Everyone needs jeans, the fashion staple. Trendy for teens are jeans in neon colors -- the bolder and brighter, the better. Skinny jeans are still a great look, and this season brings the return of retro with flared bell-bottom jeans. Have one pair of dark-wash jeans that can do double duty dressed up with a blazer or more casual with a polo top or sweater.
Bold tartans and plaids are making a comeback this year. Plaid blouses and shirts, buffalo-check outerwear and kicky plaid skirts paired with cute cardigans are a big trend. Some retailers put the whole look together for kids at very affordable prices. For example, Macy's has adorable girls' combo outfits (including a cardigan, tie, skirt and socks) available for around $20, like this one from Beautees. Jackets and swing coats in bold plaids dress up plain jeans and khakis while keeping kids toasty. Look for plaid vests, headbands and scarves, too.
Sneakers are comfortable, affordable and especially cute this year in bright colors. Neon hues and plaids add a little personality to any pants-and-shirt school outfit. A great pair of hightops in cherry red or navy plaid will be a hit with your child, and prices range from about $15 to $25. Let her pick a pair in a favorite color.
Girls' tops are all about ruffles this season, and inexpensive tanks and t-shirts with ruffled embellishments add a little flair to these wardrobe basics. They're playful, fun and available at most retailers. Also look for skirts with deep, ruffled hems and sweaters with pretty ruffled edges. Choose these items in the season's bright color favorites: hot pink, teal and purple.
Tots to teens love their hoodies, and the hoodie is a basic layering piece that every kid should have. For just $10 to $20, you can snatch up a hoodie in a rainbow of colors in soft fleece, cozy chenille or a wool/synthetic blend. They're washable, comfortable and lightweight, so your child can throw it on as a jacket in mild fall weather and layer it under a coat or jacket later when the temperatures turn cold. Hoodies are a kids' fashion staple that pairs perfectly with jeans.
More kids fashion tips
Kids clothes basics to stock up on
Are designer clothes for kids a do or don't?
Budget shopping for kids: Save money when buying clothes for kids