Falling for Fashion, The Top 5 Trends

With so many brands and styles out there, it’s tough for parents to stay on top of the latest and greatest in back-to-school fashion. Zappos’ team of stylists work year-round, researching apparel and footwear trends to ensure that we have what’s hot for kids of all ages.

From kindergarteners to high schoolers, we’ve got all the must-haves to get your kids stylish.

Here are five fashion trends that will have your kid falling in love with their back-to-school wardrobe, guaranteed to get them an A+ in style:

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1. “Retro” kicks

Everything old is new again. Retro is in and top brands are taking notice, producing new product lines that pay homage to past eras. New Balance Kids and old school adidas are just two examples of footwear brands that are offering popular retro looks refreshed for 2015. Check out some of the Fashion Poet favorite retro looks.

Perhaps the most iconic shoe in the world, the “Chuck Taylor All Star,” remains a popular choice, managing to adapt to the times just enough to stay on the top trends lists year after year. More than one billion pairs of “Chucks” have been sold worldwide, with styles that burst with color or classic solids that can be personalized. Perfect for kids of any age and personality.

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2. “Heritage” Backpacks

Heritage style backpacks are making a big comeback. Many of these are classic backpacks that pair vintage style with a modern twist. The Heritage style from Herschel Supply is a clear example of how the brand is staying on-trend this season. From Dakine to Vans, Jansport also has a wide selection to have your kid carrying their books in style.

3. Boots

There’s no surprise that boots are big for the fall. From the flower motifs that work from summer to fall, the classic Dr. Martens Kid’s Collection boots can add edge to your kids’ wardrobe. 

Your kids can make a big splash with some cool rain boots. Hunter boots are perfect for long rainy and snow days, keeping them stylish and staying warm.

4. Graphic Tees

Kids can make a bold statement with graphic tees. The coolest T-shirts show off their personality, and this year it’s all about positive messaging.

From novelty T-shirts with witty and humorous phrases to athletic fits and vintage styles, we’ll have your kid styling in the classroom.

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5. Denim

Denim is a timeless staple. We are loving denim jackets, jeans, shirts and skirts that are a big trend for the fall. It’s durable, comfortable and cool and will get them through math class to after-school gatherings. 

Ripped or colored are some of the coolest treatments that your kid can rock. 

10 Ways You Can Put the “You” in Uniform

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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. 

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  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

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! 

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  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)

From the Shopping Haul to the School Hall

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We are very excited to bring you the Zappos Back-to-School Haul, your online destination for all of your back-to-school needs. We want to inspire you and your family with ideas, the latest fashion trends, and ways your kids can a splash of their own personality to their school clothes. 

Those kids that haven’t started classes yet are enjoying the last days of summer vacation. But we know you’ve already flipped your shopping calendar to a back-to-school mindset. It’s time to retire the swimsuit and bring out the soccer cleats.

That’s why we’re here. We know how stressful it is to find the right clothes — and the right sizes — for your kids. With the ease of Zappos, you can do all of your back-to-school shopping while enjoying your morning coffee. 

We are your back-to-school headquarters. The Zappos Haul features all your back-to-school essentials. We’ll help your kid put the “You” in Uniform with our array of accessories, from backpacks, to uniforms, to cool sneakers and much more. And of course, we offer fast and free shipping, whether you are ordering your entire Zappos Haul, or if you are ordering just one or two forgotten items. Returns also are free. Have a question? Our customer service team is just a phone call away, and available 24/7.

Best of all, at Zappos, you’re not shopping alone — you can count on our team of fashion experts, as well as a group of moms that will give you tricks and tips on what to buy and when to buy it. Our team works year-round to offer the latest and greatest apparel and footwear trends. We have all the back-to-school must-haves and we never compromise quality. 

Stay tuned as we share more back-to-school excitement with Zappos Haul videos. You’ll get essential checklists, tons of fun posts and must-haves that will get you ready for this busy season. Join the Zappos Haul conversation online by posting your own videos and using the hashtag #ZapposHaul!

5 Reasons to Send Them Back to School With Character

As the hottest months of the year draw to a close, we’ll be spending less time organizing play dates and taking the kids to the pool and spending far more time on their schoolwork. Sure, we’ll be happy they’re getting an education, but our little scholars will be a little less enthused. Curb their antipathy with a colorful and fun back-to-school wardrobe with lots of character!

