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  • Writer's pictureDarcy Camden

Back to school trends for teens

What’s it all about this year? It’s about experimenting, it’s about finding what you like, it’s about the freedom to express your individuality through clothes that make you feel good. Here are the top trends of 2022, because I think it’s helpful for parents to know what’s happening in teen fashion. There’s something for everyone!

TREND 1: 90s REVIVAL. Everything we wore in the 90s is back again. For Millenial/Gen X parents, going back to school shopping is little bit like traveling back in time. We’re talking: cargo pants, corduroy, carpenter jeans, overalls, low waisted and high waisted jeans, Dr. Martens, scrunchies. Resist the urge to insert your own memories into these trends—the kids wearing them today weren’t alive in the 90s, so this is all new to them!

TREND 2: PINK! The color pink is EVERYWHERE, and it’s not hard to spot. Some are calling this trend Barbiecore after the upcoming Barbie movie or looking to artists like Machine Gun Kelley who rocks pink hair and has a documentary called My Life in Pink. Think of pink as a gender neutral choice for any teen who wants to have a little fun.

TREND 3: LOGO OR NO GO. Logo t-shirts and sweatshirts are very on trend, and this year I’m seeing more vintage sports teams logos in addition to band tees and other graphics. But the opposite of a trend is also a trend! A lot of kids told me they dislike logos, words or brands on their clothing. Two stores that offer lots of affordable unlogoed things: Uniqlo and Oak+Fort.

TREND 4: RETURN OF THE MALL. Mall stores are making a comeback! Maybe because we’ve been sequestered at home for the most of the last two years, it feels novel to go to a store. American Eagle, Zumiez, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Gap are all top destinations for teens. I especially love that Gap offers a new line called Gap Teen for those who are aged out of Gap kids but aren’t exactly fitting well into what I wear: Gap Mom.

STYLIST PRO TIP: I think it’s helpful to generally know how stores are laid out. Usually, stores are merchandized in three sections: the brand new, trendiest items are in the front of the store, the center of the store contains brand staples and basics and the back of the store contains sale items and things that are going out of season. Having that compass can make the process of going to stores much less stressful.

Darcy’s advice for stressed out parents: Remember, school shopping can happen all year long. I know many of us grew up experiencing one excruciating day with our parents trying to get everything in a single afternoon before the first day of class—but I spoke to a lot of kids, and no one seems to need an entire new wardrobe by Labor Day. We don’t need to take on the pressure or the financial burden to buy everything right now. I think we have the opportunity to reframe back-to-school shopping as something much more low key. Get a few things now, add to it when the weather cools off, buy pieces you need as you need them and give yourselves a break!

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