Plaid, bright colors are in style

My, where has the summer gone? It seems like only yesterday that the final bell was ringing to signal the start of summer vacation.

As they peal again Monday for the start of a new school year in Richmond and Columbia counties (Aug. 20, for Aiken County), children will want to return with the latest in fashion and gear.

Marla Shavin, a Macy's spokeswoman, said one summer fashion that boys and girls will take back to school with them is plaid.

"Plaid is really important," Ms. Shavin said. "It's one of the really fun patterns that kids love working with and taking it and mixing it up."

Baby doll shirts, ballet flats and wedges will return for girls, as will skinny jeans and leggings - this time in different colors.

Guys will be wearing dark-wash denim, and T-shirts with graphics of musicians who had hits before their mothers were born, such as The Beatles.

Mustard yellow - "almost like the new neutral" - and jewel tones such as cobalt blue, red and purple, will be popular at schools and bus stops, she said.

Erreca White, the marketing manager for Augusta Mall, said backpacks also will come in a variety of bright, vibrant colors "to fit every personality."

Schoolchildren will be cognizant of keeping fashionable as the weather changes, she said.

"Layering is important," Mrs. White said, referring to the practice of wearing more than one shirt and a jacket or hoodie. "In the fall, it's cool in the morning, and you can peel some of the clothes off as the day warms up."

As parents make their ways through stores to get school shopping done, they might wonder how to pull the latest trends together. Mrs. White styled six models from elementary children to high schoolers to show some of this year's fashions. The results are shown here.

Reach C. Samantha McKevie at (706) 823-3552 or samantha.mckevie@augustachronicle.com.

CHECK IT OUT

See more looks at the Back to School Fashion Show at 2 p.m. today in the Sears Court at Augusta Mall on Wrightsboro Road.

High school

Girls: the '80s look

Body Shop

A flashback to the 1980s is seen with dark-denim skinny jeans ($32.50) and bold-print baby-doll shirt ($18.50), completed with colorful beads, a roomy matching purse ($16.50) and brightly colored patent-leather wedges ($19.95).

Boys: the preppy look

Gap

Dark-denim 1969-brand slim jeans ($59.50) paired with an army-green v-neck sweater ($39.50) over a window-pane oxford shirt ($39.50) and retro black Converse-style shoes from Payless Shoe Source create a preppy look. The Messenger bag ($39.50) - large enough to hold a laptop - is a popular trend for guys and girls from middle school to college.

Middle school

Girls: the feminine Bohemian look

Limited Too

The bohemian look is for girls too, with a pink empire-waist sweater ($36.50) atop a striped cami ($19.50) worn with cuffed capri pants. The outfit is accented with ballet flats ($29.50) and matching purse ($19.50).

Boys: the Skater/Surfer Boy look

Gap Kids

This look is accomplished with cargo shorts ($24.50), a plaid button- down shirt ($19.50), a surf-inspired T-shirt and hoodie ($29).

Elementary

Girls: the Preppy look

Gymboree

Preppy gets updated with a three-quarter-length argyle sweater ($34.50), red skirt ($26.50), argyle tights ($12.50) and navy Mary Jane shoes with floral details ($34.50).

Boys: the Bohemian look

The Children's Place

Hip camouflage cargo pants ($16.50), bright athletic T-shirt ($8.50) and a denim jacket ($24.50) for cool mornings is finished off with sturdy wallaby-style boots from Payless Shoes.

Back packs and bags

Standard backpacks, such as these from Mori Luggage, now come in a variety of fashionable colors. Clockwise, from back left: North face backpack, $49; Jansport bag, $29.99; Vera Bradley lunch bag, $25; Vera Bradley back pack, $90

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