Back to school shopping.
It's that time of year, and even though summer clothing may still be in order for the first few weeks of school, it's hard for even the most stalwart parent to escape the need to get just a few fall items in advance of the opening bell.
This is tax-free week in , so if you are planning to purchase some higher-priced clothing or shoes for your kids, it's good time to do it. Elizabeth Zigmont, marketing coordinator for , said the mall has been very busy this week. "Lots of moms with kids," she said.
Patch asked Zigmont what's in style, and what it makes sense to purchase right now.
"Uggs don't go on sale, so they are a good thing to get now during tax-free week," said Zigmont. , , and all have Uggs in stock, including a wide assortment of embellished and colored models that will appeal to girls of all ages. Zigmont said the boots are definitely still in style for this season.
Hunter Boots – rubber boots made in the UK – will also be very hot this fall. "They're a great rubber rain boot, and even have a sock to insert so they are good in the snow," Zigmont said. Hunter Boots are sold at Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor.
"The leather riding boot is a must-have for fall," said Zigmont. Tweens and teens will be able to wear it with anything.
Sperry topsiders – for little ones through women's sizes – are also a hot footwear trend for girls this season, said Zigmont. "They come in all sorts of patterns – including animal prints – to fit your own personality and give your own spin to the look," said Zigmont. The Sperry brand is sold at many retailers, and they are a classic look for boys, too.
As for clothing styles, Zigmont said the girls still favor skinny jeans, which can be worn from now through the winter. Low rise remain popular, although Zigmont said that waistlines have come up just a bit. "They're all available for your body type. You have to be comfortable," she said. Black denim is a must, and patterned and colored denim will also be trendy.
"Lots of layering" is also in style. The combination of a tank, button down, hoody, and fall jacket can get your child through almost any temperature range.
Textured fabrics, plaids, floral, and color accents are also in style this fall. "Jewel tones are popular for fall, including crimson and reds," Zigmont said. Hunter green is also making a comeback. Bright colors are popular for young girls, and animal prints (although not from head to toe) will also be popular for girls of all ages.
The "modern preppy look" is the style for boys this fall. Argyle accent sweaters, or a button down worn over a graphic T, will look "preppy with a modern edge," said Zigmont.
Straight leg or boot cut is the style for boys' jeans. "There are skinnier styles out there, too, but not overly baggy," said Zigmont. She said 1969 line, with dark and medium blue washes, is popular with kids as well as men and women.
Boys can wear color, too. "The Gap has a colored chino, that's really washed and comfortable, in cobalt blue and a lighter blue," Zigmont said.
"We have something for everyone," said Zigmont, highlighting , , , and as just some of the kids' favorites for trendy back-to-school styles.
Younger kids favor the backpacks and messenger bags sold at the and . Aeropostale also sells popular styles.
"Vera Bradley backpacks are very popular this year," Zigmont said. The store also sells matching shower caddies, laundry bags, and overnight bags for those still shopping for college-bound students.
"Just about everyone is in major sale mode right now," said Zigmont. The sales feature summer clearance items as well as some of the new fall merchandise.
Zigmont urges shoppers to visit Westfarms' website to print out coupons. Teachers shopping for their own back-to-school wardrobes should also search out special discounts they can receive at certain Westfarms stores.
Tax-free week in Connecticut runs through Saturday, Aug. 25.