Like most parents, I spend the final weeks of summer scrambling to tie up any loose wardrobe ends before sending my little ones on their paths to higher education, which in their case means preschool and kindergarten. My kids are 3 and 5, so we find ourselves replacing clothing on a nearly seasonal basis, and "Back to School" is practically a season unto itself.
I'm always hunting for outfits that look sharp, while still leaving a little left over to stash away in a college fund. Without further ado, here’s a little mix-and-match style grab bag of some of my favorite back to school finds this year.
Mad for Plaid In my mind, fall is inextricably linked with plaid, end of story. So I used that as the first building block in our outfit.
Warm Your Heart Warm fall colors dominate our pants. Plan on mix-and-matching these to your heart’s content; they’re good to go any day of the week.
Finishing Touches I have an affinity for animal backpacks. And elbow-patch cardigans. The classic varsity look of the cardigan is such a staple of Americana that it never gets old.
Fall for Florals I couldn’t resist pulling out three different floral print styles for fall; these were just too fun to pass up. So we’re starting our outfit off with a bold statement featuring an almost ironic bouquet of distinct floral tops. Quick gawking, pick one, and move along!
Loud, Louder, Loudest Three more options for you, depending on just how loud you want to take this. Simple jeggings are a goes-with-anything staple, while the yellow polkadot pants scream "Look At Me!" almost as loudly as your daughter herself when she’s just learned how to open the nail polish by herself. Finally, we have a totally out-of-the-blue pair of plaid trouser shorts with tights, because sometimes you just want to greet the day by combining two radically different patterns.
Finishing Touches The neutral cotton knit sweater will keep the chill out during brisk fall mornings, and the butterfly lunch bag lends an air of whimsy. Boots and hat favor a more reserved approach, adding a dash of class to an otherwise delightfully garish ensemble.