Back to School in Style

It is the middle of a hot and sunny summer, but the countdown has already begun. In backyards across the country teen fashion queens sit poolside flipping through magazines and planning their back-to-school wardrobes. Online message boards, fueled by mini-fashionistas swapping shopping lists and tips are buzzing with chatter on the hottest fashion items for fall . Back-to-school debut outfits are offered up for critique. The debate over skinny jeans (are they in or over?) continues. Beads or pearls? Keds or Converse? Post after post offers fall fashon advice to frantic peers on the age-old question “what do I wear?”

It doesn’t have to be that complicated. The up-coming fall season requires only a few pieces to keep the style (and budget)conscious young woman looking fashion forward. This fall marks the end of the bohemian or “boho” trend with the emergence of dark colors and minimal accessories. Time to trade in those gauzy camisole-style shirts and multiple layers of necklaces and ease into big knits, big belts and big boots. Wondering where exactly to start your back-toschool shopping list? Here are five “must-have” pieces for the trendy teen’s fall wardrobe.

1. Big Sweaters. This fall feel free to pile on the layers – t-shirts and camisoles can be worn under the thick knits of the season’s oversized tops and sweaters. Plush knits that fall below the hips will keep you wrapped in warmth all winter long. Want to take it to the next level? Opt for a sweater dress. Paired with tights and a big belt this outfit transitions from the runway to your school hallway with ease.

2. Big Belts. Time to find your waist. The low-slung belts from the “boho” trend have been replaced with thick leather belts that sit firmly on the waist, bringing shape to this season’s knits. Known as “cinch belts” their purpose is self-explanatory. These belts boast funky metallic hardware with big buckles, grommets and chain accents.

3. Leggings. Leggings are without a doubt the biggest trend of the season and teens are making them their own this summer by pairing them with skirts or tunic tops. For the fall, they are the perfect contrast to the heavily layered look on top. Capri-length leggings are shown this season under jean miniskirts and trouser-style short pants but the full-length style will keep you warm from winter winds and make your legs look longer and leaner.

4. Skinny Jeans. Everyone has done it by now. It is a fashion imperative to toss the boot cut jeans and slide yourself into the skinny jeans. In a dark wash these are the still the “IN” jeans for the season.

5. Ballet Flats or Boots. If your ballet flats are looking shabby be sure to buy a new pair for your back-to-school outfits because they are still very much in style. Try them in suede or soft calfskin with your skinny jeans and leggings. Have enough flats in your closet? The ankle bootie or slouch boot is another trendy option for fall footwear.

If you plan to shop until you drop, other fun items for your back-to-school wardrobe include the thick black headband, chain-handle bags, patterned or graphic tights and cropped jackets. Looking for one accessory to make a statement? Rather than the usual metallic, try something in red – it is the perfect accent against the muted fall fashions.
Get ready. Get set. Get shopping!

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