Back to the 80s and Backpacks, Shop for Back to School

Jamie Williams, 16, is thinking about wearing a dress the first day of school. Zach Hart, of Wallingford, is thinking about shorts. 

 “I would like to wear basketball shorts,” said Hart, who is starting seventh grade.

It goes without saying, girls and boys have very different opinions when it comes to back to school fashion. The smaller children are, the more challenging it can be to shop for them. 

Amy Fitzgerald of Meriden has her hands full with 4-year-old Maddy and 6-year-old Jack.

“I do take him to try things on and it's not his favorite thing to do, whereas my daughter would love for me to take her and get lots of stuff,” said Fitzgerald. 

Here is a quick cheat sheet for all moms and dads. Westfarms Mall showed us some of this seasons trends.

It seems the '80s are back, so parents can’t go wrong with black, gray, metallics and graphic tees. Puffy vests, dark denim and lace-less sneakers are hip.

For teen and tween girls, leggings with long sweaters are a must. Argyle and fringe are always in and skinny jeans are popular.

Shopping experts say layering always helps when transitioning from summer to fall.

As for supplies? From construction paper to crayons, it's enough to make any parent feel a bit overwhelmed, especially if they have more than one child.

Strategy is key. Most parents have already received a supply list in the mail so be sure to get those basic items on your own now and in bulk. 

Tammy Exum, of New Britain, does however, bring her kids along for the more personalized items.

“The backpacks and things like that. I think, it's important for them to feel comfortable with their selection.”

“I prefer a backpack that could probably hold a lot of pencils and things in the front, binders and books in the middle, lunchbox and things that you can use,” said Kyle Exum, 11.

School mornings can be a real circus.

“It is ridiculous. You have to get them breakfast, pack their lunches. You have to put everything in their backpacks, never mind getting them up and dressed,” Fitzgerald said.

But a little preparation and creativity can ease the stress.

“I look for things that are easy to zip, to put over their head, velcro, anything like that is super easy,” she said.

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