Regardless of where you stand on the “Is back to school the best or worst time of year?” debate, there’s no denying its arrival. Be prepared this September with the latest and greatest fashion and gear for your kid, and take the opportunity to pick up a little something for yourself, too.
18 things to buy yourself while you’re back-to-school shopping for the kids
Running LapsDo the kids still call it gym strip? Regardless of what they call it these days, they definitely still need clothes for P.E. And so do you. Old Navy's active wear, like pretty much all of their stuff, is the perfect blend of fashionable and affordable.
$9, $10 at Old NavyOld Navy
Denim for DaysRemember those baggy jeans from the '90s that you sewed patches on and absolutely adored? Good news: they're back. Dress your mini-you in a pair, too, so you can both feel like Blossom, even if she doesn't know who Blossom is.
$55, $85 at The GapThe Gap
Back it UpBackpacks, which are a must for grade-schoolers, are currently the right of adults, too. Adidas' super-fresh stylings extend to their bags with some on-fleek options in sleek white for you and floral for the kiddos.
$55, $160 at AdidasAdidas
Bag LadyGet your little jokester one of these digital accessory pouches that look (but don't taste) like burritos. No, you can't have one--you're an adult, remember? But you can have a funky freezable lunch bag.
$20, $23 at StaplesStaples
Light BrightThe learning doesn't stop at school--that's why they call it “homework." Brighten up their workspace with a fun desk lamp from everyone's favourite houseware store. Another bright idea: get yourself one, too.
$40, $40 at IKEAIKEA
Sock MonkeySocks are the fundamentals. And we buy the fundamentals in bulk. Stock up for the whole family at Joe Fresh where the prices are more than right--just $10 for five pairs.
$8, $10 at Joe FreshJoe Fresh
Fam CrewSometimes your little one just wants to be wearing a cozy pair of sweatpants. We get it. And while it's not as acceptable for you to wear sweats to work (sorry), there are some materials and styles out there that are pretty darn comfy.
$60, $105 at J.CrewJ.Crew
Brain BucketProtect the very thing they're going to school to develop in the first place. Bell offers a range of brightly coloured helmets for them and more neutral ones for you.
$50, $105 at BellBell
H2-Oh-YeahGood hydration habits start at home, but need to extend to school, obviously. Teach your kid to how to keep hydrated and lead by example with water bottles that you'll both be excited to fill.
$16, $24 at MECMEC
Plastic Makes PerfectGet them: a nifty carrot and hummus container for a healthy recess. Get yourself: a shatterproof wine glass for a happy bedtime. Thank you, ebay.
$26, $30 at eBayeBay
Watch ItAt some point you've gotta teach your little destroyer how to care for nice things. Timex has the perfect starter unit with a cool rotating graphic second hand. Yours doesn't have that, but it's still pretty sweet.
$40, $120 at TimexTimex
Kick ItNew school year. New kicks. New Balance has your foot fashion covered. These will also look great on a weekend outing, if your kid is still young enough to wear matching footwear with their parent.
$80, $140 at New BalanceNew Balance
Case ClosedProtect your valuable electronics, and those of your spilly teenager, in a cool, Canadian-made case from Herschel. The patterns are oh-so playful, and you might even want to borrow theirs.
$35, $45 at HerschelHerschel
Listening LinesNowadays, these things are a necessity. Use the opportunity to upgrade the pair that came with your phone (that's right, the ones that don't stay in your ears properly) with something more suitable for your fitness regime.
$50, $65 at UrbanearsUrbanears
On the ListThere's something to be said about staying organized. Sure, tech devices can help keep things in check, but there's nothing more satisfying than tracking your to-do list on paper… and then crossing off those line items in thick, red ink.
$19, $16 at IndigoIndigo
Varsity ClubWith the return of school comes the return of fall weather. And with that, the return of your need for outerwear. Pick up a stylish layering option, like an iconic Roots varsity jacket. Being #twinsies never looked so adorbs.
$32, $368 at RootsRoots
Early BirdIt's tricky to change your internal clock from lazy summer hours back to school's schedule. But a new alarm clock will soften the blow and make waking up fun… or, kind of fun. Okay, as fun as waking up early can be.
$26, $63 at AmazonAmazon
Writer's RoomEncourage your child's above average penmanship with a special writing tool. You can never have too many nice pens. And while the Bic will certainly do the trick in most situations, sometimes you just feel more inspired when you've got the right utensil.
$150, $120 at CrossCross