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Score an A+ with back-to-school fashions, tips

Jump to the head of the class with these looks! Laurie Gelman of Cookie magazine presents cute new kids' styles, and shopping advice for parents.
/ Source: TODAY

The end of summer means new school clothes for many kids. Laurie Gelman, contributing editor for Cookie magazine, presents a back-to-school runway report for the wee ones, along with shopping tips for the parents.

Kids have their own sense of style these days, even 5 year olds. How can parents work with their tastes to create realistic outfits? As with everything involving your kids, it's all about compromise. Since what kids wear is such a big part of self expression, you don't want to squash it, but limits have to be set. You can get a copy of the dress code from your school and go over what is acceptable and what isn't and go from there. Hold firm against the micro mini or put leggings underneath. Give in on color choices and footwear.

Should back-to-school shopping be done before school starts?
I would do the big shopping trip before school starts to take advantage of the end-of-summer and back-to-school sales. But you can hold back a few dollars for the must-have skirt or shoes that they didn't know they needed until school's in session.

It's still warm in September and October in most places across the country. What's a good way to incorporate summer items into the school look?It's always good to shop for layering pieces year-round. It's possible to layer shorts with tights and T-shirts over long-sleeve shirts, if kids can’t part with favorite pieces.

What are some things to splurge on? What items can be purchased at a larger savings store? If you're going to splurge, do it on something that your child will wear a lot, and that can be handed down to siblings. A really good winter coat is a great investment, as are winter boots and a good pair of comfortable shoes. Definitely don't splurge on trendy items.

Savings stores are great. Places like Target and K-Mart have less expensive versions of trendy items, and if you don't mind last year's jeans and sweaters, places like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls have great designer stuff at reasonable prices.

Shopping tips for mom and dad:
When to shop? Where to shop? Bring one child at a time or all together?
If there is any way you can shop midweek in the morning, that's the best time to hit the stores. If you have the time, it's nice to take each child individually to have that time with them — but, realistically, parents usually need to do it in one big trip. So your best bet is to make a day of it. Shop early, have lunch, go see a movie (most malls have a cineplex) and finish your shopping later in the day. Most importantly, especially for older kids, make a budget, share it with your kids, and make them stick to it.

After school starts, what's the best way to get out the door on time every morning?
In an ideal world, you and your child would pick out an outfit the night before, and they would wear it the next day. But girls, especially, have a tendency to change their mind. You might want to pick out two or even three outfits, and remind them that they have to stick with one of them. And remember to check the forecast!

Here are looks featured on the show:

Bohemian hipster

  • J.Crew ‘Crewcuts’ pink hooded zippered sweat jacket with lining, $48,
  • Old Navyforest green tunic top, $15,
  • H&Mchocolate corduroy crop pant, $15,
  • GapKids pink corduroy purse, $15,
  • Estella green boots, $145,


  • H&M army green jacket, $40,
  • Quiksilver surf tee, $22,
  • Benetton plaid blue pant, $44,
  • Little Raggio camel wallaby shoes, $69,


  • GapKids blue and white striped oxford shirt, $25,
  • Brooks Brothers navy ‘golden retriever’ wool sweater, $98,
  • Quiksilver blue jeans, $40,
  • J.Crew ‘Crewcuts’ yellow and burgundy scarf, $25,
  • Gap navy satchel bag, $30,
  • Converse blue Chuck Taylors, $25,


  • Burwell gray wool blazer, $184, Barneys New York: 212-826-8900
  • J.Crew ‘Crewcuts’ cotton argyle sweater vest, $38,
  • Best & Co blue, white, and green-striped button down, $49,
  • Gymboree navy cotton pleated skirt, $19.50,
  • Aigle navy blue wellies, $60,

Skater boy

  • Children’s Place tan jacket, $30,
  • Hurley burgundy zip hoodie, $44, Macy's: 800-289-6229
  • H&M long sleeve tan tee, $10,
  • Juicy Couture green cargo pants, $100,
  • Children’s Place green reversible beanie, $7,
  • Vans skull slip-ons, $37,

80's flashback

  • Old Navy dark denim jacket, $25,
  • Splendid Littles lavender and gray stripe dress, $52,
  • Tic Tac Toe black footless tights, $10,
  • Sons and Daughters purple suitcase, $8, 212-253-7797
  • Coastal Projections glitter shoes, $51, for Ibiza Kids

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