What to Wear to School 2020-2021

For about about 15 school years (since 2006), I’ve shared What to Wear to School posts. The posts started in response to reader questions about my kids clothes, and then they became a tradition for our family — a really great journal-of-sorts, recording the kids growth, haircuts, and their favorite items of clothing over the years.

Usually I share the What to Wear to School posts in the Fall, but during at least a couple of those years, the Fall was too busy, so I ended up posting in January. And last school year (2019-2020), I skipped the What to Wear to School posts altogether. I didn’t mean to, it was just challenging adjusting to our new life in France (we moved here just a couple of days before school started) and we never got around to taking pictures.

So this past September 2020, I was careful to take photos of the kids just as school was starting — I didn’t want to skip another year. But I kept forgetting to post them! I ended up taking a few more shots during the holidays, and today I finally got them edited and uploaded here.

All that to say: Here’s a combined post featuring Flora June, Betty, and Oscar in What to Wear to Fifth Grade, 9th grade and 10th grade.

Betty is wearing wide leg paperbag-waist pants and Marimekko print top from Uniqlo; sneakers by Lacoste.

Flora June is wearing cream pants and cream hoodie from Uniqlo; cream jacket and black boots from Zara Kids. Hair ribbon, 20 piece set, $13.

Oscar is wearing jeans by H&M; green t-shirt from Gap; yellow sweater from Uniqlo.

Flora June is wearing jumpsuit by Zara Kids; striped button down by H&M; sneakers by Levi’s.

Betty is wearing a vintage blue cotton jumpsuit (found at a French Goodwill-type store); navy hoodie from Uniqlo.

Oscar is wearing jeans from Okaidi; polo shirt from Uniqlo; sweatshirt from a local store called Capucine.

Betty is wearing grey ruffle sleeve tee by Zara; denim by Camaieu.

Oscar is wearing shorts by Okaidi; henley by Zara Kids; black slip-on Vans.

Flora June is wearing jeans by H&M, striped tee by Esprit, wool peacoat by Gap (over half off right now!).

Betty’s Oakland sweatshirt found at H&M here in France (such a happy surprise!).

Oscar is wearing grey khakis and collar-less button down from H&M.

Flora June is wearing a striped two-piece set from Zara Kids. Flower clip, set of 15 for $15.

Flora June is wearing a puff sleeve tee from H&M; corduroy skirt from Uniqlo.

Oscar’s button down is from H&M.

Betty’s sweatshirt and denim leggings are from Uniqlo.

Flora June is wearing a lavender ruffle top with black windowpane leggings and black boots. Same top also paired with lavender corduroy wide-leg pants. All from Zara Kids.

Flora June’s striped tee from Gap.

Betty is wearing a sweater and glen plaid leggings from Zara.

Flora June is wearing pants, vest, and pleated button-down from Zara Kids.

Betty is wearing a sweatshirt with ribbon ties from a local Argentan shop called Capucine, and black jeans from Zara.

Oscar is wearing jeans from Celio, long-sleeve t-shirt and wool cardigan from Uniqlo (on clearance now for $15), plus slip-on checkerboard Vans.

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Voila! That gives a good sense of what my kids are wearing to school this year. Something I noticed: I did more shopping than usual online this year. I’ll bet you did too. When it’s not a pandemic, I prefer shopping for clothes in person so we can easily try things on, and feel the fabrics before we buy. But it turns out we had very good luck shopping online — so perhaps my preference is in my head, and not a reality.

What are your kids wearing this year? Do they have preferred stores or brands they are comfortable with?

22 thoughts on “What to Wear to School 2020-2021”

  1. Thank you for this post which took my mind off the dangerous situation here in the US. Your children exude a strong sense of confidence.

    A non-related question: just in the last week, I have become increasingly worried about the political climate in the US. Though I live in a liberal community within a blue state I know that the Trumpers are everywhere. Just last night, watching the newly released videos of last week’s terrorist attack on our capital, I became frightened. So frightened that I removed my Black Lives Matter sign on our front yard. I felt horrible doing this. I know its cowardly. After all Black residents can’t remove their skin color (nor should they even want to). I have been very outspoken for the last few years. And today I hide. I am also thinking of eliminating my instagram account – or at least those posts with pictures of my family. Do you get concerned about exposing so much on social media?

  2. My kids are wearing a lot of pj bottoms with tees and sweatshirts. Only online school so far. Your kids’ outfits are adorable!

  3. My son is 5 and mostly wears a lot of Hanna Andersson (based in Portland, Oregon where we live so we have access to their outlet store) and whatever hand-me-downs come our way. Before I had kids, I scoffed at the higher end kids stuff since they don’t even fit in it for very long. Then I had kids and saw how truly hard on things they are, and now it seems worth it to buy the heavier weight, better quality stuff so his little sister can wear it in a couple years, too. Shoes are Plae Ty sneakers or Bogs rain boots.

