It’s back to school season, which means kids will have to forfeit their nightly Yogurberry tastings and trade in their Xbox games for textbooks. As a parent you may need a few incentives to get your kids a bit more enthused about beginning a new school year and retiring their tank tops for more school appropriate attire. Luckily New York City is ripe with funky boutiques carrying unique back to school clothing as well as big box retailers so kids can stay on trend without forcing parents to shell out a month’s rent.

According to NYC style expert and author, Jene’ Luciani ( when it comes to this years trends students who want to making the grade should opt for layering pieces and items they can mix and match and will easily transition from season to season.

Elementary school: For girls tunics with feminine details like ruffles are en vogue, leggings, cardigans, skinny jeans and ballet flats. For boys layering is the key. A good look; try a thin tee with a rugby shirt over it and a thin down vest, over cargos and rugged boots or sneakers.

Middle School: Kids at this age are looking for ways to express their individuality and fashion is a way to do that. Girls can try a funky printed legging under a basic knit dress while boys can try slim jeans with a fun graphic tee, layered with a multi-texture hoodie.

High School: Girls can stick to layering with skinny jeans, leggings, fun tees, cardigans especially button downs (a nod to the ‘80’s preppy) and a rough and tough leather motto jacket paired with feminine flats. Anything with military detailing is huge for both boys and girls; baggy cargos for guys and slim cargos for girls jackets with shoulder detailing/epaulets and a nod to nautical with horizontal stripes.

Now that you and your kids have got the trends down, here are some great NYC stores to get your shopping on!

517 E 117th Street
New York, NY 10035
(212) 835-0860

Mon-Fri: 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
Sa: 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
Su: 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

Kids will go gaga for pieces from the Shaun White Apparel line; a street wear and skateboarding line for Target. Featured among the collection are t-shirts, hoodies, plaid wovens, light jackets, and denim for boys and teens, with all pieces under $34.99. The newest addition to the collection is a series of skateboard influenced shoes, retailing for $27.99 for boys and $34.99 for teens. Target also carries C9 BY CHAMPION that encompasses everything kids will need for gym class or play. All products feature moisture wicking materials, stretch fabrics for mobility, or ergonomic fits for extreme comfort.

770 Broadway
New York, NY 10003
(212) 673-1540

Mon-Fri: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Sun: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm

Kmart offers tweens and teens everything from peacoats, leggings and skinny jeans, to backpacks and candy-colored staplers. In addition to their popular Route 66 brand, Kmart recently launched Selena Gomez “Dream Out Loud” clothing line which consists of knit leggings, graphic/distressed tees, skinny jeans, denim mini skirts, ruffle Henley tops, plaid woven tunics, layered dresses, flutter sleeve tops and sequin detailed accessories. The Rebecca Bonbon line, a Japanese character designed by the creator of Hello Kitty, includes outerwear, headwear, accessories and bags. Audrina Patridge, the newest face of BONGO, brings her rocker style to the line with; black leggings, novelty graphic tees, loop zip-down sweater vest, tie-dye tops with studded detailing, grey lace print denim. Parents will especially appreciate their layaway plan.

Paul Frank
195 Mulberry Street
New York, NY 10012-4503
(212) 965-5079

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

This eclectic shop with its signature lovable monkey Julius which adorns many pieces in its apparel line is a great way to add some whimsy to your child’s back to school wardrobe. Teens will get a kick out of their Julius Headphone Hoodie Buddie pink zip-up which features a teched-out iPod/MP3 pocket. The little pocket keeps your player safe and it’s got a headphone jack inside that connects to the earbuds on the ends of the hoodie drawstrings. The store also carries an assortment of graphic two in one t-shorts, hoodies, baseball caps and accessories galore.

505 Fifth Avenue
at 42nd Street
New York, NY 10017

Mon – Thu 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Fri – Sat 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Sun 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM

With clothing ranging from 18 months to 14 years, H&M has got an assortment of colorful jeans, trendy hoodies, sweaters, and jackets. For kids who want to be on trend H&M offers checkered shirts, which are essentials for boys going for that vintage/ lumberjack look. And for teen girls they offer an assortment of high boots and short jackets.

Melissa Chapman and her brood of three live in the urban concrete jungle of NYC. In addition to blogging for, she writes for the Staten Island Advance “Kids in the City Column,” and contributes to TimeOut NY Kids, She Knows, iVillage and writes a blog called “This Mom Wouldn’t Be Caught Dead Wearing Mom Jeans.”