Old School Throwbacks: The Back to School Checklist

By Sharon Mosley

August 9, 2016 5 min read

As summer fades and it's time to head back to class, take a few notes on the fashion favorites that will be making the grades this fall. It's all about channeling the '90s and adding a modern twist to these wardrobe must-haves. Check out these trends for tots to teens that get an A for Attitude:

—Distressed Denim. Denim is always a back to school staple, but this year, it's getting a little distressed. That means ripped and ragged...in all the right places, of course. And if this shabby chic is not up to the school dress code, then there are plenty of other options. Flared jeans, overalls and ombre chambray shirts are trendy for teens; cuffed jeans and denim mini skirts for kids. And cropped skinny jeans are turning up everywhere...the perfect jean to wear with everyone's favorite ankle boots.

—Graphic Tees. Kids of all ages this fall will want to get their own personal message across with T-shirts that express their personalities. This is where parents can let their kids do their own things and be creative with fashion choices. My favorite? "Be You Tiful" from Lands' End. Or don a tee splattered with geometric printed "artwork." Be creative!

—Cool Jackets. They're the finishing touch to jeans and tees and a way to chill out on cooler fall days. The popular jean jacket it always a must-have, but kids and teens this year jazz up their denim jackets with decorative patches that personalize the back to school classic. Jackets are also favorites of teen boys in military styles and bright colored leather bombers for teen girls.

—Plaid Shirts. The grunge look of the '90s is playing out in a major way for the back to school crowd. Kids of all ages are layering the popular flannel button-front styles over T-shirts and jeans or wrapping them around their waists for warmer days when style still counts as well as comfort.

—Activewear. Ath-leisure is now a fashion trend gone mainstream. Activewear goes to class in zip-front hoodies, jogger pants and tracksuits. Old school is new again, and who could argue with this trend that combines performance wear with a stylish twist?

—Girly Dresses. For teen girls, the slip dress is a winner this fall, inspired by the models and rock stars of the '90s. It's a great layering piece for T-shirts and jackets, too. Younger girls love to dress up in flannel baby doll dresses that pair perfectly with tights and booties.

—Slouchy Sweaters. Sweaters are a varsity essential, and this fall, the popular trend shows up in slightly oversized shapes in everything from boxy sweatshirts to long tunic tops. Varsity-inspired cardigans are always a school favorite, and make a great partner to plaid shirts.

—Knit Hits. These are the ultimate mix-and-match pieces for a back-to-school wardrobe that stretches the budget and can be worn throughout the whole school year. Collect soft knits in dresses, pull-on leggings, short skirts and all kinds of tops and tees.

—Westward Ho. Let the fringe fly this fall...on suede jackets and skirts, on boots and book bags. The Wild West comes alive with the favorite classics of cowboys and cowgirls: Start with the denim basics — jeans and skirts — and top off with chambray shirts and suede jackets or vests. Denim worn with denim head to toe has never been a bigger trend. Western style boots are another way to add a touch of the Wild West to school day wardrobes.

—Extra-Curricular Accessories. If it's a backpack, then chances are, it's headed back to school. And this fall, there are backpacks for every age. From animal prints to camo prints to metallics, there are bags with matching lunch totes and bags for laptops. And then there are the shoes of course...think platform sneakers for teen girls, chukka boots for the guys and ankle boots for all.

(SET CAPTION) Flashback to the '90s with a peplum camisole, plaid shirt and skinny jeans from Arizona. (www.jcp.com) (END CAPTION)

To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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