10 Ways You Can Put the “You” in Uniform

back to school, kids' accessories, kids' clothing, school uniforms

Just because your kids’ school requires them to wear a uniform, it doesn’t mean their personalities shouldn’t still have a chance to shine.

While many schools dictate the essentials (i.e. polos, khakis, white shoes, etc.), accessories and embellishments allow your kids to put the “you” in “uniform” and bridge the gap between conformity and individuality.

To that end, Zappos works with top brands to sell uniform apparel and footwear that offer quality, durability and the ability to be customized.

So, how can a uniform be customized*? Here are some ideas from Zappos’ team of back-to-school fashion stylists to help get your creative juices flowing:

  1. Get carried away with your backpack! Backpacks are an essential part of any school ensemble, whether your kids wear uniforms or not. Pins, accessories, fabric paint, key chain characters, and other colorful touches can help personalize one of the many backpacks on Zappos.com.
  2. Take a big step toward individuality by putting your best foot forward. If your school requires white shoes, take a pair of plain Keds, Vans or Converse and customize to your heart’s desire. Whether it’s through tie-dye, Sharpie art or acrylic paint, DIY-ing is a great way to spend quality time together before the kids head back to class.
  3. Speaking of shoes, if you think there’s only one standard way to tie shoelaces, think again! A quick online search yields dozens of step-by-step tutorials on creative ways to tie shoes. Choose from artful lacing styles like “The Starburst,” “The Basketcase” and “The Double Trouble.” 
  4. Need a simple and cheap way for your kids to stay stylish under their school uniforms? Look no further than funky socks! Instead of opting for a traditional pair of dark gray or black socks, try embracing a little color and a whole lot of pattern for their feet.
  5. As fall approaches, it’s important for your kids to stay warm … and look cool. Zappos.com has a huge selection of jackets and coats in bright colors and cool patterns from top designers. And although they provide the perfect opportunity to show off their personalities, it’s not just about style — our line of outerwear is as durable as it is fashionable to stand up against even the harshest of winters.
  6. When it rains, your kid’s personality can still shine. Umbrellas are a perfect way to show that a few showers don’t dampen your creativity. We have you covered (literally!) in the rain with designs like Batman, Hello Kitty, and popular lines of umbrellas from Hatley Kids and Vera Bradley.
  7. School supplies like pencil cases, lunch bags, and binders are also perfect for customization. Before your kids get back to the books, have them get crafty with fun DIY projects that can make any ordinary school supply seem extraordinary.
  8. For girls, headbands, hair clips, ribbons, bracelets, necklaces and belts are just a few other options to show off their creativity. They may want to stick with a couple favorites, or wear a different combination every day. Just figure out what works within the dress code and then go for it.
  9. For boys, after school activities mean freedom from the classroom and the school uniform. Buy them some bold and bright athletic wear from Under Armour, Nike, or Adidas, and see their inner superstar shine through.
  10. For a final touch, why not add a fun and functional timepiece to the mix? It’s the perfect pop of personality on your kid’s wrist. Whether they prefer a more classic analog look or a bright and colorful digital watch, at least you’ll know they’ll always be fashionably on time for class.

*Be sure to check with your school to be sure what can be altered and what can’t.

Back-to-School Items that Put the Fun in Functional

To say back-to-school is filled with changes is quite the understatement. New grade levels, new friends, new clothes and new accessories. Gone are the days of the humdrum and tame; usher in the modern and fun with all new accessories.

Once upon a time backpacks were boring; solid colors, no frills, no thrills. The utilitarian design of the backpack is unbeatable, nothing collects their books better. Now they can amass their belongings while simultaneously celebrating their fashion sense in color blocked trendy designs. Your elementary attendees may not be interested in chic designs, but they’ll be very absorbed in the wild style of Skip Hop® backpacks. In a variety of animal applique they can be the busy bee, wise owl or the cat’s meow!

