clothes there, I bought a ton of those as well for my kids when they were younger. And who doesn’t like vintage??

  5. Your girls are so lovely and great style! I have always collected clothes for my Kindergarten age daughter at consignment kids shops in the bay area but buy a lot of new stuff as well to supplement. Tea dresses, Uniqlo outerwear, Gap socks and Saltwater sandals. Kids clothes are so fun to buy but can be expensive when they just keep on growing out of everything!

    1. It’s so true! Kids grow so fast. I know that makes us lucky in the hand-me-down department. And three cheers for consignment shops! If you’re reading and you don’t have any nearby, definitely check out ThredUP online. We’ve found some awesome pieces there — many new with tags!

  6. I love Betty’s “B” necklace. Would she mind you sharing the information about it. Does it come in sterling silver? I would love to be a “D” for my daughter.

  7. As a mom of 3 kids, I really love these posts for inspiration and fun. It’s fun to see some cute ideas for putting things together my kids already own (I love the fun crazy socks your kids all seem to wear), along with ideas for new clothes since kids are always growing out of clothes and needing something new that fits. I appreciate the affordable sources you find for great clothes and that you focus on sturdy and non-character stuff that doesn’t cost a fortune. And I’ve been consciously (and possibly conspicuously?) wanting to be a consumer of a sturdy, affordable, comfortable skirt my daughter can wear over and over with everything – but I couldn’t find one until I saw that darling gray skirt June is wearing so thank you for helping me out with that one. :)

  8. Gabby, I too love these posts (and the others from previous years). Your response to Anna’s comment was thoughtful, appropriate and on point, which is what I consider to be the tone of Design Mom in general. I am not a Mormon. But I think that you are very generous to share what your large, lovely, independent-minded, and also Mormon family is like. It seems to me that Anna may have a bigger issue with Mormons at large and put your family under the umbrella of that. I am sorry that you have been put into a spot where you are attacked for showcasing something very common (back to school shopping) in a fun, light-hearted way.

    1. Thank you for the support and feedback, Sarah. Of course I can’t speak for Anna, but it doesn’t surprise me when people are frustrated with Mormons as an organization. I get frustrated sometimes too!

      1. I believe you when you say that. In fact, I feel that you are typically very frank about many of those frustrations. In part, that is why I found of the comment to be particularly misplaced. It lumped you into a group of which you are thoughtfully and openly critical, when there is something with which you don’t agree. And I for one, I respect you very much for that.

  9. These “what to wear” posts are among my favorites! Please keep doing them. It’s great to see how the kids change (I’ll echo the disbelief that June is in 2nd grade – how is that possible?!) and what they’re wearing. Always so cute and I think you consistently do a nice job of including new and hand-me-down clothes as well as highlighting affordable retailers.

    I appreciate the mix of light and serious subject matter you share on your blog. It’s a real credit to you that you’re able to walk what sometimes may feel like a pretty narrow line so gracefully.

    1. Thanks Amy! I really enjoy covering a good mix of subjects because experience parenthood that way. Our days always seem to be a mix of light and heavy happenings. I’m glad you enjoy the mix too.

  10. Such great outfits! And your girls are such good sports to model them for you (we are reaching the ages in my household where they are OVER mom taking photos of them :-(

    I love that your What to Wear posts are always some combination of hand-me-downs, affordable stores & some splurges. So many stylish fashion options available at all price points.

    We routinely find most of these brands at our local thrift stores too (not enough siblings for hand-me-downs ;-) with lots of wear left in them. And even at times when new/thrifted clothing is not in the budget, shopping our own closets and finding inspiration on how to put new outfits together from what we already have is a great alternative.

    June’s pencil print leggings and red glasses are so cute! And the checked laces are a great find! Perfect to jazz up any laceups. Also love Betty’s yellow jeans, pink flare top and those red flats!!

