Back-to-school tends to sneak up on us. It can be an overwhelming time of year, and it’s not easy to know where to start.

But there’s no need to stress – we’ve got you covered! Whether you’re a college student or a mom preparing your little ones, we’ve put together the back-to-school guide you’ve always wanted. 

Read on to discover this year’s essential supplies and fashion trends for every stage of schooling: elementary through college. 

You’ll be ready for the school year in no time! 



  • Backpack (your child can choose one that shows off their personality or interests!)
  • Lunch box 
  • Pencil box (allow your child to decorate it with fun stickers!) 
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Pencil grips (especially helpful for younger children learning to write)
  • Erasers
  • Pens
  • Wide-ruled notebook 
  • Folders
  • Three-ring binder (especially for grades 4-6) 
  • Subject dividers (if buying a binder) 
  • Loose leaf filler paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Washable markers
  • Crayons
  • Highlighters 
  • Gluesticks (clear glue sticks dry quickly and look best on crafts)
  • Scissors (blunt-tipped for younger children) 
  • 12-inch ruler
  • Book covers
  • Index cards
  • Tissue
  • Hand sanitizer 


Fashion trends for children in fall 2022 are inspired by adult fashion. Many popular brands have expanded to include children’s clothing. 

Here are some important considerations when preparing your child’s wardrobe for the fall: 

  • Trendy Colors: Mint green, bright red, yellow, gray, black, and coral
  • Popular Fabrics: Cotton, cashmere, satin, velvet
  • Contemporary Styles: Casual, military, athletic, and urban
  • Stylish Suggestions: Layering, patchwork, distinct prints, velvet bomber jackets, jackets with bright colors and fake fur, overalls



Students in middle school and high school will need the supplies listed above for elementary schoolers, along with some other essentials: 

  • A weekly planner 
  • Spiral notebooks for each class
  • Three-Hole punch
  • Blue, black, and red ballpoint pens
  • Whiteout
  • Permanent markers
  • Graphing calculator
  • Graph paper
  • Protractor 
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Sticky notes
  • Sticky flags
  • USB flash drives


You can expect teenage fashion choices to express personal interests and mimic celebrity styles.

Here are some of the latest styles identified in TeenVogue

  • Skater Chic: Loose-fitting graphic t-shirts, baggy pants, beanies, and sneakers.
  • Denim: Style a denim jacket with a sundress, black jeans, or cozy leggings.
  • Turtle Neck Dresses: A bit more elevated than the classic turtleneck sweater. If it’s chilly, you can layer the dress with a knit sweater, and wear boots with knee-high socks. 
  • Comfy Athleisure: Sneakers and sportswear sets make for a comfy day, and you’ll be ready for a post-school workout. 
  • Floral Flare: Floral prints are on trend. Consider a floral print dress with puffy sleeves, or a floral print flared skirt. 
  • Long Sleeve Button Downs: Perfect for a sophisticated look during chillier months.



College is an exciting time, filled with many life transitions. Having the right school and dorm or apartment supplies can help to make the transition easier. We’ll break down the supplies list into six different categories: school and desk, electronics, room needs, toiletries, kitchen, and bedding/laundry.  

School and Desk Supplies

College students will likely need the supplies listed above for high schoolers, along with a few other essentials: 

  • Dry erase board or cork board (this is helpful to have at your desk for important reminders and schedules)
  • Stapler and staples (staplers in classrooms often run out of staples quickly, so it can be helpful to have your own)
  • Tape
  • Paper clips
  • Binder clips
  • Rubber bands
  • Printer paper (if you bring your own printer)
  • Stackable desk trays
  • Stamps and envelopes 


  • Laptop, charger, laptop cover or case
  • Power strips
  • Extension cords
  • Blue light blocking glasses
  • Printer
  • Noise-Canceling headphones (a lifesaver for studying!) 
  • Alarm clock
  • Portable speaker
  • Camera (a Polaroid camera is a fun way to document memories with friends)
  • Smartwatch or fitness tracker

Room Needs

  • Bedside lamp
  • Desk lamp
  • Storage bins
  • Trash can
  • Fan 
  • Bulletin board and pushpins 
  • Mini toolkit
  • Duct tape 
  • Removable poster putty
  • Picture hangers (many removable options available)


  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Dental floss
  • Shower caddy
  • Shower shoes (such as flip flops) 
  • Hairbrush or comb
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Bath soap
  • Hairstyling products
  • Hair dryer / straightener / curling iron
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Lotion or moisturizer 
  • Vitamins
  • Aspirin or other pain relievers
  • Cough drops
  • Bandages, antibiotic ointment
  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers


  • Bowls, plates, and cups
  • Silverware
  • Tupperware 
  • Dish soap and hand soap
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Coffee mugs
  • Can opener
  • Trash bags
  • Wet wipes
  • Paper towels

Bedding and Laundry

  • Sheets and pillowcases 
  • Pillows
  • Comforter or bedspread 
  • Blankets
  • Mattress pad
  • Towels
  • Clothes hangers
  • Laundry bag or basket
  • Laundry detergent
  • Fabric softener 
  • Stain remover
  • Laundry drying rack
  • Lint roller
  • Mini sewing kit

Keep in mind specific school supplies needed for college will depend on the classes being taken. Professors often go over essential supplies on the first day of class. 

It is possible college students may need textbooks on the first day of class. Make sure to check the college’s website or online learning system in advance to find textbook information. 


College is the perfect time to explore your sense of style and express yourself through fashion. 

Here are some of the top college styles seen at Paris Fashion Week this year: 

  • Oversized jackets and blazers
  • Pleated pants
  • Polos with graphic prints
  • Shoulder pads
  • Ties with geometric or floral prints
  • Tweed clothing
  • Ribbed dresses
  • Statement accessories (such as jewelry, hair clips, and headbands) 

Ultimately, it’s a good idea to keep it simple, and avoid overspending. By thrifting, you can find popular brands for reduced prices. 


With rising prices, many families are wondering how to make back-to-school shopping more affordable. Thrifting can be a great way to find school supplies and clothes that are as good as new, for bargain prices. 

What are you waiting for? Visit your local Goodwill retail store today to get started on your back-to-school shopping.

Have a wonderful start to the school year!