What goes in their backpacks? Pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers and all the miscellaneous items they manage to gather. Why let those items roll free? Gather them altogether in a convenient and accessible case. Many cases exist but few are as charming as the Kipling® 100 Pens Cases. Organization has never been so easy with a roomy interior that features elastic loops; individual pencils can be secured and erasers stored. Standout colors and a signature monkey key chain help to complete the overall appeal.

Let’s take a step outside of the pack for a moment. Exterior accessories are just as important. Start them off with the Nike® Insulated Zip Lunchtote. With its instantly recognizable signature swoosh, they’ll love their awesome new lunch bag. When they’re ready for a little more pizazz in the lunch room, get them the MadPax® Nibbler Spike or Nibbler Warp Speed Lunch Bag. In creative 3-D spike and bubble detailing all that’s left is for them to tell you which colors they adore. Each of the Nike and MadPax bags contain a spacious main compartment to store sandwiches, snacks and juice boxes. Each is fully insulated to keep foods nice and fresh for a great lunchtime experience. 

Lunch bags aren’t the only external accessory they’ll love! The rainy season is approaching. Maybe not this month but it will be upon us before we can say, “it’s raining cats and dogs,” and there is a colorful way to shield your babes from the rain. Hatley® offers a variety of prints and patterns to keep the season bright even through the greyest of days!

Drab days and predictable ornamenting are no fun! Colorful prints and fun accessories may not be the only things to make school days lively, but let those adornments help in creating more versatility in the day-to-day routine. 

back to school, kids' backpacks, lunch bags, kids' accessories

  1. Skip Hop Zoo Pack Backpack
  2. Polo Ralph Lauren Kids Camp Small Backpack
  3. MadPax Nibbler Warp Speed Bubble Lunch Bag
  4. Herschel Supply Co. Settlement Mid-Volume
  5. Herschel Supply Co. Survey Kids
  6. MadPax Nibbler Spike Lunch Bag
  7. Nike Kids Insulated Zip Lunchtote
  8. Kipling 100 Pens Case
  9. Hatley Kids Umbrella

Zappos Sustainability Rockstar: Nicole Bassett of prAna

Hello all! Sustainability continues to be important to Zappos just as it is to you. Today I am bringing you another awesome sustainability rockstar from one of Zappos favorite brands: Nicole Bassett of prAna! Below is my interview with her. Please read, share & enjoy! 

prana, sustainability, conservation, natural systems

What's your favorite thing about your job? 

I enjoy getting to work with all the other departments inside prAna. Understanding how everyone works and figuring out how all parts of the company can integrate sustainability holistically brings a lot of value to what I do for my job.

I also am fond of the “people” aspect of my job: I appreciate getting to know everyone and learning how the business works so that I can support others’ efforts in what they do. I also like to know what everyone’s goals are and the challenges in attaining those goals. Understanding how sustainability fits into both of these aspects (goals and challenges and the people involved) brings me a lot of satisfaction in my everyday work.

Lastly, I sincerely enjoy the problem-solving element of my job. It is important to understand needs and values, especially when you recognize that sometimes you must approach a situation by implementing baby steps and smaller sustainability efforts in order to figure out and solve larger problems. Overall, the end goal is to create a better world through sustainability efforts while doing so inside a business model that is not necessarily conducive to sustainability. But that is what makes it interesting: Sustainability approaches (within or outside of business models) are always evolving, and interesting ideas and approaches are constantly popping up.

Who or what is your biggest source of inspiration?

Honestly, surrounding myself with people who are also passionate about sustainability. Being surrounded by people, in general, who are also interested in sustainability leads me to learn more about sustainability as a whole. And not just a single person but the whole community of other sustainability professionals are what inspire me and my work. Groups like the Outdoor Industry Association Sustainable Working Group bring up conversations about sustainability and exciting news that motivates my efforts. Accessing other people that are also thinking about the subject of sustainability also fuels the learning process. Sometimes the traditional corporate world is not necessarily proactive in its sustainability efforts; however, I feel fortunate to have friends and colleagues interested in the subject. 

Learning also is a large source of inspiration for me. Sustainability issues are macro issues, so it is fun to explore clues to learning how we can live and conduct business more aligned with natural systems. The process of learning about and understanding the best sustainability approaches is just as important as the application of such approaches.

