Back-to-School Basics on a Budget \\ © JGI\Jamie Grill\Blend Images\Getty Images(© JGI\Jamie Grill\Blend Images\Getty Images)

Buying children's clothes on a budget is no elementary task. Kids need outfits that'll survive the seasons, make it through multiple washings intact and stand up to rough-and-tumble play. Cheap materials and shoddy workmanship are no bargain at any price, as these false deals fall apart superquick and end up costing more when you have to replace them so soon. Read on as we recommend quality clothing basics for kids that won't break the piggy bank.

Shirts: Top Drawer

To save money, stick with classics like solid-color cotton T-shirts sold in budget-friendly multi-packs, or unisex polo shirts that can be passed down to younger siblings regardless of gender. And buy cotton: It's comfy, rugged and survives tons of trips through the laundry. Boys' and girls' short-sleeve tops can be purchased one size larger to accommodate school-year growth spurts. Look to Cherokee and Kmart's Basic Edition polos for solid craftsmanship at a great price. Other good bets: Old Navy offers reinforced stitching on their polo shirts, while the Canyon River Blues T-shirts from Sears get great reviews, and Macy's features famous-name kids' shirts under $20.

Pants and Jeans: Bottom Lines

Mud-puddle navigation, tumbles on the grass, and jungle-gym workouts: There's no doubt kids' pants need to survive some trying conditions. Macy's stocks the all-time toughie classic Levi's jeans and typically cuts parents a break by holding lots of pre-September sales. Even more budget-friendly, yet still super-durable, are Cherokee jeans at Target, and Kmart's Basic Edition denim. Old Navy's Girlfriend bootcut jeans get high marks, too. Other budget-buy basic bottoms include pairs from OshKosh B'gosh, American Eagle, Lee and Wrangler. Look for growth-friendly adjustable and expandable waistbands. And don't stop at denim, as soft and comfy corduroy is also a durable, kid-tested fabric.