We caught up with "Philadelphia Style" editor-in-chief Kristin Munro, who would tell us that general fashion trends always drive tastes in clothes for the younger set...even down to kindergarteners.
She says layering is always important for fall, which starts out with summer-like temperatures and ends up cold. So you can add piece after piece as the thermometer drops and stay both fashionable and comfortable.
Vests belong in a girl's wardrobe, and a leather jacket is a nice touch if your budget allows. Munro says denim is always an option for both boys and girls. You can never go wrong with classic blue, but other colors are making news this season.
Girls can mix patterns as they like. Bohemian prints are big. So is the "California Cool" look. Watches and jewelry tend to be big and "clunky". The "preppy" look always works for boys. This year's version is updated.
There's also a retro element reaching back to the 1990's, with color denim, crew-neck sweatshorts and logo sports apparel.
Boutiques and upscale retailers are more likely to have the exact items you see in the fashion magazines, but even mass market discounters will have their version of the look.
In adult fashion, it's usually advised to invest in some classic pieces that you might wear through several seasons. This is different when shopping for students, because kids are more likely to grow out of clothing rather than wear something out.
Here's a list of the items seen in our school fashion preview and where to buy them:
High School - Fall 2012 Trend 1: Color Blocking Color blocking remains a hot trend into fall and is a great way to incorporate the season's hottest colors including tangerine and magenta! Complete the vibrant look with a pair of colored jeans, another trend that is still going strong for girls and boys! Description: A Tangerine and magenta color blocked knit top is complimented by a pair of deep purple colored jeans, both from South Moon Under. BONUS: This outfit easily transitions from late summer to early fall and is a great example of a "buy now, wear now" outfit with pieces that can also be worn with other layering pieces as temperatures cool. Layer on fun accessories, such as this beaded necklace and stretch bracelet from TownHome boutique. SI IAE Magenta and Tangerine Knit Top ($68), available at South Moon Under.
Rich & Skinny Jeans in Purple ($121), available at South Moon Under Sky Jewels necklace and bracelet, available from TownHome boutique. Leather Backpack ($98) from Bloom
High School - Fall 2012 Trend 2: Southwestern Style Part Southwestern and part Bohemian, textured knits, exotic patterns, earthy tones and lots of leather make this look cozy and cute! Description: Copper textured knit dress by Free People features a tribal knit pattern; the ruffled hem keeps the look fun and flirty. Pair with leather jacket with braided details to add to the Southwestern inspired look. Free People Cozy Day Dress ($118), available at South Moon Under. BB Dakota "Antonia" Knotted Leather Jacket ($358), available at South Moon Under. Stretch beaded bracelet/necklace from TownHome boutique.
Elementary School - Fall 2012 Trend 3: Mixed Patterns Mixing patterns is IN for fall so let your kids be creative in selecting their outfits! Combine florals, stripes and animal prints for a free-spirited look that isn't too matchy-matchy. Description: A bold floral dress in navy blue and magenta - two great colors this fall - is paired with a "glam" leopard print vest and cozy leggings, all from Fiona's Childrenswear, shows how mixed patterns can still create a cohesive look. Again, these pieces transition well from early fall through cooler months ahead. Pink Chicken "Adele" Dress ($79), available at Fiona's Childrenswear, Pink Chicken Faux Leopard Fur Vest ($80), available at Fiona's Childrenswear. Locket from Bloom.
High School - Fall 2012 Trend 1: 90's "Old School" Fashion trends from the early 1990's have been making a huge comeback! Think bold color blocking, neon accents, snap back hats, bold sneakers and the return of the crew neck sweatshirt! Description: Crew neck Eagles sweatshirt from Mitchell & Ness featuring a bold Eagles logo from the 1990's era layered over an orange tee and slim (burgundy) colored jeans from South Moon Under to keep the look contemporary. Top it off with a snapback hat, which remains a huge trend in headwear. Mitchell & Ness Philadelphia Eagles Stadium Crew ($60). Available at Mitchell & Ness. Eagles Paintbrush Snapback Hat ($30), available at Mitchell & Ness. Alternative Apparel Tee in Orange ($18), available at South Moon Under/ Scotch & Soda Ralston Jeans in Burgundy ($145), available at South Moon Under.
High School - Fall 2012 Trend 2: Modern Preppy Even public school kids are taking inspiration from their prep school counterparts with preppy styles with a modern twist! The modern prepster is all about incorporating slimmer fitting versions of classic pieces with edgy accents to keep the look stylish not stuffy. The varsity jacket, no longer just for jocks, is key to this trend. Description: Classics with a twist! Slim fit blue Oxford collared shirt from South Moon Under layered over a gray v neck 611 Lifestyle tee with fun checked pocket. Crisp slim fit chinos are a modern take on khakis. Complete the look with the key piece - a varsity jacket, such as this 611 Lifestyle varsity jacket with red and black plaid sleeves. 611 Lifestyle Black Standard Varsity Jacket ($165), available at 611 Lifestyle. RCVA Slim Blue Oxford Collared Shirt ($60), ), available at South Moon Under/ 611 Lifestyle V Neck Tee with Pocket (under collared shirt) ($26)available at 611 Lifestyle RVCA All Time Chino Pant ($65), available at South Moon Under.
Elementary School - Fall 2012 Trend 3: Gray Matters While color definitely plays a role in back to school fashion, more subdued shades - especially gray - have emerged as a major color trend for boys. In cozy fabrics like flannel, knits and corduroy, gray is as easy to the touch as it is on the eyes.
Wonderboy Tailored Gray Plaid Flannel Shirt ($49), available at Fiona's Childrenswear. Wonderboy Gray Corduroy Pants ($49), available at Fiona's Childrenswear. Fashions Available At: 611 Lifestyle online boutique, 267-603-3611. 611 Lifestyle products are also available in the store at Metro Men's Clothing, 1615 E. Passyunk Avenue in South Philadelphia, 267-324-5172.
Bloom, 1001 N. 2nd St. The Piazza, Suite #20, 2nd Street below Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 267-861-0539.
Fiona's Childrenswear 1050 N Hancock Street, Philadelphia, 941-400-0732.
Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Co., 1201 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 267-273-7621.
South Moon Under, 1731 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa. 215-563-2298.
TownHome, 1616 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, Pa., 215-972-5100.