Back to School Shopping Ideas for Your Son

Now that we’re about halfway through the summer, the back-to-school shopping season is on the horizon. While your son may dread the idea of waking up early, sitting through another year of classes, and the inevitable homework assignments, he’s likely excited about the endless possibilities of new clothes.

As a parent, you want to make sure your son has everything he needs to start the school year off on the right foot. You will likely be inundated with sales and specials from now until September, so it’s a good idea to have a plan and budget in place before you start shopping. But with so many options and styles out there, it can be hard to know where to start (or stop) when it comes to shopping.

Read on for a few back-to-school shopping ideas to keep in mind for your son.

Dress to Impress and for Success

Being comfortable in one’s clothes can have a positive impact on a student’s ability to learn. It can also help your son feel comfortable in his school’s social setting, and some studies even show that clothes can have an impact on test scores.

So, where do you start your back-to-school shopping journey? In terms of clothing, it’s important to strike a balance between style and comfort. Look for items that can be easily layered so your son can adjust to fluctuating temperatures throughout the day. Oftentimes, a graphic tee can cause attention — positive or negative — and depending on whether your son enjoys the attention, he may opt for something simple. A few basics T-shirts, like a basic navy crew neck or a black crew neck T-shirt, and sweaters for the colder months should do the trick. And don’t forget to pack a light jacket, windbreaker, or Vintage White hoodie for those chilly mornings!

Jeans, Jeans, Jeans

Your son likely has a style all to his own, but one thing seems to be a common thread (pardon the pun) among boys and teenagers — they love their jeans. Whether he’s into skinny jeans, ripped jeans, or a more relaxed fit, make sure to stock up on a few pairs that he can rotate throughout the week. Denim is also very versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. It all comes down to comfort, so make sure he tries them on, and check the labels to ensure whether each pair of jeans is prewashed or preshrunk.


Comfortable shoes are a must. Your son will be doing a lot of walking (to and from class, around campus, etc.), so it’s important that his shoes are comfortable and well-fitting. Look for shoes with good arch support and cushioning to help reduce foot fatigue.


Don’t forget the essentials! Socks, underwear, belts, and hats are all important items to have in any guy’s wardrobe. Opt for classic colors like white, black, or navy that can be easily mixed and matched with other clothing items. And when it comes to socks, make sure to get a few different pairs — some for everyday wear, some for sports, and some for dressier occasions. If your son is required to take a physical education class, be sure to have some extra athletic socks on hand as those can wear out fast.

Mix and Match

Style is all about combination. For most young men and boys, they don’t have too many clothing options to mix and match. That’s why it’s important to buy a few key pieces that can be easily mixed and matched with other items in his wardrobe. A few basic T-shirts, a couple of pairs of jeans, and a sweater or two should give him plenty of options to work with.

Function First

It’s still a good idea to remember what your boys will be doing in their clothes. They’re going to school to learn! Making sure they are comfortable and that each piece of clothing fits right is the key ingredient here. So, while it’s important to keep up with trends, don’t forget about comfort and practicality. Comfortable clothing makes for comfortable learning.

Backpacks and Bags

A good backpack is essential for carrying around textbooks, notebooks, and other materials. A leather or canvas backpack will hold up better over time than one made from cheaper materials. And be sure to look for a backpack with comfortable straps – you don’t want your son to end up with back or shoulder pain from lugging around a heavy backpack all day.

If your son leans more fashion-forward, suggest a messenger bag like a classic canvas style or a leather crossbody bag. These are great for carrying around smaller items and can be easily dressed up or down.

There are a lot of great affordable options out there, so you don’t need to break the bank on a bag. That said, it’s worth investing in a quality bag that will last for several years (if at all possible). A quality backpack or messenger bag can also serve as that one item that your son carries with him through middle school and into high school and even college.

Other Essentials

In addition to clothes and shoes, your son will need some other essential items for school. Here are a few things to add to your list:

  • School supplies like notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.
  • A school ID and bus pass (if applicable)
  • A watch or alarm clock
  • Gym clothes (if required by the school)
  • A lunchbox and water bottle

In Conclusion

With these back-to-school shopping ideas, you should be all set to get your son everything he needs for a successful school year. Whether he’s a T-shirt kind of a guy or he likes his button-down flannels, there is something for everyone. Just remember to take your time, mix and match different items to create different looks, and focus on comfort and functionality. Most importantly, have fun! Back-to-school shopping can be a great bonding experience for you and your son.