It sometimes seems like as soon as summer begins, the back-to-school ads start popping up. While it's natural to want to ignore them and wait until the end of summer to start thinking about shopping for school supplies and clothes, it’s also important to remember that supplies will be low if you wait too long. The shelves will be cleared for Halloween items and winter attire.
If you will be going back-to-school shopping this year, here are some 2021 back-to-school fashion trends to watch for.
Remember in the movie Mean Girls when Lindsay Lohan borrowed her friend’s extra-large polo shirt because she didn’t own anything pink? She must have been foreshadowing a trend for 2021 because oversized polo shirts are going to be in style this year. You’ll start to find girls’ polos that are more like dresses as well, and they pair great over a pair of leggings with a pair of flats or sneakers.
Grunge trends from the '90s are back in style for 2021, including pairing opposites like skirts and sneakers. A long, shin-length, or ankle-skimming skirt with a pair of high-top sneakers will be a common sight, and it will be a great outfit for transitioning from summer to fall. You’ll also see girls’ cardigan sweaters paired with the long skirts this fall, making them look more sophisticated while also keeping kids warm as the weather changes.
Another summer-to-fall essential this year will be a good pair of shorts. But not just any shorts will do. This year is all about the Bermudas. They offer more coverage than typical shorts, and they come in more styles than just khaki or denim. Tuck a button-down shirt into Bermudas to make them look more dressy when the occasion requires it. Today’s Bermuda shorts for girls and boys are like pants for summertime, in that you can dress them up but not overheat when the temperatures are still high during the end of summer.
As people tried to fill their time with hobbies in 2020, tie-dying made a comeback in a big way. Of course, kids will want to wear their creations in 2021 as things start opening up and going back to school. Whether using pastels or bold primary colors, tie-dying is a fun trend that has come and gone throughout the years. This year, let them have fun with it a little longer. As a matter of fact, having a handful of T-shirts and even T-shirt dresses that they can tie-dye during the summer break is a great family activity that helps lure kids away from their screens and lets them express their creativity.
It’s only natural for kids to want to stand out from the crowd, so why not help them do that by letting them express themselves with their wardrobe? These days, the crazier the pants, the better—especially girls’ pants. Think checkers, splashes of neon, tie-dye, or animal prints. Match them with a solid-colored shirt and some nice sneakers to make it a little more sophisticated yet fun.
Don’t worry: Shoulder pads aren’t necessarily coming back. But, poofy, puffy-sleeved shirts and dresses are. While not everyone will feel comfortable with this style, girls who like making a fashion statement and keeping up with all the latest trends will probably want to be on top of this one when going back to school in 2021. Matching a puffy-sleeved floral dress with some edgy sneakers or combat boots will make a fashion statement, as opposites still attract in 2021.
Even kids who have to wear uniforms can still express their sense of style, whether in their shoes, socks they slip on, fashion accessories, or hairstyles. But one popular way to express themselves in 2021 is to decorate their school backpacks. Especially as kids get older, they tend to want to avoid “little kid” designs and prefer something solid in color meant to hold up to daily wear and tear. Adding stickers, pins, and patches is a fun way to express their sense of originality. Having the bags monogrammed with their initials or an emblem representing their favorite sport or hobby is fun.
Kids are going to be excited about going back to school and seeing their friends this fall. Helping them shop while keeping these trends in mind will help ensure they feel confident and express their individuality during the 2021-22 school year.