Gone are the days when bell-bottom jeans were the go-to silhouette and teased hair roamed the aisles.
Trends have changed from decade to decade, but the annual after-school shopping trips haven’t — after all, there’s a lot that goes into finding the perfect first-day-of-school look.
At Kenzie & Hope in Wellesley, back-to-school shoppers have been at it since July, according to owner Shani DeFina.
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“Mostly, girls and teens are really looking for that special first day of school outfit as well as their back to school photo outfit,” she said. “So it tends to be a lot of skirts, some simple tops. Short-sleeved sweatshirts or sweaters or casual dresses are what they’re looking for in back-to-school outfits right now.”
By mid-August, parents are “looking for fall items, like rain boots, rain jackets, hoodies, … jeans,” said Paulina Corbett, manager at Closet to Closet Kids Resale Boutique in Natick.
And when it comes to jeans, wide-leg and wide-leg cuts have replaced the skinny jeans that dominated the 2010s, according to USA TODAY’s Reviewed.
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For babies and toddlers, the current look is “very classic, very casual,” Corbett said. “Cute dresses with leggings, matching outfits.”
But with older children and teenagers, some trends begin to emerge.
School trend: Sporty look
Teens “love crop tops, whether it’s crop tops, crop tops, cropped tanks,” DeFina said. “Most tops tend to be a bit on the shorter side, with high-waisted bottoms.”
She added: “And then, of course, sport is still huge.”
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The styles “really lend themselves to those kids who are athletic,” DeFina said. “They go from the field to lunch with friends.”
Closet to Closet is seeing a lot of demand for “casual items that are easy to wear, things like that, especially with the pandemic,” Corbett said. “I’d say 80 to 90% of inventory that sells is casual right now.”
Lululemon and Athleta Girl are popular brands with teenage girls, while boys tend to go for Nike and Under Armour, she said.
School trend: Bright colors and fun accessories
Thanks to the upcoming movie “Barbie,” hot pink is one of the most popular colors heading into fall, with monochromatic pink outfits also in vogue — a trend dubbed “Barbiecore” according to USA TODAY.
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“Most of the new styles come in different colors — solid colors, vibrant colors,” Corbett said.
“Tie-dye is really hot right now,” she added.
At Kenzie & Hope, quirky colors and styles have also taken hold; DeFina said soft faces and smiles are popular, as are necklaces and acrylic jewelry.
Where can you find school sales?
Closet to Closet is offering 20% off school clothing and shoes and 50% off summer items, according to Corbett. Kenzie & Hope has a sidewalk sale coming up in early September.
Here are some online and corporate retailers that offer back-to-school deals on clothing:
- Target: Get toddler and kids jeans for $10 and up, among other Target deals.
- Walmart: “First Day Favors” start at $6 at Walmart.
- Macy’s: Shoppers can find deals on back-to-school essentials, from backpacks to gym shorts.
- Gap: Kick off the school year with some discounted basics—t-shirts, sweatshirts, jeans, and more—from Gap.
- Kohl’s: Clearance items are marked up to 65% at Kohl’s.