Back to school feature


Kids back to school fashion mimics their parents’ favourites



Leggings paired with skirts (like this example from Winners) are part of the just one of the many ’80s-inspired trends kids may be showing off this school year.

Some of fall’s top fashion trends are trickling down — way down — to children’s clothes.

When kids return back to class, they’ll likely be wearing darker denim, gauchos, long shorts and skinny pants just like their teen siblings and even their parents. Family fashion continues with rugby stripes, layers and novelty hosiery.

There’s still a bit of the bohemian look in some of the open-weave sweaters, patchwork, and pop-art prints, but, largely, students will look like students in traditional preppy and collegiate styles.

Short kilt skirts are a standard for schoolgirls, but the palette has been broadly expanded to include pink, aqua blue and purple in addition to standards navy, red and green. And, picking up on one of the season’s biggest style shifts, girls’ garments are playing with proportion.

There are loose, empire-waist tunics to wear over pants, shrunken hoodie jackets that barely cover the ribs and flowing gauchos to wear with boots.

Jeans remain popular with girls and boys, although the washes are darker, the fabric softer and the holes on the knees are there on purpose.

Boys also still love their cargo pants. “Cargo pants have really become a basic for boys and the reason comes down to one simple concept — pockets. Cargo pants have a carefree rugged appeal to them but it’s those roomy, accessible pockets that have made them a favourite style among boys of all ages,” says Talbots spokeswoman

Betsy Thompson. And they carry over to older teens. But while younger kids will pair them with traditional collegiate tops, the overall look for college students will be more rock ’n’ roll, blending bits of punk, grunge and 1980s cheese.

Even legwarmers have a place on the ankle of girls wearing skinny jeans and ballet flats, says LeAnn Nealz, chief design officer for American Eagle Outfitters. And they might be wearing fleece “Flashdance-style” sweatshirts to complete the look.

“The ’80s are huge right now. It’s more fullness on top with slimmer shapes on the bottom. It’s all new for kids today,” Nealz says.

Also from the ’80s: leggings, leggings under skirts, leggings under short shorts.

Shorts for fall are very big news, Nealz says.

“It’s a huge trend for boys and girls — short shorts, Bermuda shorts, pedal pushers. They’re even being shown in winter collections. They lend themselves to August but you can put a pair of leggings underneath them as it gets colder.'”

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