Back To School Essentials at Sears

I always loved back to school shopping, and quite frankly still do. However, the transitional years are always the ones that are most exciting and scary all at the same time.

In not-so-technical terms the transitional years I’m referring to are: Preschool to Kindergarten, elementary school to middle school, middle school to high school and probably the most daunting high school to college.

As someone who spends a lot of time finding the right thing, and doing tons of research, I’ve become a personal shopper to everyone I know. I get e-mails weekly from various friends, family or readers asking for the best {fill in the blank}. The thing about personal shopping that I love is that it’s shopping with a new criteria. Having a new set of criteria based on someone else’s needs opens my world in directions I don’t go otherwise. Getting to know the person’s needs makes shopping for them a whole new adventure in shopping. It’s fun for me to look high and low for the items they need and are looking for. Personal shopping is a different kind of treasure hunt. Hearing “this is perfect, how did you find it,” is a source of great joy, and gives me a sense of accomplishment. This makes me the ULTIMATE PERSONAL SHOPPER! is a great place to go shopping for all of your Back To School needs. A few of my friend’s children are hitting the transitional school year, and they asked for some suggestions on Back To School essentials for the new adventure their kids will be going on. I thought I’d share with them [and you of course] some essentials you can find at


I have now survived 2 entries to Kindergarten, and can say that after the 1st I learned so much of needs and don’t need. Annie‘s oldest daughter is going to Kindergarten this year. Don’t worry Annie I won’t let you take your baby to her 1st day of school unprepared. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures.

Back To School-Kindergarten Must-Have

  1. A solid lunch bag. The most important thing is that it’s durable. The cheaper ones are not always the flimsy ones, as a matter of fact it could be quite the opposite. If you have intentions of your daughter’s lunch bag lasting a few years then get something a bit more generic when it comes to decoration. Patterns or color keep it working for years to come, and there are plenty of super cute ones like any of the Wildkin lunch bags.
  2. Annie remember that your little one is still primarily running around so get her a great pair of comfortable athletic shoes, but also get her a pair of comfortable Mary Janes like the Willits Girl’s Freckles Polka Dot shoes. I know they’re fuchsia, but I promise they’ll go with everything. Mom’s of uniform wearing children: These are perfect shoes to show personality, and they will match the uniforms really well.
  3. It’s her first foray into big girl school, so a backpack for “big girls” is a must. It’s important to get her one that is right for her size. Make sure it’s tall enough to get a folder in, but not too big so she looks like she’s drowning. I love the Glitter Butterfly Backpack, and it’s meant to be for girl’s your daughter’s size. Mom’s of uniform wearing children: This backpack has a lot going on pattern wise, which will be a great contrast to what your child may think is a drab uniform.


As a mom you want to make the move to middle school an easier road for your kid, but as we know we can’t protect them from everything difficult. Hillary‘s son is going to middle school this year. My biggest suggestion to mom’s of this age group is to keep it simple, especially with boys. Complicating matters will only make your life harder because there is so much going on around them that they need the simplest they can get. (Hillary I’m going to presume that your son is still in the boys’ sizes, but I am aware that it’s possible he may be in [young] mens. If he is just change the sizing accordingly with my clothing suggestion.)

Back To School-Middle School Must Haves

  1. Jeans are really the beginning and end of every outfit every day. I’m not saying not to buy blue jeans, but add variety with different washes. He’ll be very appreciative of having these Levi’s 550 Smoke Monster Jeans, because they are different, but are still the great Levi’s durability.
  2. I don’t think it’s a big secret that he’s going to be carrying a lot more books and notebooks this year. A new backpack is in order to help him. Quick checklist for this is: sturdy and lots of pockets. That’s why I really like the Inventive Concepts School Backpack.
  3. Middle school is usually the first time your child gets a locker. It’s a very exciting thing, and with the LockerWorks Hanging Locker Organizer will help him to be able to find everything in there.
I have a really hard time believing my friend Kelly is even old enough to have a teenager going to high school in the fall. These are a few high schooler must haves.

Back To School-High School Must Haves

  1. High school is big time no matter who you are, and a backpack that holds more than just books is a must have. The Willow School Laptop Backpack fits every requirement for a high schooler’s backpack.
  2. At this point in school my guess is most of his homework is going to be done on a computer. This Laptop Buddy will come in handy when he’s sitting on the floor in his room.
  3. With all of the classes and social engagements that go on in high school it could be a lot to remember everything and all of the homework that’s due the next day. The Knock Knock Academic Planner is the perfect solution to keeping it all together, and not forgetting to do his homework.
Teresa‘s daughter is leaving home and heading off to get her higher education. It’s hard for mom’s to traverse this with their 18 year old daughters. I know because last year my niece was off to college, and my sister-in-law asked me to look at stuff with her for her dorm room. The most important thing I said to her is not to spend the most money on the stuff for her dorm room. She doesn’t know where she’ll live the next year, and may need to buy all new stuff for the next place. In that vein I found a few affordable must-haves for Teresa’s daughter.

