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Children’s apparel gets creative

Nothing feels better than wearing a brand-new outfit on the first day of school.

As classrooms fill up, we’re checking the trends on children’s apparel:

  • In 2015, the USDA estimated parents would spend $14,016.60 on a child’s clothing from birth through age 17. Accounting for inflation, that would equal $17,771.28 in June 2022.
  • An average of $264 per person will be spent on clothing and accessories during back-to-school shopping this year ($168 per person for back-to-college), per the National Retail Federation. A large majority (80%) of shoppers have noticed higher prices in this category.
  • Amazon Prime Day had an increase in spending on back-to-school items, including children’s apparel, which saw the second highest discount rate of 12%.
  • Carter’s is hoping to engage millennial parents with its partnership with actress and singer Hilary Duff, who helped the brand refresh its core baby essential products and will be launching her own collection with Carter’s this fall.
  • There’s an increasing interest from higher-end brands to get into children’s apparel, Janel Molton Hertz, co-founder of kids clothing subscription service Dopple, told Glossy. “We have a lot of kids-focused brands, but also some of them are just testing into the category—most are traditional brands that are noticing sales of kids’ clothes are growing super fast. With luxury and boutique brands alike, there’s a lot of interest.”

Why we care: The full return to in-person schooling will certainly give children’s apparel a boost, but it’s up to brands to get creative to beat parents’ concern about inflation. For example, Amazon’s back-to-school campaign with actress Kathryn Hahn, which encourages parents to spend less on their kids.


This was originally featured in in the Retail By the Numbers newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.