These are the trends for 2022

Gone are the days when bell-bottom jeans were the favored silhouette and teased heads of hair roamed the hallways. 

The trends have changed from decade to decade, but the annual back-to-school shopping trips have not — after all, there’s a lot that goes into finding that perfect first day of school look. 

At Kenzie & Hope in Wellesley, back-to-school shoppers have been at it since July, according to owner Shani DeFina.  

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“Primarily, the girls and teens are really looking for that special first day of school outfit, as well as their back-to-school pictures outfit,” she said. “So it tends to be a lot of skirts, some simple tops. Short-sleeved sweaters or cardigans or casual dresses are what they’re looking for for back to school clothes right now.”

Madison Schneier, 11, of Needham, holds up a potential top for her mother, Jennifer, while back-to-school shopping at Kenzie & Hope on Linden Street in Wellesley, Aug. 25, 2022. Madison will attend the sixth grade at the High Rock Middle School.

Come mid-August, parents are “looking for fall items, like rain boots, rain jackets, hoodies, … jeans,” said Paulina Corbett, manager at Closet to Closet Kids Resale Boutique in Natick.  

And when it comes to jeans, wide-legged and baggy cuts have supplanted the skinny jeans that dominated the 2010s, according to USA TODAY’s Reviewed.  

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For babies and toddlers, the current look is “very classic, very casual,” Corbett said. “Cute dresses with leggings, matching outfits.”

But with older children and teens, some trends start to emerge.

School trend: Sporty looks 

Teens “love cropped tops, whether it be cropped sweatshirts, cropped tops, cropped tanks,” DeFina said. “Most of the tops tend to be a little on the shorter side, with the bottoms being high-waisted.”

She added: “And then, of course, athleisure is still huge.” 

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The styles “really lend themselves to kind of the kids who are sporty,” DeFina said “They kind of go from the fields to lunch with friends.”

Closet to Closet is seeing a lot of demand for “casual items that are easy to wear, that sort of thing, especially with the pandemic,” Corbett said. “I would say 80 to 90% of inventory that sells is casual right now.”

Lululemon and Athleta Girl are popular brands with teen girls, while boys tend to go for Nike and Under Armour, she said. 

Owner Paulina Corbett sorts through some shoes at Closet to Closet Kids Resale Boutique in Natick, Aug. 26, 2022.

School trend: Bright colors and fun accessories 

Thanks to the upcoming “Barbie” movie, hot pink is one of the most popular colors heading into the fall, with monochromatic pink outfits also in vogue — a trend dubbed “Barbiecore” according to USA TODAY. 

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“Most of the new styles are coming in kind of different colors — the strong colors, vivid colors,” Corbett said. 

“Tie-dye is really hot right now,” she added.

Over at Kenzie & Hope, quirky colors and styles have also taken hold; DeFina said gummy bear and smiley faces are popular, as are acrylic necklaces and jewelry.

Employee Suzanne Hylan sorts through some racks of clothes at Closet to Closet Kids Resale Boutique in Natick, Aug. 26, 2022.

Where can you find back-to-school sales?

Closet to Closet is offering 20% off on back-to-school clothing and shoes, and 50% off on summer items, according to Corbett. Kenzie & Hope has a sidewalk sale coming up in early September. 

Here are a few online and corporate retailers offering back-to-school deals on clothing:

  • Target: Get toddlers’ and kids’ jeans for $10 and up, among other Target deals.
  • Walmart: “First-day faves” start at $6 at Walmart.  
  • Macy’s: Shoppers can find deals on back-to-school essentials ranging from backpacks to gym shorts.  
  • Gap: Start the school year with some discounted basics — T-shirts, sweatshirts, jeans and more — from Gap.  
  • Kohl’s: Clearance items are marked off up to 65% at Kohl’s.

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