The Best Kids’ Clothing Stores Online for Happier Little Shoppers

Whether you have a newborn or a teen headed off to college, keeping your crew dressed is an endless (if often fun!) task. While kids’ clothes shopping gets all the hype during back-to-school season, any parent or caregiver knows that kids need clothes year-round. To help you shop for stylish special occasion picks, everyday options for the playground, and everything in between, we’ve rounded up a smart list of the best places to buy kids’ clothes, based on surveys of Parents‘ editors. 

For the first few years of your child’s life, you’re pretty much calling the shots for fashion. You can dress babies up in whatever you find adorable—until as soon as 2 years old, when their personal preferences, and even their sense of style, start to shine through. From then on, you should be getting their input to help them build a sense of self and have some control in a life that’s usually dictated by adults. 

When coming up with this list, we looked at all the factors most parents and caregivers need to consider when looking for kids’ clothing. Understandably, budget is one of the biggest factors that influences where you shop for clothes. Though we looked for clothing that’s affordable, we also took into account longevity and ease of maintenance. Once your kid isn’t outgrowing their clothing every month, they could be destroying clothes with the flick of a marker, spoon, or a rather rambunctious knee slide during playtime. You also want to choose materials that won’t irritate sensitive skin and also adhere to safety protocols for children’s textiles. And then, of course, there’s your kid’s personal style. Keep reading for our top children’s clothing picks, broken down by ages and stages, as well as niche needs. 

Best Overall: Target


Why We Like It: It’s a one-stop shop for affordable clothing, shoes, and accessories for children of all ages, with easy accessibility both online and in-store. Two-hour pickup and free shipping for orders over $35 also make this a smart choice for families of all budgets. 

But Take Note: The private label baby through big kid store line, Cat & Jack, tends to fall into gendered designs, which might be an issue for anyone seeking more neutral styles. 

As if you needed any more reasons to give Target and its bullseye your money, this big-box retailer is a smart go-to for clothes shopping no matter what your bank account looks like. For parents of newborns through big kids’ size XXL, the Cat & Jack in-house brand features a variety of affordable clothing, shoe, and accessories options, such as Velcro slip-on sneakers that are always $10. 

The littlest among your crew aren’t the only ones that can be outfitted here. Target dresses everyone from babies all the way up, with specific categories labeled “tween” and “young adult,” plus adult clothing that can skew trendy enough for teens. Target often launches specialty collaborations with top designers—including BIPOC-owned labels—and also has a generous 90-day return policy on most items purchased in-store or online. 

Two-hour in-store pickup and free shipping for orders placed on the proprietary Target RedCard or with a value of over $35 (for non-RedCard members) help to round out some of the top reasons why Target is alluring. Just be aware that the Cat & Jack line and other brands sold here tend to feature designs that are labeled by gender. Likewise, while there is a “young adult” category when searching for clothing, a quick review shows that it’s essentially just trendier women’s or men’s styles repackaged.

The Details:

  • Age ranges available: newborn-5T for babies & toddlers, XS-XXL for kids, XS – 4X for adults
  • Shipping: Free for orders over $35 or if shopping with a RedCard
  • Return policy: Return or exchange within 90 days from date of purchase (with some exceptions)

Best for Babies and Toddlers: Hanna Andersson

Hanna Andersson

Why We Like It: Parents concerned about only the best materials touching their little one’s skin will appreciate that Hanna Andersson is certified to meet the Oeko-Tex 100 Standard, and the clothing stands up to plenty of washes. 

But Take Note: This brand might be pushing it for more modest budgets and it’s exclusively available on its own website. 

When you’re shopping for babies and toddlers, durability is top of mind. The last thing you want is clothing that fades or gets pilly and scratchy after a couple of washes. After years of buying Hanna Andersson clothing for our kids, we’ve found it’s not just cute—it stays cute and soft after many, many washes. The popular online retailer outfits children from newborn through size 14 kids. They also have fun matching family PJ sets if you’re into that—something to consider for those holiday photos. 