Back To School-College Must Haves

  1. Something that is important to note is that most dorms have Twin XL mattresses. This means that you have to find the sheets for a Twin XL. Thankfully there are great bedding sets at that will make her very happy. My personal favorite is the Mizone Lyon Raspberry set.
  2. As you know in college there are a lot of papers to write, get her an all-in-one printer to make her life a little bit easier. One like the Brother Compact Inkjet All-In-One Printer is made for students, and will be perfect in a small space.
  3. Given the fact that she’ll be living and studying in a small confined space when she’s in her dorm room the Greendale Home Fashions Bed Rest Pillow will give her a bit of comfort, and make her feel like she has a comfortable space of her own.

Annie, Hillary, Kelly and Teresa I hope that these suggestions will help you traverse the next stage in your child’s school career.

I just wanted to say hello, the [what I believe to be] ShopYourWay’s Ultimate Personal Shopper!

I registered as a Personal Shopper on, and you can register to be a one too. You can find me on my profile page on All of the suggestions above are just a little sample of how I am the ULTIMATE PERSONAL SHOPPER.

If you love what you see please re-tweet this post with:

#PersonalShopper @FashOrganized has great #BTS essentials from @Sears & @ShopYourWay – #BlogHer12 Sponsorship

What’s your biggest Back To School essential recommendation? Do you need a recommendation? Don’t hesitate to ask me — The Fashionista.

Disclosure: I Submitted this blog post to Sears Holdings for the opportunity to appear in a Video.

About Fashionista

Candice Kahn has written 808 post in this blog.

Candice is a mom of 3 in Los Angeles, CA, and the Owner/Editor-in-Chief of Fashionably Organized. Her obsession with researching products to get the right price, has made her the go-to shopping guru for her friends. Here she writes about fashion, beauty and shares her love for home decor and DIY. In 2012 she began CB Media Solutions her company that offers brands and clients professional virtual assistance and social media consulting.




  1. This is a great list. My daughter is heading into Kindergarten this year and I’m unsure of what she needs. Thanks for making my job a little easier!

  2. Wow, talk about everything one could possibly need! I know where I’m going to do my back to school shopping!

  3. Thank you so much Candice! I always know who to turn to when I’m looking for advice on shopping, and you didn’t disappoint!

    I hope you are chosen to film the video-you would be PERFECT for this gig.

  4. By the way, how can we follow you on ShopYourWay?

  5. You are the perfect person for this gig- you are the FASHIONISTA!

  6. I adore Sears – you found some great stuff – I am off to their website now!

  7. I am not transitioning, but I LOVE the laptop buddy. And thank you for advising me about the proper flip flips to buy for myself. I can’t wait to go shopping.

  8. LOVE your suggestions Candice!! I showed my son your Middle School ideas and he LOVES them – thanks so much! You are the perfect choice for this!


  9. Great list. I need that laptop buddy for myself!

  10. couldn’t think of a better Personal Shopper–I’ve been asking you questions for about 8 years now!!

    GREAT post, Candice. I love how the kids grew up in your post. (and I’m drooling over the Kindergarten suggestions. Off to see if they come in A’s size!)

  11. i love the locker organizera thats neat

  12. This is a great post! My little one is starting “real” preschool in the fall, so we’re planning for back to school for the first time this year. Thanks for the tips!

  13. With your ideas and organization skills, you can be my personal shopper anytime. Thanks for the thoughtful post with great, actionable ideas. Love it!

  14. I think Zoe needs those polka dot shoes. SO cute.

  15. This really, really makes me want to go shopping at Sears!

  16. Amazing list. I have one going into pre-k, one into Kindergarten and one going into 3rd grade. I am bookmarking that locker organizer for when my kids get to middle school.

  17. The kids will be back in school before you know It! I could use one of those bed rest pillows for myself! :)

  18. Wow! Great info, thank you!

  19. Love these suggestions Candace! You are perfect for this!

  20. it’s amazing how kids these days require backpacks that accommodate laptops! I was lucky to fit a trapper-keeper in mine!

  21. your post was very informative. I want the laptop buddy!

  22. I can’t stand ‘back to school’ shopping!! lol I hate having to buy my kids those terrible uniforms

  23. Lots of great tips for back to school shopping. Your choices are fashionable and fun!

  24. You have it covered from A to Z. I have admired Sears for supporting our military families by offering discounts. I am happy to shop them for back to school and new to school for my kindergartener, 4th grader, and two college students!

  25. I found your site via Romy Raves, this post is really well done! Just gave you some twitter support, hope you win!


  1. […] my fashion, because on Tuesday night I went to Sears with my $200 GC for winning first prize in the Shop your Way contest. I woundup with so many amazing pieces I thought why not roll it all into one […]

  2. […] also have some great picks for Back To School to share — it’s also an entry to win BlogHer12 Sponsorship, so stop on […]

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