Back To School 1 - Page 10 - Plenty of room for personal style with back to school

Back To School 1
- Page 10
Plenty of room for personal style with back to school
By Lisa Baldino,
Contributing Writer

This year’s denim selection for boys and girls will be the foundation of back-to-school fashions. Pair some wellfitting jeans with shirts in rich hues, and you’re among the stylish this season. Girls fashions will include animal prints, as well as interesting floral prints and plaids. Boys who sport a little cammo and some color block patterns will be right on the mark.

This season has a little bit of everything, and local fashion experts say it will be easy to mix, match and modify. For girls, pants range from bike shorts to wide leg jeans and from colored denim to cheetah print. Elizabeth Melley, vice president of product development and design for JCPenney, says, “Specifically in teen fashion, we’re mixing and matching bold animal prints with rich fall colors to create an updated and fresh seasonal wardrobe that’s sophisticated and playful, with something to suit everyone’s personal style.”

While teens rely on fashion magazines and peer groups for trends, they are also learning to develop their own personal style, according to Wendy Wright, style consultant and owner of The Wright Fit.“The best styles are the ones that flatter your silhouette and help you feel beautiful, confident and strong,” Wright says.

“The trends that work on your bestie might not work on you, and that’s OK! You just have to get creative and find one that looks great on you. Making fashions work for you is extremely empowering.”

The Pantone color of the year is Living Coral, so anything in that rich hue is sure to be a winner. If coral is not your color, opt for it in an accessory,Wright says. “If a trend doesn’t work for you, then either modify it so it does, or skip it. Remember, we make these trends work for us, not the other way around. You can still be trendy by adding emphasis with bright colors in a bag, scarf, shoes or jewelry.”

Denim is the focus for American Eagle and  ap. Officials at American Eagle recommend items that are more likely to retain their style over a period of time. The brand’s Jean Collection includes the new Curvy Jean for girls, featuring high-waisted and super high-waisted pants that provide a narrower cut at the waist and more room in the hips and thighs. These include crop, skinny and slim options.

The Gap also has numerous styles of denim. Embellishments abound with floral accents, beading, embroidery and denim fabrics that are striped, dark, light, white, khaki, and, of course, coral. Denim jumpsuits, jumpers and dresses are also part of the lineup. The Gap’s Superdenim line for girls and boys offers a variety of sizes and styles to fit any physique. No longer do teens have to settle for an ill-fitting pair of jeans because no brand is cut for their developing bodies – they can now find something that is both easy to wear and easy to fit. “All of the Superdenim jeans are incredibly soft and comfortable so kids can move with ease and style,” says Kristina Weller, public relations coordinator for Gap.

Wright recommends trying a trendy top featuring this season’s puffed or defined sleeves paired with crop skinny jeans and trainers (that’s sneakers to you parents!) for a simple, cute and stylish outfit. Check out tops in soft florals and denim jackets with patterns, including floral and animal print.

If your child is required to wear a uniform, there are lots of ways to add personal style. Gap offers a full line of basic uniform pieces in tops and bottoms for boys and girls. Add an elongated sweater or a colorful wind jammer jacket, and you’ve got a little bit of individuality in a sea of same uniforms. In addition, the Gap’s uniform line is handy for the traditional khaki or black pants and collared shirts that may be required for students in activities like band or orchestra.

For boys, outerwear is a great way to personalize your look. The Gap Jersey-Lined Windbuster in camouflage or navy is a lightweight jacket that rates for fashion. At JCPenney, jackets in the rich fall color palette make the grade, including the red color block hooded jacket and the “brown sugar” canvas jacket. For girls, JCPenney adds cute skirts in cheetah print and snake skin print, plus a sassy little orange dress – or is it coral?

The variety continues at online favorites,, and, all referenced by trend-setting Seventeen magazine as budget-friendly sites where you can get versions of the top trends that fit your pocketbook. These websites are on board with jeans, animal prints and puffy sleeves. For jeans, once you find the perfect fit, Gap, American Eagle and other stores encourage you to visit them online. Either way, retailers are ready to help boys and girls find their personal style with offerings for all shapes, sizes and budgets.

Melley says, “JCPenney is a one-stop-shop destination where you can find stylish seasonal essentials for the entire family at budgetfriendly price points.” • 

Above left to right: Gap Kids jersey-lined windbuster in true indigo; Kohl’s cheetah print jacket by MUDD; Gap super stretchy and super soft kids floral print skinny jeans; and Kohl’s studded jeans, LC Lauren Conrad.