The baby category has sizes from newborn through age 3 and offers a wider range of gender-neutral options than most popular brands, although there are still plenty of styles that are gendered. While Hanna Andersson sits in the median range for price, it has several great sales during the year (often with discounts of more than 50% off). The company also just launched the Hanna Rewards loyalty program. You’ll get 200 points at sign-up (which is free) and earn one point for every dollar spent plus free shipping with no minimums required. When you have 125 points, you can redeem them for $10 off your next purchase. The program also affords participants early access to product launches and sales, and exclusive access to limited edition releases. 

It’s important to note that Hanna Andersson prides itself on creating clothing that meets Oeko-Tex 100 Standards. This means that the materials are free from harsh chemicals that might otherwise irritate sensitive skin. Additionally, the brand notes that it’s also working to achieve full GOTS organic certification for its textiles. 

The Details:

  • Age ranges available: newborn through 14
  • Shipping: From $5; free shipping for loyalty members and on orders over $100
  • Return policy: 60-day return window (doesn’t include final sale items) 

Best for Tweens: Gap


Why We Like It: As with its offerings in other sizes, Gap’s clothing for big kids offers a comfortable fit and quality materials that are designed to last. 

But Take Note: It lacks the one-year money-back guarantee on school uniforms that its more budget-conscious sister brand, Old Navy, provides. 

If you’re looking for a retailer that can outfit the whole family and is still very on-trend, Gap is a smart solution. The brand carries baby, kids’, and adult styles. Big kid sizes begin at XS (numerical sizes 4 and 5) through XXL (numerical sizes 14 and 16) before they graduate to traditional juniors’ sizing. What makes it an easy choice for tweens is that it has more classic styles with a relaxed fit that can suit active kids who are starting to want to look good for their peers.

One constant staple of the brand is its denim offerings, with a wide range of stretch and non-stretch styles to choose from. In terms of pricing, Gap is more expensive than sister brand Old Navy, but not nearly as expensive as Banana Republic, the premium entry from the Gap Brands family. Similar to Old Navy, Gap does offer a uniform shop, which includes a range of organic cotton garments. However, unlike Old Navy, those uniforms don’t come with a one-year money-back guarantee. Yet, frequent sales, a clearance section, and value-added shopping incentives like GapCash and in-store and online discount codes can help to offset the sting of the slightly higher price points. 

The Details:

  • Age ranges available: Baby to adults
  • Shipping: Starting at $7; free for orders over $50 for rewards members
  • Return policy: 30 days from ship date; online orders can be returned in-store

Best for Teens: Forever 21

Forever 21

Why We Like It: This on-trend retailer releases frequent capsule collaboration collections, a variety of basics, and even denim for less than $10 a piece—making it quite the destination for teens and the older set that knows how to find gems amongst the junior vibe. 

But Take Note: Fast fashion comes at a price in terms of sustainability and durability, which might make some shoppers rethink this brand, given the amount of waste it creates ecologically. Also, you only get a 30-day return window. 

Forever21 (F21) is a brand that’s proven its staying power over the years. While some of its ventures (like maternity) were short-lived, other gambles like launching men’s, Plus + Curve, and girls’ categories have paid off handsomely. While fast fashion does have an understandably dubious reputation, F21 has managed to carve a niche for itself and prove its relevance thanks in large part to a core basics collection for camis, tees, leggings, and jeans, with many options starting from less than $5. 

Affordability is one of the brand’s biggest draws, along with the fact that it releases new clothing practically every week. Throughout the year, the retailer collaborates with major licenses like Sanrio (think Hello Kitty) and Barbie. Whether in-store or online, F21 literally covers everything from undergarments, footwear, accessories, beauty, and even interesting tchotchkes if you’re in the checkout line. Plus, F21’s “dressy” clothing segment makes it a great pick for homecoming dances and mini-formals. 