What do you do to stay motivated and energized? 

Little wins. A small win at prAna may not change the world, but it influences an industry and a change in the industry. This makes a difference and it truly does matter. All the small things add up and eventually we will shift our behavior as humans. My favorite example is how prAna rethought our plastic packaging, and this has helped influence others in the industry, creating momentum for sustainability initiatives. Also, seeing my colleagues come up with successful, innovative solutions within sustainability also energizes and motivates me. 

Contributing to something that makes the planet a little bit better is also very inspiring for me. Even though it is really hard to make a difference in the large scope of environmental issues at hand, I try to stick by the mantra “I’m here on this planet, I’m human, and if I’m going to be here wouldn’t I want to do the most I could do to make the world a little bit better?” 

 If you could be an animal, what would you be?

I would definitely be my Australian Shepherds, Astro and Cosmo. My Australian Shepherds get to run and run and run and go with me mountain biking and swimming and have the best life. They also seem so content with whatever is happening at the moment.


A little bit more about social & environmental responsibility at

PrAna is a lifestyle brand that draws its name from the ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life and vitality of the spirit. The prAna team creates purposeful and stylish apparel for people to pursue their passions on the water, mat, rock, trail and street. From its beginning in 1993, prAna has been committed to weaving sustainable practices into its operations and supply chain, working to reduce its impact on soils, water supplies and other natural resources while promoting conservation. PrAna is also conscious of its impact on communities and has worked to include a growing number of fair trade styles every year. It is the first major apparel company in North America to offer Fair Trade USA certified products and accessories. PrAna is sold in five flagship stores, online at prana.com, and in 1,400 specialty retailers across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. PrAna is one of the portfolio brands of Columbia Sportswear Company (COLM).

Check out more awesome news from LEAF at Zappos.com/LEED, Twitter: @ZapposLEAF and on Instagram: Zappos_LEAF

7 Must-Have Footwear Brands for Back-to-School

OK, so I gotta be up front: Back-to-school is simultaneously the best and worst time of the year for me. It’s great because I no longer have to entertain my 11-year-old daughter, Hannah, all day, every day like it's a never-ending, three-month weekend. It’s no bueno, however, because I have to go through the excruciating process of going store-to-store to scour half-empty racks and shoeboxes for select out-of-stock sizes, ultimately leaving the mall frazzled and empty handed. 

But no longer! This year I’m wising up and am completing all of Hannah’s shopping needs online. And with Zappos’ free shipping directly to my front door, I’m alleviated from unwanted stress and can search hundreds of fashion-forward styles from great kids’ brands, including Kenneth Cole Reaction and MICHAEL Michael Kors to Stuart Weitzman and Tommy Hilfiger, all at the convenience of my fingertips!  

Fortunately, little Hannah has all the athletic shoes she needs, which is a huge cost savings, so this year we’re expanded her shoe collection with where-anywhere flats, classic sneakers and booties. Her refined tastes come from me, so when we’re browsing together on the couch and an item catches our eyes I’m happy to oblige and splurge — all within reason, of course. Apart from the brands above, among others she was excited to try out were Ivanka Trump, Jessica Simpson and Superga

What I find most impressive about each of these brands is their across-the-board quality, comfort and integrated design details. With those three features combined, these shoes seamlessly transition from home to school and anywhere else in a snap … and that I can get behind.

For any parent still hesitant to shop online for back-to-school clothing or footwear, I highly urge you to give it a try. Take a look below to see some of mine and Hannah’s favorite shoes as she heads back to school in style! 

back to school shoes, casual sneakers, fall fashion, kids footwear, slip ons

  1. Ivanka Trump Kids Jordan Zip (Little Kid/Big Kid)
  2. Jessica Simpson Kids Cleo (Little Kid/Big Kid)
  3. Kenneth Cole Reaction Kids Copy Tap (Little Kid/Big Kid)
  4. Stuart Weitzman Kids Fannie Studded (Little Kid/Big Kid)
  5. MICHAEL Michael Kors Kids Rover Lux (Little Kid/Big Kid)
  6. Tommy Hilfiger Kids Kayleigh H Charm (Little Kid/Big Kid)
  7. Superga Kids 2224 COTDJ (Infant/Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid)
  8. Superga Kids 2750 JCOT Classic (Infant/Toddler/Little Kid/Big Kid)
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School Daze: 12 Looks for Back-to-Cool

As much as we all hate to face it, summer is almost at an end, which means the start of a new school year, new classes, new teachers and best of all, updated clothes, shoes and bags! 