    And finally, thank you for always modeling such grace and courtesy in response to the criticism you receive here (no matter how undeserved). Surely most children outgrow their previous years clothing/shoes, or at least some of it, and need new items for the new school year.

    1. The kids really are good sports! I thought they would be less interested as they became teenagers, but it turns out they really wish that we had photos like these of my own teenage wardrobes. Hah! They want to see details of how I dressed in the late 80’s and early 90’s — but alas, I don’t have very many.

      So I think that has kept them motivated. They want to be able to show these photos to their own kids someday.

      And thank you for the kind words. I wish I always modeled grace in my responses here, but I know sometimes I’m impatient and short with people when I shouldn’t be. Don’t laugh, but I took the Facebook app off my phone and I think it’s helping my manners. : )

  11. I echo what the other commenters have said above in support of this post. These school outfits are some of my favorite posts, and I think it’s lovely that you have these time capsule memories of the kids as they grow up. (Yes to the question: how is June already a second-grader???) Your blog is a great mix of serious and fun topics, and I love receiving your newsletters. Keep up the good work!

  12. I can feel the anxiety rising up right now just thinking about navigating choosing daily outfits for THREE kids. I’m thankful for a public school that requires uniforms. Our daily outfit question is, shorts? pants? navy? or white blue? Thank goodness.

  13. I love these posts, your kids have such fantastic style! I am so curious as to how much help June gets with her outfits. My own grade 1 girl LOVES picking out her own clothes, and as much as I try to create a mix-and-match wardrobe for her, she inevitably ends up in head-to-toe crazy pattern, and socks pulled up as high as they can go. Ha! As long as she’s happy, I’m happy, but sometimes I wish she’d let me buy her just a few basic single-colour pieces!

  14. These posts always make me smile. And it is so fun to see how your kids are developing their own sense of style. Betty has a bit of a modern Audrey Hepburn vibe going on- like that one outfit with the red shoes. Similar silhouette but with more updated colors. And June has a cute but kind of quirky look. I’m not sure quirky is the right word. I just know that as a teacher, I would have pegged her as a kid with a good sense of humor and lots of confidence the minute she walked through the door. The glasses and the leggings just make me smile.

  15. Love this post (and the other one right alongside this one)! It is extremely difficult to find clothing ideas for that middle school age. My oldest is an 11-year old girl. Everything that I find for her is either too young or too old. In terms of too old, she wears a women’s size 6 or a medium (she’s 5’6″). Things are too tight, or low-cut, or something that someone older would wear. Most items that we do end up buying are very athletic. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; she is quite sporty! However, when we don’t want something athletic-looking, our options are limited. I wish someone would start a blog with cute clothing ideas for this age group!

  16. Hi Gabby – I love these posts, keep them up….wondering if you could share first time bra’s for girls…we are about to enter into this area and I have no idea where to start….what works, what do you look for, what companies are good (I’ve heard of yellowberry) but wondering if this might be a topic you and other readers might talk about…? Thanks from Canada!

  17. Gabby, I love these “What To Wear” posts, and even though I can feel a little jealous looking at your lovely home and beautiful family and all the cool clothes, not to mention being able to live abroad and take a lot of cool vacations, I also know that you work very hard and that I could never do what you do. Also I don’t have a huge frame of reference for what it means to be a Mormon, but your family has challenged my conceptions in a good way! I’m always impressed by your thoughtful views on nearly any subject. That’s what keeps me coming back to Design Mom.

    Also, wow – June’s in 2nd grade! I still think of her in that adorable “How To Be 2” video.

  18. Congratulations on teaching your children to express their individual style while being modest, looking their age, selective on trends, and stressing ways to save money which includes used/recycled clothing.
    You’ve taken a beating at times, which is sad. I found your blog while you lived in France & though we are years apart in age & life situations I find your writing interesting and thought provoking. Thank you for not having an excessive amount of product endorsement, which is prevalent in so many blogs that little of the writer remains.

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