When it's time for clothes shopping, make it a special mother-daughter time.

10 Essential Items for a Young Girl's Wardrobe

by Michelle Ullman

Just about every girl likes to step out in comfortable, cute clothing, regardless of her age. When it's time to assemble your daughter's wardrobe, take her along so she can give input on her favorite colors, designs and styles. Kids seem to grow overnight, so when debating between two clothing sizes, go with the larger size. That leaves room to grow and a longer lifespan for the clothing item.


Every girl needs a selection of comfortable undergarments. For little girls, this means socks, underpants and undershirts. By the teen years, she will likely replace the undershirts with brassieres. Provide your daughter at least a week's worth of both socks and underwear, and three or four bras or undershirts.


Many girls have a strong preference when it comes to sleepwear. Pajamas, nightgowns, fleece sleep pants and oversize tee shirts are some options. Most children need at least four changes of nightclothes, but if your daughter still occasionally has nighttime accidents or is very young, you'll want extras.


Tee shirts are the go-to style for most girls. Have several short-sleeve tees for your daughter to choose from, and a few long-sleeve tees for chilly days. Solid color tops are the most practical, but add in some patterned or fun shirts for wardrobe interest. If your daughter likes button-down tops or trendy styles, let her choose a few flattering options. Finally, have one dressy top on hand for special events.


Most girls wear jeans or casual pants for school and play. Young girls are often most comfortable in knit or sweat pants. The younger your child, the more pants you'll need to have on hand, since little girls are likelier to have spills, rips and stained knees. At a minimum, your older child needs three pairs of everyday pants, and one pair of dressier slacks. Keep at least five pairs of everyday pants for young girls.

Dress or Skirt

Some girls refuse to wear a dress or skirt, but if you have a girly girl, she might want to wear one every day. If your daughter loves skirts or dresses, fill her closet with several selections suitable for school and play. If your girl hates skirts, don't argue over the issue. Unless it is a requirement for her school, pants are suitable just about anywhere she's likely to go.

Sweaters and Light Jacket

Chilly days and evenings call for a lightweight jacket or sweater. Cardigans, pullovers and sweatshirts are all good options that work well for layering over tee shirts. Let your daughter choose a few sweaters in her favorite colors and patterns. Kids are prone to losing sweaters, so have one or two extra on hand.

Summer Clothing

When the weather heats up and school is out, most girls like shorts and tee shirts. Depending on your daughter's style, she might want tank tops or regular tee shirts. Teens can be quite picky when it comes to their summer wear, so bring your daughter along on the shopping trip. Every girl needs at least one bathing suit, more if you frequently go to the pool, beach or lake.

Winter Coat and Accessories

Your daughter needs at least one warm, winter coat. In severe winter climates, she might need a selection of heavy coats. Buy winter coats a little bit large for ease in layering, and so your daughter can wear them for more than one season. Add knit gloves, scarves and hats if the winter temperatures dip especially low in your area.

Rain Gear

Even in arid climates, your daughter should have a raincoat with hood, rain boots or water-resistant shoes and an umbrella. If you live in an exceptionally rainy area, give her a selection of two or three raincoats to match different outfits.


At a minimum, your daughter should have two pairs of casual shoes, one pair of dressier shoes and one pair of warm boots. Most girls, especially preteens and teens, however, will want a far larger selection of shoes to match their every outfit and mood.

About the Author

Living in California, Michelle Ullman is a professional writer with particular expertise in home, garden and pet/nature topics. Her work is published on many websites. She loves crafts and has a deep interest in design and DIY projects.

Photo Credits

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