I loved and hated going back to school when I was younger. The latter reason was because, at that time, there seemed to be this weird belief in the fashion industry that if you were a curvy girl you wanted to look like a 45-year-old woman who dressed for a very dull office environment. I skillfully dodged cameras most of my middle and high school career unless I was wearing something I had designed and made myself. Thankfully today we have great designers who know that curves come on women of all ages and lifestyles. And with that, they bring us young, fun and funky pieces that hug and flatter those beautiful curves this fall.  

What are some of the hottest trends for back to school this year? Trendy jeans in skinny and boot cuts, tunics in soft fabrics that feel as amazing as they look, and hi-lo hem dresses that can be dressed up or down in a variety of ways. Furthermore, we’ve got updated plaid button-downs (in fabrics other than flannel!), rompers, cardigans and, of course, basic tees in silky-smooth cottons. Mix these with great outerwear in warm fall colors, on-trend boots, and a stylish alternative to the traditional backpack. That’s it — you’re ready for a great school year! 

#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #WRW, #Zapposplus, B2S, back to school, bb dakota, Columbia Plus, DKNY jeans, Herschel Supply Company, jag jeans, karen kane, levi’s plus, Marika Curves, Plus B2S, plus fashion, Steve Madden, Terramar, vince camuto, Well Rounded Wednesday, zappos, Zappos Plus
#curvygirls, #WellRoundedWednesday, #WRW, #Zapposplus, B2S, back to school, bb dakota, Columbia Plus, DKNY jeans, Herschel Supply Company, jag jeans, karen kane, levi’s plus, Marika Curves, Plus B2S, plus fashion, Steve Madden, Terramar, vince camuto, Well Rounded Wednesday, zappos, Zappos Plus

  1. DKNY Jeans Batik Print Romper
  2. BB Dakota Gaston
  3. Karen Kane Long Sleeve Hi Lo Dress
  4. Marika Curves Mix Up Tunic
  5. Vince Camuto Serengeti Cinched Waist Rumple Anorak
  6. Columbia Camp Henry™ L/S Shirt
  7. Terramar Short Sleeve Scoop Top W8790W
  8. Jag Jeans Plus Size Erin Cuffed Ankle in Khaki
  9. Levi's® 315™ Shaping Bootcut
  10. Levi's® Mid Rise Skinny
  11. Herschel Supply Co. Market
  12. Steve Madden Exclusive - Damiannn

Heading back to school this fall and rocking any of the looks you’ve seen here? Tag us in your #B2S #selfies with #zapposWRW — we’d love to see your style! 

Top-Notch Denim That Delivers

Comfortable, simple and durable, denim is undoubtedly society’s go-to wardrobe staple. From skinny, slim and straight to boot cut and flare, there are styles and varying rises suitable for every body and booty.

Each year, an estimated 450 million pairs of jeans are sold in the United States (wowzers!), a flourishing industry that was spawned by blue jean inventor Jacob Davis in 1871 and patented two years later by Levi Strauss. 

Today, upon quick count, there are roughly 109 American denim brands vying for consumer attention at any given moment, all hoping their coveted leather brand tab outlasts the competition. But in an ever-convoluted industry where it’s paramount to stand apart from all others by doing something different, only a few companies are doing so successfully. Queue AG Adriano Goldschmied, upstarted in 2000, one of my favorite contemporary lifestyle brands.

When shopping, I’m oftentimes a stickler when it comes to premium denim, and it takes a lot for a company to catch my attention and money. However, with every new AG purchase, I become more and more infatuated with its line of quality, environmentally friendly denim.