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BOYS':

1. The Original Retro Brand Kids Captain America Tee

2. The Original Retro Brand Kids Incredible Hulk Tee

3. Neff Kids Kenni Geezy Tee

4. Stride Rite Marvel Avengers Captain America Sneakers

5. adidas Originals Kids ZX 700 Darth Vader Star Wars Sneakers

6. Stride Rite Star Wars Epic Duel Sneakers

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GIRLS':

1. Billabong Kids Cattitude Tee

2. Roxy Kids Octopus Crew Neck Tee

3. Roxy Kids Bikini Beach Crew Tee

4. Vans Kids Disney® Era

5. Stride Rite Disney Anna & Elsa Sneakers

6. Vans Kids Disney® Classic Slip-On

Here are 5 great reasons to liven up their new wardrobe as they head back into the classroom:

1. The summer is over but that doesn’t have to be the end of fun.  Sure there will be less time to play and lounge, but every minute of the day can still shine bright with fun superhero kicks or expression tees!

2. Playtime will be far more imaginative.  Their imagination will be their getaway. They’ll save the playground from the mad scientist or guard their jungle-gym kingdom from outside forces! They’ll use their magic to save the prince from the enemy or maybe just be the big goofball you know them to be!

3. Let their personalities shine! Is your mini-me a natural born beach bum, a fun-loving joker, or do they toe with the Dark Side™ of their wardrobe? Wherever they fall on the personality panorama, there are lively characters to fit.  Put Darth Vader® on their feet or a cuddly party octopus on their shirt to add a little charisma to their day!

4. The early morning struggle. They aren’t the only ones who don’t like the early morning! Everything feels like a struggle: getting yourself dressed, getting them dressed, breakfast, grabbing your coffee and the commute. It can be a lot more than a parent can handle.  At least there will be one thing that goes smoothly, choosing their outfit! They’ll love the selection, you’ll love the ease!

5. It takes care of part of your back-to-school shopping right now! Sure you need to purchase the ever-growing list of required school supplies, but you can also have some fun with awesome styles from MARVEL®, Star Wars®, Disney®, Neff®, Stride Rite®, The Original Retro Brand®, Billabong®, Roxy®, and adidas® Originals. Imagine the convenience of having their cool new wardrobe sent right to your door!

SHOP MORE KIDS' STYLE >>

Our Favorite Bags by adidas

As summer comes to a close, we’ll spend less time packing beach totes and more time filling school bags. It’s back to the daily grind ­of projects, homework, and living on the go. Carrying your weekly essentials is crucial and adidas makes toting textbooks, laptops, and school supplies easy and safe with durable, thoughtfully created packs.

adidas uses innovative features like climacool technology to keep you cool while lugging your bag and FreskPAK ventilation to inhibit odor-causing bacteria. Materials like tricot-lining help bags and backpacks hold their shape and show minimal wear and tear, even with frequent use. Padded laptop sleeves, water bottle pockets, and tons of organization slots ensure every item has a place. You can keep your individuality too with unique screen-printed designs, bright colors or more classic tones.

Almost all of adidas bags offer the same technology regardless of size or type. From totebags to backpacks and gym bags, most styles have thick straps or padded handles to make all-day carrying more comfortable. So which adidas bag style is right for you?  Well that depends on your individual fashion sense! But, here are a few of our favorites to consider:

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1. adidas CLIMACOOL® Strength Backpack

2. adidas Energy II Backpack

3. adidas CLIMACOOL® Strength Backpack

4. adidas Game Backpack

5. adidas Rumble Backpack

6. adidas Fearless Tote


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New Brand Spotlight: YFB Mini

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Coveted LA fashion brand Young Fabulous & Broke has launched their highly anticipated girl’s collection, YFB Mini™. Fashion industry icon and owner of the brand, Heidi Cornell McKenna, found inspiration within the sweet and curious spirit of a young girl’s ever evolving style.

The YFB Mini collection is fun, carefree, and colorful. With hand dyed, vibrant colors and washes, YFB has created a collection that is whimsical and sophisticated allowing young girls to use their imaginations and growing style to create unique outfit combinations that express their individuality.

SHOP YFB MINI >>