WCL: Back-To-School Kids Fashion

Parents, it's that time again! Kids are gearing up for the new school year and that can only mean one thing -- back-to-school shopping.

Erica Strama, the Senior Marketing Manager for the Shops at North Bridge, stopped by to share the top trends of the season so your kids will soar to the head of the class.

For the Kindergarten and Grade-Schoolers
Erica says: "At this age, it's all about letting kids express themselves in a fun and fashionable way. Menswear-inspired styles are always a big trend for fall and this boyfriend blazer is the perfect complement to the very frilly skirt with just a hint of crinoline showing. It's all about the juxtaposition of masculine styles paired with very feminine pieces for a perfectly balanced look."

    Store: Kooky Kidstuff
  • Grey "boyfriend" blazer , $42
  • Grey button-down shirt, $31
  • Pink & navy plaid skirt with tutu detail, $42
  • Tights with legwarmer detail, $18
  • Grey short booties, $59
  • Hello Kitty lunch-box, $26 (From Sanrio)

Erica says: "For the first day of school (especially kindergarten), it's important to step it up a bit in the style department. Take that polo shirt he's been wearing all summer long and layer a button-down shirt underneath to transition the look into fall. A simple tie pulls everything together and the converse hi-tops keep it youthful and fun."

    Store: Nordstrom
  • Lacoste purple polo shirt, $37
  • Gingham button-down shirt, $37.50
  • Purple printed tie, $15
  • Khaki pants, $34
  • Black Converse hi-tops, $29.95

For the Middle-Schoolers
Erica says: "Denim is a back-to-school staple, but this season it's anything but basic. Colored jeans were a huge trend on the runways and the style has major impact for the little ones too. Paired with a military jacket and a Parisian-inspired tee, this look is oh so très chic!"

    Store: XXI Forever
  • Navy military-inspired blazer, $19.90
  • Embellished tee, $9.90
  • Yellow denim, $12.90
  • Gold necklace, $ 10 (from Charming Charlie)
  • Black flats - model's own

Erica says: "This faux leather jacket makes the grade with its built-in hoodie and it adds just the right amount of edge to his look. And moms everywhere can rejoice ? the baggy jean is out and a more streamlined style of denim is the "it" trend right now."

    Store: Nordstrom
  • Green & grey striped long-sleeved tee, $19.50
  • Faux black leather jacket with removable grey hoodie, $65
  • Levi's straight-leg denim, $54
  • Olive & black Converse sneakers, $34.95
  • Shark backpack, $48

For the High-Schoolers
Erica says: "For high school, it's all about adding a little glam to an otherwise preppy look. The embellished cross-over purse adds a dose of sparkle to take this to the next level. Mixing patterns is another way to step it up in the style department. The key is to keep everything in the same color-story and anchor the look with a neutral like these tan corduroy pants."

    Store: XXI Forever
  • Denim button-down shirt, $19.80
  • Navy & cream striped cardigan, $12.50
  • Tan corduroy pants, $19.80
  • Navajo-printed scarf, $10.90
  • Blue headband, $1.50
  • Embellished purse, $24.80
  • Lace-up boots, $24.80

Erica says: "For the guys, it's important to look cool without trying too hard. Layering is a great way to achieve the coolness factor and a graphic tee keeps everything young and fresh. The sweatshirt cardigan is the new hoodie and the perfect way to complete the look. Once again, the jeans are in a slim silhouette to create polish and sophistication."

    Store: XXI Forever
  • Graphic tee, $15.90
  • Plaid shirt, $25.90
  • Sweatshirt cardigan, $21.90
  • Straight-leg jeans, $32.90
  • Topsiders, $19.90
  • Tan backpack, $22.90

    To shop the looks you saw today, visit:
  • Nordstrom: www.nordstrom.com
  • Kooky Kidstuff: www.theshopsatnorthbridge.com/Shopping/Details/104820
  • XXI Forever: www.forever21.com
  • Sanrio: www.sanrio.com
  • Charming Charlie: www.charmingcharlie.com

About Erica Strama
During the week, you will find Erica on Michigan Avenue working with retailers as the senior marketing manager at The Shops at North Bridge. With some of the nation's top stores on speed dial ready to dish the latest trends, Erica frequently shares how to make runway looks a reality on local television shows and in Chicago's favorite glossies. In fact, Erica has appeared in more than 100 televised segments as a fashion and trend expert. She currently resides in Chicago with her husband, Michael, and their bulldog, Leroy.

"Style is not found on a shopping trip or achieved with a designer label," Erica shares, "Personal style is introducing an unexpected twist to a classic piece and creating an effortless look of your own."

For more on Erica, check out:
Twitter: @EricaStrama