Through the utilization of eco-conscious fibers, ozone technology, and an AG-ed wash process — a method to naturally age denim for a worn-in or destroyed look — AG hits the metaphorical bull’s-eye in regards to ethics and style. Moreover, its soft, power stretch fabrication allows that extra give for days when I need it most. 

Chic, sophisticated and always classic, Adriano Goldschmied appeases to women by offering a wide selection of colored and whiskered denim for a trendy, fashion-forward look. And with fall on the horizon, why not add some freshness to your style with these bestsellers? 

AG Adriano Goldchmeid, denim, flared denim, skinny jeans, women's fall fashions AG Adriano Goldchmeid, denim, flared denim, skinny jeans, women's fall fashionsAG Adriano Goldchmeid, denim, flared denim, skinny jeans, women's fall fashionsAG Adriano Goldchmeid, denim, flared denim, skinny jeans, women's fall fashions

Kamik Kids Outerwear

Everyone needs at least one good pair of rain boots and in some climates, one good pair of snow boots, especially kids! Kamik is a family-owned and operated company with over 100 years in manufacturing, so naturally, they are one of our top picks.

Adding to their family values, for those who will inherit the Earth, Kamik practices sustainability by putting their money where … your boot is. Although they create long-lasting boots, when they do wear out, all you have to do is send them back … for free! They’ll make sure the boots get recycled properly. 

Kamik Kids offers more than footwear. As part of their overall outerwear collection, they make soft and durable, long-sleeve fleece jackets with removable or attached hoods. The front-zip closure makes for easy on and off without resulting in messy, static cling hair (unless your kids think that’s funny). As a mother, I know nobody needs that when you’re trying to manage getting out the door on time and in shape for school on those cold winter mornings! Choose from classic colors or bright hues, with many more options to come. Keep an eye out for Kamik Kids’ newest to arrive! Journey. On.

  1. Soft Shell Jacket in Skydiver
  2. Soft Shell Jacket in Blue Aster
  3. Soft Shell Jacket in Raspberry
  4. Soft Shell Jacket in Total Eclipse 

Kamik, Kamik Kids, fleece jackets, removable hood

Commute in Functional Style with Chrome

If you’ve ever lived in a bustling metropolitan area like Los Angeles or New York, you know that long commutes are the norm and public transportation is gold. It’s much easier to take a bus or train downtown and walk a few extra blocks to the office than it is to fight highway traffic and waste gas. But power heels, business footwear and briefcases aren’t ideal for this sort of weekly travel. You need a sturdy bag to carry your necessities (like those stylish office shoes) and durable yet comfortable footwear to get you there. Chrome products have you covered for both.

Chrome messenger bags are made for your commute. Originally big on the urban cycling scene, these travel bags gained huge popularity for their well-sewn, well-made designs. Whether you’re into a minimalistic pack or a larger, high-functioning bag, Chrome ensures all styles have the same features. Waterproof fabrics, quick-release shoulder straps and functional pockets are in every bag, with some having built-in bottle openers and military grade liners added on.

A highly functional, ultra-durable design is put into Chrome’s footwear too. Antimicrobial insoles and skid resistant rubber bottoms are standard, making each shoe tough enough for all sorts of weather. Cool materials like fire hose canvas, fiberglass and reflective coating are used in their shoe construction, and some footwear is even made completely by hand. This attention to detail proves Chrome is dedicated to creating top-quality goods for city commutes, travel-heavy weekends and any unexpected event in between. Check out some of their unique craftsmanship and urban styles below.

shoes, messenger bags, daily_commute, commute. function, style, durable goods, city style, bags, computer bags, cycling fashion footwear, fashion footwear, casual, functional, on the go

shoes, messenger bags, daily_commute, commute. function, style, durable goods, city style, bags, computer bags, cycling fashion footwear, fashion footwear, casual, functional, on the go

  1.  Chrome Kursk
  2.  Chrome Chekhov 
  3.  Chrome Dima
  4.  Chrome Mini Buran 
  5.  Chrome Ishak
  6.  Chrome Mini Metro Messenger