If you can overlook sustainability concerns—which we understand many will not—the only other real drawback with F21 is the very short return policy. Unlike other retailers that give you as many as 90 days, you’re limited to a 30-day return window both for online and in-store purchases. We do like that you can return online buys in physical stores, however. 

The Details:

  • Age ranges/sizes available: XXS-XXL, 0-15 (tops and dresses), 24-34 (denim) for junior women, 0X-4X (tops and dresses), 12-22 (denim) for junior plus, XS-XL (tops) or XS-XL/28-36 (denim) for junior men
  • Shipping: Free shipping with no minimum when selecting ship to store, free shipping for orders over $50 when shipping to home
  • Return policy: 30 days from purchase

Best for All Genders: Uniqlo


Why We Like It: Along with offering a commendable selection of gender-neutral digs for kids, the brand offers on-site alterations for some in-store and online pants purchases. 

But Take Note: Not everyone will be fans of the slightly oversized designs which are a staple feature of the Uniqlo brand across categories.

Uniqlo is a fashion brand that originated in Japan and has since spread around the globe with more than 50 stores alone located in the United States as of October 2023. While in some senses, it’s considered a fast fashion brand, it sits in a unique position because of the company’s emphasis on quality and technical construction—especially with its outwear. 

In terms of design, Uniqlo is synonymous with a clean aesthetic that is in many ways gender-neutral. The kids’ section is not divided by gender, and it features a selection of graphic T-shirts along with staple items like pants and tops. 

Another real draw here is that if you buy pants from the brand (either online or in-store) and need to have the hem shortened, you can go to any in-store location and get them altered at no cost to you. Just be aware that once altered, you can’t return or exchange them. The only real concern you might have about Uniqlo is that it tends to run a little larger because of the oversized aesthetic—especially in tops. So, you’ll want to have your kids try on the clothing before committing to a size. 

The Details:

  • Age ranges available: 3-13
  • Shipping: Free shipping on orders over $99
  • Return policy: 30 days from date of purchase

Best Budget: H&M


Why We Like It: Affordable basics and uniform pieces, along with an option for H&M x ThredUP allows parents to snag all the essentials including thrifted finds at incredible prices. 

But Take Note: While the juniors/adult size range includes the “Divided” unisex category, that’s not available for the children’s division. 

If you’re looking for a shopping destination that literally runs the gamut from everyday basics to uniforms and even dressy picks for special occasions—all while staying within a reasonable budget—you need to visit H&M. Whether in-store or online, this Swedish brand focuses on sleek lines, yet provides durable clothing that survives in the wash. Similar to our other entries like Target, Uniqlo, and Old Navy, H&M is a solution for the entire family no matter your age or stage. We also like that H&M has a lower threshold to trigger free shipping—with a total minimum order value of $40.

If your children attend a school that requires uniforms, there is a uniform segment in core solid neutral hues that should work for most school districts. Another feature that further underscores H&M’s affordability angle is its partnership with ThredUP, a virtual consignment platform offering gently used goods from a variety of retailers.

As with many other retailers, H&M has frequent online and in-store sales, along with seasonal branded collaborations ranging from Barbie to high-end designers like Alexander Wang, Karl Lagerfeld, Comme des Garçons, and Mugler. 

The Details:

  • Age ranges available: Baby through adults
  • Shipping: Free shipping on orders over $40
  • Return policy: 30 days from date of purchase for in-store and online

Best for Special Occasions: Nordstrom


Why We Like It: A complete destination for the median to luxury shopper that offers plenty of wow factor options from multiple brands. 

But Take Note: While Nordstrom does have sales and discounts, some people might feel that the prices are a tad steep. 

Nordstrom is a department store that has everything you need for the whole family plus your home. The store’s Anniversary Sale is a fan favorite around here, since you can stock up on pricier picks that are on major discount. But this popular spot is also a great place to find some gorgeous special occasion gear for holidays, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, your kid’s first spring formal, and any other dress-up situation. 

