Back to School


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783-8899 Tubas ByLindseyWard FortheFreePress R ules were made to be broken — especially when it comes to back-to-school fashion. No colour, pattern or embellishment gets a failing grade. It's all about creating your own personal style, says Target Canada style expert Afiya Francisco. "When I was in school there were so many quote unquote rules," Francisco says. "I remember it was unheard of to pair pink and red together. And you couldn't like patterns at all. No stripes and polka dots. All of this has been spun on its head and the kids are really having fun with fashion and injecting that personality into it where those rules no longer exist." Hot pink and leopard print? Sure. Yellow jeans with a red belt? You bet. Floral pants with studded cowboy boots? It's all good. "Whatever you want goes," Francisco says. Kids are picky about their jeans, but now it's the bolder the better when it comes to denim. Leopard print, polka dots and florals are favoured over traditional denim washes, and those who prefer solid colours have a rainbow to choose from. While wild patterns and bright colours are more common on the frilly tops, cardigans and skinny pants in the girls' section, stores are stocking boys' denim in orange, electric blue and teal. Camo prints and grunge-inspired plaid shirts are popular, as well as outdoor-themed graphic T-shirts in autumn tones like olive with animal and landscape prints. Layering is also popular for boys, and lightweight hoodies get a funky spin when worn under a graphic T. But ultimately, the best back-to-school style is what makes your kids feel most comfortable. "I'm hoping to transition my daughter out of sweats," says mother of two Lisa Litke, whose seven year old is starting Grade 2 in September. "I'm liking the long tunic tops out now, with skinny jeans and flat shoes. I'd like to try to get her into dresses, but she has her own opinions about that." Accessories are hot for high school, and Francisco says teens are particularly fond of jazzing up their backpacks. "If you have a uniform, then there's only so much you can do by way of fashion, so accessories become a huge part of it," she says, adding fabric markers by Sharpie and patterned tape are ideal for creating backpack graffiti. And of course new shoes are a must for the first day of school. Rainbow-inspired sneakers, especially high-tops, are all the rage for both girls and boys. Girls can go for glittery ballet flats or bedazzled boots, while neon laces and patterned slip-on loafers are hot for boys. Fun footwear aside, supportive runners and gym shoes are essential. While it's tempting to buy a bigger size so kids don't grow out of them too quickly, loose runners could pose problems, says Rich Hildebrand, Canadian Footwear's director of sales. "When you spend up to $80 on a runner, sometimes the parents are trying to get two years out of them. If you do that you don't have that good fit, and you're going to be prone to blisters at the back of the foot. When they're loose-fitting like that they also wear out faster in that your foot tends to piston up and down the back of the shoe." There are a few things to keep in mind to find that perfect fit, Hildebrand says. First, you have to decide between Velcro and laces. "Easy for the younger kids, Velcro is the most common shoe and a lot of schools actually insist on them for the ease of the teachers dealing with kids. It is important with Velcro shoes that you get the sizing right because you don't get the same secure fit with Velcro that you do out of laces." Hildebrand says boys and girls shoe sizes are the same, and they're generally done on men's sizing. "It means if you look at kids' shoes, you have up to Size 6, and the next size after a 6 is a men's 7," he says. "A kids' 6 is really like a woman's 7.5." This can be tricky for kids with narrow feet, especially boys — who typically transition from children's shoes to men's shoes somewhere between Grades 4 and 6. "Sometimes you're forced to go into a woman's shoe and try to find something in a dark colour and try not to show him the box," Hildebrand says. Canadian Footwear carries several brands of running shoes and cross-trainers, predominantly New Balance, which offers various widths for feet of all shapes. Litke — who'll be shopping for Skechers BOBS and indoor gym shoes this fall — says she's learned to budget for well-made kicks. "When my daughter was younger I would buy the cheap licensed runners, but they would rip and crack," she says. "I learned the lesson that you need to spend a bit more on runners, and also on boots. They may be $20, but they don't keep their feet warm in -40 C weather." Litke's inbox is already stacked with email alerts for sales from stores like Old Navy, Gap and Carter's/OshKosh, and she plans to wrap up most of her shopping early. Francisco says that's a wise move for parents who want to find the best sales and selection. "Things go really quickly and you don't really want to scrape the bottom of the barrel come September and miss the things you like. Plus, then it can be done in a fun way and not be rushed last minute." 2 BAC K TO S C H O O L / M U S I C & DAN C E ŵ SU PPLE M E NT TO TH E W I N N I PE G F R E E PR E SS ŵ SAT U R DAY, AU G U ST 17, 2013 D E R E K A A S L A N D : E X E C U T I V E P R O D U C E R CALL 2049428898 TO SUBSCRIBE. WWW.MTYP.CA. 20132014 SEASON D E R E K A A S L A N D : E X E C U T I V E P R O D U C E R D E R E K A A S L A N D : E X E C U T I V E P R O D U C E R S UBSCRIBE N O W F O R B EST P RICES AND B EST SEA T S . Featuring: •JackandtheGiantBeanstalk ProducedbyPresentationHouseTheatre.ByLindaA.Carson. "Aworthwhilehourthat'ssuretoentertainandinstruct the youngest of theatergoers." • Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer Perth Theatre Company Presents a Weeping Spoon Production by Tim Watts. "…an endearing Australian solo show…akin to a theatrical Wall-E'."– New York Times • Dying to be Thin Produced by Manitoba Theatre for Young People. Directed by Krista Jackson. Starring Heather Russell. "Scary. Intelligent. Effective. Really nicely done and very well written." – CBC …and three more great plays for children of all ages! may t Fashion-forwardclothesarealsobuitcomfort,and thelayeredlookisinforgirlsandboysthisfall. PhotoscourtesyofTargetCanadaandWinners Embellished T-shirts, jeans in a range of patterns and colours and neon backpacks spell style for girls this September. grade. It's all about creating your own Francisco. uote rules," Francisco says. "I remember ldn't like patterns at all. No stripes and re really having fun with no longer exist." lt? You bet. Floral better when it favoured over ave a rainbow the frilly tops, cking boys' well as with boys, er a your her 2 y ys, for ol. he ts on re n't ems, ts are ve that of the faster in e." debrand nd a lot of ealing with right because of laces." they're generally the next size after a " oys — who typically tween Grades 4 and 6. o find something in a s and cross-trainers, eet of all shapes. gym shoes this fall — Fashion-forward clothe the layered look is in Photos courtesy of Ta

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