An Elementary' Back-to-school Style Guide | Toronto Sun

Summer is soon over, but most would likely agree that heading back to school is all the more fun when studying in style.

Back to school wardrobes for many tweens and children are increasingly influenced by both social and traditional media.

"Although there are certainly younger fashionistas "¦ it's around age 8 or 9 is when most girls express stronger opinions about their own style, and start increasingly looking to friends, social media and TV shows for how to express it," says Linda Maslechko, president of Calgary-based Triple Flip, a national retail chain which specializes in clothing for girls and tweens.

According to Maslechko, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift continue to be emulated along with Disney Stars Bella Thorne and Zendaya.

"Bella Thorne and Zendaya aren't just singing and acting, but making YouTube videos about their personal fashion style. Tweens are not only watching, but sharing fashion ideas and inspirations on Pinterest and Instagram, and following brands on Facebook to see the latest new fashions and sneak peek behind the scenes," adds Maslechko.

"Get that tween fashion-queen look with must-haves like skinny colourful denim jeans, jeggings and leggings, bright and neon tops," says Sarah Smithers, a Toronto-based Winners fashion spokesperson. "Blazers and knit blazers in bold colours, stripes and prints make perfect lightweight outerwear options for those first few warm weeks in September." Back-to-school staples for those in elementary and junior high schools include scaled down and age-appropriate variations of styles worn by teens and older siblings. There are preppy-inspired looks as well as lots of casual fare such as denim, graphic tees and hoodies.

Rocker-inspired and Spiderman graphic prints are musts, especially for boys, who can also sport such bright colours as blue, green, mustard, rust and brown.

"Graphic tees with lots of DJ and music references are a must. Elizabeth Olsen and Andrew Garfield (Spiderman) are also influencing back-to-school style trends," says Su-Hui Chu, a fashion and colour-trend coordination manager for Walmart Canada.

"There's definitely a strong push on colour and mixtures of contrasting colours," adds Chu.

Key back-to-school hues include bright teal, green, mustard, red, rust, blue and berry tones with contrasting colours showing up in stripes, colour blocking and checks.

Traditional colour favourites such as hot pink and purple remain especially popular for younger girls, who will also show their style in colourful heart, star and animal print motifs.

Checks and plaids are among the favoured patterns for boys and many may find themselves influenced by the preppy look of performers such as Justin Bieber and others.

"Young boys are becoming more style conscious with the influence of Brit bands like One Direction and The Wanted nipping at the heels of Justin Bieber. Whether or not they like his music, I think a lot of young boys would admit that The Biebs has a great sense of style," says Smithers.

An Elementary' Back-to-school Style Guide | Toronto Sun 1

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