From Frumpy to Fashion-Forward

Back-to-School Fashion Tips for You!

By Annette Benedetti


Every fall, parents spend a big wad of cash on clothes their kids “just can’t live without!” Back-to-school fashion can be a big deal, even as early as the first day of elementary school. In fact, many of us used fashion as a creative way to express ourselves clear through college and up until we had children of our own.

But baby burps and breast milk, along with the other responsibilities that come with raising kids, can put a real damper on one’s sense of style. Within a year or so of switching your magazines from fashion to family, have you fallen behind on the latest trends? (Gut-check: Have you reviewed what’s in your closet lately?)

Though you may be counting on a ‘90s comeback, I assure you, it doesn’t hold up as well as a “Friends” re-run. So this fall, go from feeling frumpy to fantastic with some parenting-friendly pieces that are trending this season. Handpicked by the experts in the industry (think Elle, Glamour, Vogue, and Bazaar), who track Fashion Week results like you track your newly mobile toddler, the following items are perfectly suited to fit your busy lifestyle. The focus—fun, functional, and appropriate for all occasions!


Superheroes love them and Little Red rocked one now you can too! Capes come in a wide variety of styles, and they allow you to extend the sleeveless look well into the cold winter months. Stay warm with a classic cape or push your style to the next level with pieces that feature faux sleeves. Some options even leave you wondering, “Is that a poncho or dress?”

Pussy Bows                                     

Say goodbye to plunging necklines—the pussy bow is in. This unfortunately named bow offers a feminine twist on the plain work blouse. Perfect for the professional mom when worn with jeans or trousers, or pair it with a skirt for a romantic night out on the town.


Turns out, patchwork isn’t just for baby blankets; it’s a downright popular fashion trend this fall. From dresses to skirts to the trending faux-sleeved cape, there’s not a clothing item out there that has escaped this colorful pattern. Because heavier fabrics tend to be chosen for patchwork designs, these pieces of clothing are perfect to wear when temperatures drop, and they will add a rainbow of color to almost any wardrobe.

Shades of Gray                                   

No, I’m not talking about that book you have hidden under the mattress; I’m talking about one of the most versatile colors available. For a cool, sleek look, combine tops and bottoms in varying shades of gray to create a monochromatic scheme. It’s impossible to find tones that clash, and individual pieces are easily paired with almost anything.

The Fuzz                                             

It’s showing up on the collars of coats and on stoles slung over shoulders—you’ll even find it on footwear! Fur is hot. Pick a coat with faux fur or shearling along the collar, or warm up an evening gown with a fuzzy stole. This trend not only looks lovely, it protects you from the seasonal cold.

Make a Statement                             

Large statement earrings are a hit this season, and the bigger and brighter, the better. Dress up that otherwise plain jeans-and-sweater combo with an attention-grabbing set of danglers that shine from lobe to shoulder. The more of the ear they cover, the more they draw attention to your beautiful face—exactly where it should be. 

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