Nordstrom has a private label in-house brand of the same name, but it also carries picks from designers like Moncler and even a capsule of Black-owned designer brands. Because of the wide selection, this is an easy choice for anyone who doesn’t want to race from store to store. And if you’re a member of “The Nordy Club” loyalty program, the brand is forever offering incentives like earning points for every $1 spent to redeem rewards, access to exclusive shopping and in-store events, and even personal stylist help. 

Obviously, the wide pricing range can vary from brand to brand—and many options are not for the more frugal shoppers. One other thing we’ve noticed with some of the special occasion dresses is that they seemed a tad mature for their targeted tween age range. 

The Details:

  • Age ranges available: Babies to adults
  • Shipping: Free shipping on most items
  • Return policy: No time limit, but returns are issued on a case-by-case basis

Best for Outerwear: Old Navy

Old Navy

Why We Like It: A wide selection of offerings for the entire family plus the brand’s quintessential frost-free outwear at very low prices makes Old Navy a must-shop option to keep little ones warm. 

But Take Note: Returning online purchases can be a hassle if you forget to retain the shipping bag your items arrive in or don’t have access to the confirmation email—a major issue if someone else is shopping for your tots. 

In truth, Old Navy would suit almost every category on this list. The retailer offers incredibly affordable shoes and clothes for the whole family, many with gender-neutral options. Plus, if your kids have to wear uniforms, it has a 1-year money-back guarantee on uniforms that are damaged or destroyed through regular wear and tear if you buy them by September 30, 2023. The brand is also a go-to solution for outerwear gear for the entire family. 

As early as September, its iconic puffers and other winter gear are already stocked on the website and in-store. From baby to toddler, tweens, teens, and you, the entire family can stay toasty warm with minimal effort. To really get the most bang for your buck, one of our Parents editors advises taking advantage of earning Super Cash on regular purchases and then saving anywhere from $10 to as much as $60 per purchase during the Super Cash redemption period. 

The only area where Old Navy isn’t competitive is with returning online orders. First, your orders don’t necessarily ship with a return label or packing slip. Instead, the shipping label on the mailer doubles as the receipt you need to print a new label or return in-store—so, don’t toss that mailer bag! If you receive an item as a gift and have neither the label nor the original order confirmation email from the sender, you’ll also have extra homework to do with customer service

The Details:

  • Age ranges available: Babies to adult
  • Shipping: Starting at $7; free shipping over $50 for Navyist Rewards Members
  • Return policy: 30 days from ship date; in-store available for some items

Best Active Kids: Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Why We Like It: A great assortment of activewear, including a variety of gender-neutral picks from majors like Nike, makes this your first stop for the athletic crowd. 

But Take Note: The athletics-focused apparel makes this a somewhat limiting choice in terms of style. 

Whether your child is in formal sports teams with their school or just enjoys extracurricular options outside of the school system, they’re going to need dedicated athletic gear. Dick’s is one of the few nationwide sporting goods stores that’s fairly accessible to all thanks to the in-store and online shopping options. It’s our top pick for active kids’ gear because Dick’s offers a comprehensive choice of sport-specific apparel. Meanwhile, if you’re simply trying to stock up on general athleisure style fits, then it also has plenty of somewhat unisex options from brands like Nike and Adidas

Another feature we like is that Dick’s has a pretty generous return policy, giving shoppers up to 90 days to return most unused items, as long as they have a valid proof of purchase. The only downside to this store is that you won’t be able to shop for non-active categories of clothing here. 

The Details:

  • Age ranges available: Newborn to adults
  • Shipping: Free shipping for orders over $49 if you log in and create an account
  • Return policy: 90 days for in-store or online purchases

Best Shoes: Zappos


Why We Like It: A wide selection of shoes along with free shipping and a 365-day return policy makes this a smart choice for shoe shopping. 

But Take Note: Sometimes you can’t see all the different color and size options for a particular shoe in one listing, so you’ll have to make your searches broad. 

