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Back to school styles for kids

Suzi Milovanovic has been a mother of all kinds: stay at home mom, work from home mom, and go-the-office working mom. She blends all these perspectives in her contributions to various local and national print and online publications, tel...

To class with class

Life imitates the small screen in this back-to-school season as television's hottest shows inspire the most fashionable looks for students.

Fall Kids


The most popular kids' styles this season hail from the hottest TV shows and mimic what's coming down the pike for adult fashion, which has a somewhat rebellious side for fall. When choosing a back-to-school wardrobe, pieces that can be worn multiple ways are key. The fall fashion forecast includes:

  • Fabrics such as asphalt finishes for denim, brushed cotton flannel, corduroy, casual jersey and sheer knits, especially for the girls
  • Mineral shades punctuated with loud pink and warm orange, with mustard yellow the most popular accent color this season. Also look for jewel tones grounded by earthy grays.

summer into fall

Linda DeFranco, director of product trend analysis for Cotton Incorporated says, "With just a few key pieces, like zippered hoodies, leggings and denim jackets, parents can prepare their child's summer wardrobe for fall while still keeping a careful eye on their household budgets." Supplementing summer wear with just a few heavier-weight items that can transition into autumn ensures they are always comfortably and appropriately dressed for the changing weather.

peace, love and great fashion

Some themes you'll see in kids' fashions this season include neon and feel-good prints such as peace signs, butterflies and flowers -- interesting, considering these kids are too young to have known and celebrated the 1960s (and the 80s, when the look returned). To kids now, these looks are fresh and exciting.

Expect to see peasant tops and fringe, even a moccasin or two as children embrace their inner boho, just as starlets such as Nicole Richie and Miley Cyrus. Celebrity stylist Art Conn, adviser to American Idol, says, "[There's] a fashion freedom that was celebrated in the late 1960s that kids connect with."

the mini-me look

Don't be surprised to find racks filled with shrunken-down versions of the same clothes you and your spouse are wearing as you comb the racks for back-to-school items. The fashion industry calls it the "mini-me" trend. Styles include camoflage infused with orange, as well as peasant shirts and premium denim in the same cuts and washes as the adult versions, just sized down.

Other trends stolen from the runway include the Victorian look, featuring lace detailing and ruffles, bubble skirts for girls, and skulls -- a stylish symbol popularized in part by Angelina Jolie.

match... not

A kid's natural freedom of expression allows her to pull off the mismatched look of polka dots with stripes, and florals with plaids. Clothing companies actually are marketing mismatched outfits.

Parents and discerning kids are in luck this school year with such a multitude of options and discounts in store and online, as retailers look forward to a new (and usually profitable) back-to-school season.

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