Back to school is all about authenticity, said Elizabeth Melley, vice president of kids design, trend and product development for JCPenney.
“The simplicity of a great pair of jeans, classic vintage tees and iconic styling are the base of personal style. The mix of athletic wear with oversized cozy classics brings an update to the typical back-to-school wardrobe seen in outdoor trends for Arizona Boys and ’70s boho trends for Arizona Girls,” Melley said, referring to Penney’s exclusive clothing brand.
Kids want to be “comfortable while still expressing themselves and their unique personalities,” said Angie Thompson, Target spokeswoman. That means many will be reaching for graphic tees and colorful printed leggings, she said.
“Denim is always a big push for fall and is a hot item with our guests,” Thompson said.
“The perfect denim jacket or vest are essential to every closet,” Melley said.
Trends by age
Similarities exist from elementary to high school, but each age stands out.
“Younger kids are fearless when styling their clothing, with a great graphic tee or a mix of colorful patterns; there are no rules for kids’ fashion this season,” said Melley. “For older kids, it is all about personal style and how the individual brings their style to life; texture, pattern, fabric and artistic embellishment make every look feel unique.”
The ’70s will have a heavy influence on fall fashion with printed boho tops, lace-up tops, crochet tunics, novelty oversized sweaters and textured layers. Pair those with suede button-up A-line skirts, indigo jeggings and jeans with patches,
Also on trend are moody florals balanced with youthful easy stripes in knit tops, plaids with shiny Lurex thread and graphic tees in soft textures grounded by denim, Melley said.
For boys, “back to school is all about athleisure, layers, comfort and style,” Melley said. Look out for texture check and plaids, blanket stripes and color blocking.”
Color and embellishments
As for color, “neutrals are important for both girls and boys but are all in textured fabrication. Indigo blues and olive are new key neutrals followed by classic black and white,” Melley said. Or, go for saturated color with bright pops, she added.
Students can go even a step further and accessorize their school supplies.
“Target partnered with Bethany Mota on a new, exclusive DIY collection so students can personalize their school supplies with fun stickers and accessories,” Thompson said.
—Melissa Erickson | More Content Now