the thing about kids…and fashion trends

I have an 11 year old daughter who has strong opinions about her wardrobe (don’t all 11 year old girls?).  Her opinion and mine are vastly different when it comes to school clothes. This back-to-school season I decided I was done arguing about her clothes every morning.  She and I went to Starbucks and had a “fashion meeting”.

Truth is I want her to show her individuality in her wardrobe. I’m glad she isn’t uber obsessed with fashion (I couldn’t afford it!). At our “fashion meeting” I explained to her that I am concerned about things fitting properly, being age appropriate and not unisex (I insist she wear ‘girls’ clothing, not sports wear that are for gals and guys…at least to school). She agreed and we developed our school-clothes rules.

They are:

  • Things must fit (not too small and not too big)
  • Be cool, trendy (whatever that definition is in her 11 year old world)
  • Not look like she is wearing her old-mom’s clothes.  Her clothing must be age appropriate.
  •  Must not be uni-sex.  Must be clothing for girls.

Based on our new agreement (or fashion rules), I then decided that we should choose a style for her. She got to tell me what her personality was through her clothes. She showed me things online she liked, and we went to the mall and she pointed out things in stores she thought was cool.

Some of today’s trends in kids clothes make me take pause when I consider what our kids clothes are saying about their personality.  But, we as responsible parents, need to know what is fashionable (or what “all the kids are wearing”) so when we have these conversations with our teens and pre-teens about wardrobe choices, we are doing so from an educated viewpoint.And of course, to show our kids that we are still cool (*wink*).

Here are 2 big trends in kids clothing this fall.  Or in other words – the stuff your kids are going to be begging for…if they haven’t already!

This can be a tricky one because pieces that kids like are EXPENSIVE!  Try this: get a great hoodie, denim jacket, or puffy vest from your local Goodwill store.  Then put on your “crafty” hat and DIY!  This tutorial shows you how to get in on this trend in just 5 easy steps.

Camo and skulls are still big in kids fashion.  Camo has been around a while, look for it this season in bright trendy colors.  For some of us, the camo thing can be a little much for little ones.  Consider a DIY Camo sweatshirt! 

I would love to hear how you’ve calmed the ‘school clothes’ battle in your home! Any suggestions for the rest of us?


School – Fall Fashion Trends Ultimate 80’s!

Boyfriend jackets

A boyfriend jacket is simply an oversize unstructured blazer.  I have many photos (that should be burned) of me and my girlfriends proudly wearing the boyfriend jackets with our granny boots and miniskirts. Yes, we thought we were amazing…Big hair and all!
LOVE IT:Then bring on the pins! The best way to don your boyfriend jacket this season will be to accessorize it with a plethora of pins and brooches a la 80’s style.
CAN’T DECIDE: Go basic with black or grey. There are some styles that have a bit more structure.
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Super skinnies

The super skinny is here to stay.  This season if you want to embrace all that is 80’s then do it with a granny boot and a boyfriend jacket. This trend takes on a new twist this fall with vibrant COLOR!
LOVE IT:Bring on the skinnies in hot neon colors!
CAN’T DECIDE: If you aren’t sure the skinny jean trend is for you then skip it!  This trend brings a lot of attention to the bottom ½ of your silhouette. 
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School – Fall Fashion Trends SHOES

Granny boots

CONFESSION: I loved my 80’s granny boots and wore them with everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING!  I am very happy they are back!
LOVE IT:Get a few pair with varying hardware.  Maybe a black pair with strong military details and a chunky heel…then add a brown pair with a slim heel, more feminine. 
CAN’T DECIDE: all of the discount shoe stores will have a variety of this style in the Fall.  Try 

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Boat shoes

When I say Sperry Topsider, what do you think?  I remember a time in the 80’s I fondly remember as the ‘gator bowl’.  No, not a football event, but rather a ‘preppy’ contest between me and a few girlfriends.  Boat shoes were key to this middle-school event. Boat shoes of all colors!
LOVE IT:There are some of the cutest boat shoes I’ve seen out at the stores this season. Everything from a dressy metallic to a sporty tartan. Be sure to pick up a pair in your teams colors! 
CAN’T DECIDE: this trend is one that you can be safe in trying.  I promise it’ll work well for you!  Especially at those times a tennis shoe is appropriate, but you just aren’t in the mood for an athletic shoe. 

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Kids Model Search!

Once again we are searching for kids for our Fashion Day event! On Saturday, October 20th, we will be in Portage, IN.  The kids will participate in the fashion show on that day.  Gather the grandparents, get your cameras ready and enter your child as a model in the fashion show! 
Deadline to enter is Thursday, October 18th. 
Call the Portage Goodwill Store Manager for more details at: (219) 764-9619.