  4. Are kids in France generally more dressed up than in the US? My daughter, the same age as Flora June, mostly likes wearing leggings with hoodies. (I guess it didn’t help school was virtual for some time so I didn’t prioritize buying clothes. Ha!)

  5. This was so fun! The kids are all very stylish and looking great. I was curious if your kids dress differently in France than they did in Cali?

    Well done guys. xo

  6. Pjs, sweats, athletic clothes on Zoom days, and uniform to school when that happens. Not much fun fashion happening here!

  7. My 14 year old is particularly interested in buying second hand and vintage in the last year or so. I think she appreciates the price point, and she talks about it being more eco-friendly. I haven’t ever been much of a thrifter, but she follows a few teens and twenty-somethings online (YouTube mostly) who buy a lot of things second hand and tweak them by styling and altering to suit their taste. I am inspired by her interest in creating her own “looks” and her wanting to be an “individual”. When I was her age I’d have killed for some Guess jeans and a Benetton top. I wanted to look like everyone else.

    Your children are adorable and I love their willingness to pose and express themselves! Shopping in Europe must be AMAZING. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Lovely tradition! Someday, when the world is a little calmer, I would love to read a post about what Oliver thinks of the lycee. Is he the first of your children to attend lycee in France? I’d also be very interested in a post on your impressions of the French health care system and public health in France.

  9. My 4th grader in the US wears leggings and a tshirt or hoodie pretty much every day. A far cry from the princess dresses that were de rigueur at 4 years old!
    My boys are pretty much in athletic pants and tshirts every day.

  10. We’ve been remote since March and most days my 7 year old can’t be talked out of wearing her pajamas or other “cozies” all day. I don’t blame her, hard to feel motivated to wear “school clothes” when you’re not leaving the house.
    In normal times, we buy a lot of solid colored essentials from Primary and fill in the gaps with fun stuff from Joules. The rest is hand me downs and where most of her favorite things come from.

  11. I have also been buying on line but my son is growing sooo fast, I keep getting it wrong. I am finally going to take him to a mall this weekend to return our latest online purchases from A&F and have him try some things on. He is going to be 14 in a few weeks and there 15/16 size is too small! He is not particularly big (110 lbs) but getting so tall.
    Thanks for the reminder of Uniglo too. They closed the one local to us but I am going to look them up on line. Always love their stuff.

  12. I thought I would see some school outfit pictures featuring masks this year! Do their schools require masks these days? There’s a debate brewing here about whether it’s time to tighten up mask standards now that we know there’s a lot of variation in effectiveness.

  13. I love the marimekko line at Uniqlo! What is vintage clothes shopping like in France? Is it higher end stuff? I’m curious!! Thanks for bringing this feature back! My 16 year old likes to shop vintage, target, and online. He has bought stuff from Uniqlo but there are a couple others online too that I don’t know the name of. Oh, one co. plants trees and you can track the trees you help plant. ??

  14. Love your kids good humour! They look great. I like Monoprix for my 7 y old and kickers for the shows. Also lots of vide greniers for sweaters and coats. I want to try uniqlo and get those wide legs pants. So glad to read your mom is recovering. Also check Le Monde there is an article about americans leaving the us bcause of Trump and living on France.

  15. Flora June’s curls are delightful. I am also so happy to see her hair accessories. This is the first year that my fifth grader has stopped wearing bows in her hair. It has broken my heart a little. Fortunately she has discovered Magic Manes and sparkly headbands so all is not lost.

    Also, reading other comments, I am now feeling like a mean mom for making my kids get out of PJs and into “proper clothes” for virtual school. I guess I did a lot of online clothes shopping as a coping mechanism at the beginning of our quarantine and now the kids need to wear them before they outgrown them!

  16. My third grade daughter loves soft pants, leggings, dresses, and skirts with tights. We buy lots of her clothes from Thred Up from all different brands. I have also found great shoes there too. My favorite piece lately is a chambray Crewcuts jumper. Uniqlo is great for tights (long enough) and basics. I love Betty’s Uniqlo Merrimekko top!

  17. Your kids are the freaking coolest, and cutest kids around. I also had the thought today, I bet whole new parts of their personalities are blooming, getting to be the three “oldest” right now, rather than the three youngest. Maybe a TEENY silver lining? I’m reaching, I know ;) Also, this would likely be happening either way, just with growing up.

    I also love that Oscar and Betty seem to be your two baby-faced kids…so, although they’re both now in high school (???), they still look quite young! And so adorable.

    Always love your clothing sources, I’ve found lots of new favorite brands through your posts over the years.

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