While Zappos expanded beyond footwear to other apparel options over a decade ago, the online retailer’s strength is still in shoes—a LOT of them. These days, the big is that it offers free shipping without a minimum order value and a one-year return window. That’s pretty appealing when you’re shopping for kids whose shoe sizes and tastes may change from one week to the next. We also love its large brand assortment, which ranges from more wallet-friendly options like Steve Madden to luxury brands like Burberry

The only issue we see is that people who prefer in-store shopping may not want to purchase footwear from an online-only retailer. We’ve also noticed that the individual shoe listings don’t always include all the color and size options available, so you have to go back to conduct broader searches if you want a particular style in blue instead of pink, or a big kid size instead of toddler sizes.

The Details:

  • Age ranges available: Newborns to adults
  • Shipping: Free for all orders; no minimum value required
  • Return policy: 365 days from date of purchase

Best Subscription: Kidpik


Why We Like It: You can get two to five outfits per mailer or bypass the subscription and buy individual items. 

But Take Note: If you subscribe, you only have seven days from the day of receipt to return items. 

After style subscription boxes became so popular for adults, children’s clothing had to follow suit. Kidpik is a service that will send you two to five full outfits every delivery, complete with accessories and shoes. You can adjust your delivery frequency to every four, six, or 12 weeks. But if you’re leery about signing up for a subscription service, you can also browse the Kidpik Shop without paying any fees. 

Sizes range from 12 months to big kids size 16 for clothing, and 7 toddler to 6 youth for footwear. While the styles the subscription service offers are cute, they can be incredibly gendered. 

The only real drawback with this brand is the wildly different return policies between subscription orders versus one-offs through the online store. If you shop through Kidpik Shop, you have 30 days to return your order for an exchange or your money back. But for the “pre-styled” subscription boxes, you have just seven days from the date of receipt to request to return any or all of the items from your shipment. If you fail to do so, your credit card is charged for the full monthly fee, minus any supported discounts included in your membership. 

The Details:

  • Age ranges available: 12 months to 16 big kids
  • Shipping: Included for subscriptions, free standard shipping for Kidpik Shop orders over $50
  • Return policy: 7 days from date of receipt for subscribers; 30 days from date of receipt for Kidpik Shop orders

Our Review Process

To create our guide, we crowdsourced Parents staffers to get their feedback on brands they loved, as well as spoke with experts. We also spoke to Wendy Long Mitchell, M.D., a board-certified physician at Manhattan Dermatology and a health advisor at skincare line GRYT, and Maisa Mumtaz-Cassidy, a fashion expert and founder at Consciously, an ethical marketplace. 

We first considered safety, breathability or skin sensitivities, and ease of care when selecting these retailers. We also favored brands that offered more gender-neutral options, either with categorization that dropped “boys” and “girls” headers, as Uniqlo does, or by offering the same styles in both categories. Finally, we prioritized median price range brands that were accessible in a variety of ways. This includes incorporating their style, durability, and even factors like flexible return policies. 