School – Fall Fashion Trends Bleached!


We all did this in the 80’s.  We got a pair of jeans and bleached them.  Problem with our “home method” was that we then smelled like bleach for weeks.  
LOVE IT:Over distressed and bleached denim will be all the rage this fall
CAN’T DECIDE: Skip the jeans and opt for a bleached jean jacket

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School – Fall Fashion Trends BIG SHOULDERS

Big shoulders

Big shoulders always make me think of the days of Dynasty and Dallas…and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you are probably under 35!
LOVE IT:Layer up your shoulder pads! Be sure to get some that you can add into every shirt and jacket. Remember the big shoulder trend refers not only to the padding, but also the details.
CAN’T DECIDE: the good news is that shoulder pads have been making a come back for several seasons…and you probably didn’t even notice! 

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Shopping Goodwill for Back-to-School

It is hard to believe that summer is coming to a close, but our children will be heading back to school in no time flat. The month before school is always such a busy season of preparations as we stock up on our school supplies, pick our cool character backpacks, get our new school shoes, and select our school uniforms for the year.

Goodwill might not be the first place you think of when you are doing your school shopping, but if you are a family on a budget, it can be a fantastic resource for families during this expensive season in our lives.

Today I wanted to share with you just a few ideas for items to look for at your local store that you may not have thought of before.

Stock Up on a Back-to-School Wardrobe: Goodwill carries loads of name brand items that can get your kid’s year started out in style and with your budget in mind. Name brand jeans, t-shirts, hooded sweatshirts, coats, dresses, pants, and leggings can all be found at Goodwill for a lot less than you would pay at the mall.

For stylish girls that need a little persuading to shop at Goodwill first, I recommend having them pull together a style file or poster board with their favorite looks from their favorite magazines for this year’s season. Encourage them to come up with a list of their top pieces that they would like to start the school year out with and challenge them to replicate the looks that they created in their style file with pieces from Goodwill. Issue a fun reward for them if they come under budget like a gift card to their favorite store or even an actual piece from the style file that can add that extra sparkle to their Goodwill wardrobe.

For children that are required to wear uniforms, like my own, Goodwill often has uniform pieces for a fraction of the price than you would pay retail. I keep my kid’s clothing sizes on my phone so when I see a particularly great deal on an item at the store, that I know exactly what sizes to buy when I see them.

Embrace Refashioned Style– Refashioned pieces and handmade accessories are the latest rage this year. You may not think of Goodwill as a fabric store, but I do! No matter what the size of the item, look at the pieces as material to create chic back-to-school accessories out of items that you purchase from the store.

Consider using pieces from Goodwill to make items like a fabric flower pin that could accessorize your daughter’s hair or clothing, try using fabric to create rolled rosette rings for a cute accessory, whip up cute ruffled t-shirts from the clothing at your store, or add a leather label to your son’s backpack or hat with his initials burned in.

Half of the fun for me is thinking outside the box with items that might be overlooked and creating new pieces that will make your children the envy of their classmates. The possibilities are endless at the store and every day is a brand new day with daily donations coming in.

Get Those Back-to-School Papers Organized– The one thing I dread the most about school starting is the unbelievable amount of papers that come home and the homework paper trail that comes with it. Start thinking now about what types of systems you would like to use to control the paper chaos in your home and jot down the items you would like to find at your Goodwill store.

Items like magazine organizers, binders, hooks, storage ottomans, and baskets can be found at the store and I love to really hunt on the sale days for these items. When doing the rest of your back-to-school shopping this year, be sure to visit the Housewares section of the store to see what you can find to house the paper chaos in your home.

Stock Up for Teacher Gifts– I love to spoil our teachers, but I also love to do it on a budget. Goodwill is my favorite store to look for cute elements to add to our teacher gifts throughout the year. The store offers a plethora of gift baskets, mugs that can be painted and filled with treats for our favorite teachers, jars to package our favorite drink mixes, and adorable plastic containers that can be filled with bath salts for a fun gift to give.

You may also be surprised to find that there are many fabulous items that are new and still in their package that could be stored away in your gift closet for the holidays or Teacher Appreciation Day.

I hope this entry gives you just a few fun ideas to begin saving for the back-to-school season with Goodwill. Be sure to take advantage of their wonderful sales and find new ways to save at your store today!

What items do you buy for the back-to-school season at your local Goodwill? We would love to hear what you love to hunt for this time of year! Please share!