The site: gapkids.com.
Shop here for the solid-color staples of an active kid’s wardrobe: T-shirts, sweaters, hoodies, shorts, sweatpants. They’re light enough for layering and have the same classic fit Gap’s adult clothing is known for.
Sizes and prices: Sizes extra-small to XXL. From $12.50 for T-shirts to $34.50 for zip-up hoodies.
Returns and service: Refunds and exchanges are allowed within 45 days by mail or in-store. Customer service is available by phone 24/7 or via e-mail.
Other offerings: Check out Gap’s cute Junk Food T’s with Star Wars and Iron Man prints for boys, and Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse prints for girls.
The site: zappos.com.
Zappos has it all, whether it’s Adidas sneakers, Salt Water sandals, or an elusive European brand, such as Primigi. Have a kid with hard-to-fit feet? Search by width.
Sizes and prices: Infant sizes to youth size 13. M through XW widths. Prices from $19 to $327.
Returns and service: The two most beautiful words in Web shopping? Free shipping. This site has it, for orders and returns. Returns are accepted for an entire year. Customer service is available by phone 24/7.
Other offerings: The site isn’t just for kids. While browsing through the massive inventory, you might find a pair or two for yourself.
The site: ralphlauren.com.
Sport coats and fancy pants for boys, elegant wedding-ready dresses for girls, all from Ralph Lauren. If you’re going to dress them up, you may as well do it right.
Sizes and prices: Boys’ sizes 2 to 20; girls’ sizes 2 to 16. Shirts and pants start at $35, dresses at $39.50. Free shipping if you spend $195 or more.
Returns and service: For a full refund, mail returns back within 60 days or bring them to a store within 30 days. Monogrammed orders can’t be exchanged or returned. Customer service is available by e-mail or by phone weekdays from 9 a.m. to midnight EST, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Other offerings: Sporty Ralph Lauren polo shirts from $29.50. Sleeveless options for girls.
The site: hannaandersson.com.
The prices may seem high, but these tights are nearly as practical and tough as a pair of jeans. (Why spend money on pants, anyway, when your daughter insists on wearing a skirt every day?)
Sizes and prices: European sizes 60 to 160 (a chart gives U.S. equivalents). Cotton and microfiber tights cost from $12 to $22.
Returns and service: Returns are accepted indefinitely. Customer service is available by phone Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST.
Other offerings: Machine-washable socklike Swedish moccasins with leather soles ($15), which are perfect for babies and aspiring walkers.
The site: bodenusa.com.
Bright colors dominate these happy bathing suits. Girls choose from one- and two-pieces (check out the cheeky pink-and-white polka-dot bikini with skirted bottom, $28). Shark-print surf suits and patterned board shorts are among the cooler options for boys.
Sizes and prices: Sizes 12 months to 14 years. Prices from $28 to $48.
Returns and service: Purchases can be returned within 90 days. Customer service is available by phone daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. EST or via e-mail.
Other offerings: Kids’ surf suits ($48) with UPF 40-plus sun protection.
Shorts and Pants
The site: crewcutkids.com.
Take your kids to Preppyville with Crewcuts, J.Crew’s children’s line, which has critter-embroidered shorts, madras shorts, seersucker pants, and other bottoms in styles you might be pleased to wear yourself.
Sizes and prices: Sizes 2 to 14 or extra-small to XXXL. Prices from $29.50 to $88.
Returns and service: For a full refund, mail returns or take them to a store (with the packing slip) within 60 days. Customer service is available by phone 24/7.
Other offerings: Cashmere sweaters, tote bags, flip-flops, hoodies, tanks, leather belts, and anything else you’d find in a prepster’s closet.
Socks and Underwear
The site: hanes.com.
After the diaper years, nothing about underwear should be hard. With Hanes’s large selection, Mom’s toughest question is, Boxers or briefs? Multipacks make stocking up a quick-click task.
Sizes and prices: Underwear is available in extra-small to extra-large or 4 to 16; $5 to $12 for multipacks. Socks (not sold by the pair) are $5 to $10 for four- to six-pair multipacks. Tip: Buying a dozen pairs of the same sock in a neutral color (white, navy, tan) will make folding laundry faster and less tedious. (For your child, of course, pink may quaify as a neutral.)
Returns and service: Returns are accepted indefinitely. Customer service can be reached by phone weekdays from 8 a.m. to midnight EST, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Other offerings: While you’re buying basics for them, pick up a few soft tanks for you (Authentic stretch cotton tank top, $8).
The site: llbean.com.
Come here to indulge a most primal instinct: the need to keep your child warm. The vibrantly colored three-in-one Wildcat jackets have removable fleece linings and water-resistant nylon shells. Other options include parkas and lined jackets with a reflective patch on the back for safety at night.
Sizes and prices: Sizes 8 to 18 or small to extra-large. Prices from $34.50 to $99.
Returns and service: Returns are accepted indefinitely. Customer service is available by phone 24/7 or by live chat.
Other offerings: Durable rubber Wellies in solid colors and prints ($44.50) will keep kids’ legs and feet dry on rainy and snowy days.
The site: ae.com/77kids.
Outfit your children in the coolest collection of jean styles and fades by 77 Kids, American Eagle’s new children’s line, available exclusively online. Use the site’s fit guide to choose from skinny, loose, boot, and straight cuts for boys and skinny, flare, and boyfriend styles for girls. Each style comes in varying denim shades from light to dark.
Sizes and prices: Sizes 5 to 14. Slim fits available in select styles. Jeans range from $24.50 to $39.50. Free shipping if you spend $100 or more.
Returns and service: Returns are accepted indefinitely. Customer service is available by phone 24/7.
Other offerings: Does your child’s school require a uniform? 77 Kids offers a cool array of khakis, polos, shirts, and jackets for both boys and girls. You save 25 percent when you buy three or more items.
The site: underarmour.com.
Whether your kids play in Little League or just need an outfit for gym class, Under Armour is your one-stop shop for everything from hot pink HeatGear T-shirts for girls to football compression shorts for boys. You can even narrow down your results by sport categories like field hockey, soccer, or snow sports.
Sizes and prices: Sizes small to extra-large. Prices from $15 to $60.
Returns and service: Returns by mail are accepted within 60 days. Customer service is available by live chat or by phone Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. EST, Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Other offerings: Useful accessories like carryall duffel bags or grab-and-go sackpacks let your kids pack their gear for easy transport.
The site: oldnavy.com.
No need to panic over a dripping ice cream cone when your child is wearing Old Navy. With its famously reasonable prices, this is your go-to site for all the clothes—sunglasses to socks, messy to dressy—that don’t have to make it to the next sibling.
Sizes and prices: Boys’ sizes 5 to 18; girls’ sizes 5 to 16. Most items are less than $40.
Returns and service: Returns by mail and to stores are accepted within 45 days. Customer service is available by phone 24/7.
Other offerings: The ballet flats and metallic sandals ($12.50) are sure to activate in your daughter the shoe-fetish gene you’ve passed along to her. On second thought, maybe you should stay away from them.