Factors to Consider When Shopping for Kids’ Clothing

  • Material: You want children to be comfortable in their clothes. Scratchy fabric or poorly constructed styles are going to leave them irritated and distracted throughout the day. In general, cotton and even bamboo tends to be the top options for better children’s clothing because of enhanced breathability, durability, and comfort. But if you’re shopping for activewear, 100% cotton isn’t recommended since it’s not naturally moisture-wicking. Instead, you’ll want to a moisture-wicking fabric like polyester that will keep kids drier as they work up a sweat. Dr. Mitchel also reminds parents to “look for clothing articles that are free of harmful chemicals when possible.” If you’re concerned about irritating your child’s skin, Dr. Mitchel cautions that parents should be mindful of embellishments sewn onto garments and their specific location. Embellishments on the front, legs, or sleeves of a garment are usually safe and won’t irritate the skin. By contrast, items located on the hemlines or collars might rub against the skin, leading to irritation. 
  • Quality: While we did prioritize affordable kids clothing brands, we can’t pretend that it’s easy to get carried away and spend a lot on their wardrobe. With that in mind, you want clothes that are designed to last. This will usually mean that you want to look for options that are easy to clean—meaning machine-washable and dryer-safe. Additionally, look for picks that are less likely to fade with repeated washing. This will help you get the most out of your investment. 
  • Return Policies: Return policies will vary widely across retailers. Mumtaz-Cassidy reminds parents to “familiarize yourself with a store’s return policies” before you start shopping. This way you know the guidelines and can avoid shopping at places that might have rigid return policies. At a minimum, brands will usually provide a 30-day return policy to either exchange or return the item for a refund of the full amount you paid to your original purchase method (cash or credit card). But note that in our guide, we highlighted a few brands that offered 60- and 90-day returns and even included Nordstrom which has a more nebulous policy with an infinite return window. Regardless of the store, be sure to keep your receipts and know that most stores don’t accept returns or exchanges on clothing where the tags have been cut or items have been worn. Keep in mind that return policies tend to fluctuate depending on the time of year. Most brands offer more generous return policies if you purchase clothing during the winter holiday season. 
  • Your Child’s Individual Style: Not all parents or kids are interested in the stereotypical “pink, hearts, cats, and unicorns are for girls” and “blue, dinosaurs, and monster trucks are for boys” design theme. And not all brands are keeping up with this reality. Especially as children get a bit older and start to express their personalities, it can be frustrating for a boy who likes pastel purple, a girl who likes navy blue, or a non-binary child who just wants to wear their favorite cartoon characters without being labeled. Before shopping for your child, don’t make assumptions about what they’ll like, and include them in conversations about colors, prints, and styles—while you can still control aspects like whether the clothing is appropriate for the climate or the setting.
  • Organic, Eco-Friendly, and Fair Trade Certifications: While this facet might not be critical to every shopper, some parents are very concerned about fabric content and ethical sourcing. There are a few main third-party certification organizations that confirm whether or not a brand is not only organic, but also avoids using harsh additives or chemicals on their garments. Oeko-Tex certifies that a garment is free from harmful substances. Through independent testing using the organization’s Standard 100 guidelines, it will review a brand’s textiles to confirm that they don’t contain any of the prohibited items. Meanwhile, if you’re prioritizing organic cotton or other natural fibers, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) provides certification after third-party testing to confirm that the natural fibers a brand is using in its textiles are organic in origin. 

Your Questions, Answered

How much should you spend on kids’ clothes?

Determining the right budget for your child’s clothes depends on a few factors. First, think about your actual discretionary income. This is going to influence where you can shop as well as how much you can buy. Next, think about durability. While price is important, buying a large quantity of poorly made clothes won’t actually save you money in the long run. Instead, you should look for items that are well-made and can endure being washed or dried regularly without fading or falling apart.  

Mumtaz-Cassidy advises that shoppers should set a budget in advance. She also encourages parents to leverage “thrift stores, participate in clothing swaps… [and] buy off-season to take advantage of discounts, or shop at online resale platforms” as ways to save money. 

What’s trendy in kids’ clothes now?

Trends are relative, and you should always let your child’s fashion sense guide you (within reason) when picking outfits, especially if they’re older. As of this writing, the current trend is “what’s old is new” with ‘90s-era fashion having a major moment for tween and teen categories. For the younger set, Mumtaz-Cassidy adds that “gender-neutral styles, vibrant colors, and organic materials” are major right now.

Should I let my child help with clothes shopping?

Encouraging autonomy is always a good thing. When children are babies or early toddlers, it’s impossible to genuinely get a sense of what they do or don’t like fashion-wise. But as they start to get a bit older, picking out clothes can be one of the few ways that they’re able to exert control in a world where their every move is often dictated by adults. Of course, you should always use your best judgment—especially if you’re concerned about school dress codes, safety, or warmth. 

Who We Are

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a commerce, health, and parenting writer at Parents, and a mom of one 5-year-old daughter. She fully understands the difficulties of balancing a budding sense of style with creating an outfit that makes sense—and often compromises on tutus because those are always a fashion do.