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Back to School: Fashions, Backbacks, and Bento boxes

 

There’s nothing like back to school shopping to put you in the mood for fall. This time of year is almost as busy as the holidays. It’s like there is something crisp in the air that gives off a fresh new energy. I love it.
With the autumn season rapidly approaching I am reminded of the movie You’ve Got Mail.  I loved what Tom Hanks says about back to school smells and the fall season, It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. I also love the scene when Meg Ryan comes into her shop and picks up a roll of Scotch tape and says, Can you beat that?

I loved the dress I wore the first day of first grade.

Walking into my classroom I’m excited about the smell of new crayons but also the visual display of first day of school outfits. I remember what I wore the first day of school every year. The pictures my mom took on that first day show the excitement and anticipation of that moment; I always felt good about that first day outfit. It’s part of making a great first impression and having an outfit you feel happy in.
This is a special year for me because my daughter will be joining me at school (my work) . She is starting Kindergarten; and as an elementary teacher, I’m thrilled that we will be going to school together.
Fashion has always stimulated me and I’m tickled to see my daughter developing her own opinion on colors and textures. She’s picked out three first day outfits and loves to try them on to play fashion show. It is my hope that this year she will dress herself and feel good about what she’s wearing.
I’m always impressed with mothers who encourage their children to dress themselves. If your child has an opinion about what they like to wear then they’re probably capable of choosing their own outfit.

Not long ago, I had the pleasure of teaching a little girl named Isabelle. I loved seeing her explore her fashion sense; she would come to school with multiple patterns, glittery scarves, and hair accessories all in one day. The scarf might turn into a belt at recess and the fancy shoes might be changed to sneakers but she was so proud of her style. Her look  worked because she had confidence and her mom had given her enough direction and freedom to explore her fashion-sense; that resulted in choices that were all weather-appropriate, tasteful, and fit her body.
I recently cleaned out my children’s drawers in preparation for back to school shopping; you could say I went shopping in their closets first! This way I was able to do an inventory and organize what they already have that still works. Naturally you should do this for yourself too; but it’s always easier to do for someone else isn’t it?!
When my daughter came downstairs from getting dressed I could tell she had fun picking out her clothes because she had forgotten about the many adorable clothes she had hiding behind her favorite Hello Kitty shirts. She was so excited and proud of her fashion selection.
The tricky part of going back to school is that it’s still summer and here in Texas we won’t be ready to pack up our summer clothes for a while. This is why I love layers; they allow you to mix and match until the seasons really do change then you can add more layers.
I think it’s fun to play with patterns…stripes, stars, and polka dots all together? Sure, a child can own that look and it can make you long for your Punky Brewster days! Think bright colors and happy patterns that can still work with the favorite Hello Kitty shirts!
I’ve never been one to just buy from a single store; like my daughter, I like to mix and match! I have many favorite stores when shopping for my children. I love to have that European feel mixed with classic American staples. This fall, I coveted Janie and Jack (for classics), Hannah Andersson (basics), Mini Boden (undergarments, especially tights), H&M kids (inexpensive tops) and Garnet Hill (backpacks and lunch totes).
You know the saying, If you look good, you feel good? Happy colors and patterns with pizzazz will add zip to everyone’s step and truly make you and those around you feel good.
As a teacher, I know how observant children are to each other!  Just think of how good it feels when someone compliments you on your outfit; children are more comfortable to freely complement each other and do it often. If your child dressed themselves AND received compliments, you can feel good knowing that you have a confident child who is comfortable with their decisions and are not afraid to express themselves through fashion AND in the classroom.
Besides clothes, other fun things on the list to shop for are lunch and backpack gear. Garnett Hill’s patterns have always been some of my favorite. My daughter studied the backpacks as seriously as if she were picking out her Halloween costume. They also come with a complimentary lunch bag.
What you place inside the lunch bag is just as important. The Japanese are whizzes at making whimsical joyful characters that are usually animals. Bento boxes are all the rage; not only are they adorable with frogs, pandas, bunnies, and even Hello Kitty characters but they make for smart food choices in a neatly presented way and encourage children to eat a variety of foods.
This fall when you’re doing your back to school shopping, involve your kids in the planning and have fun together! Helping children learn to make decisions about their clothing pays dividends for other decisions they must learn to make later.

 

1 comment:

  1. You know I love me some Punky Brewster! And how cute are you in that photo?! x

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