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What's cool for back-to-school

Many parents have already started their back-to-school shopping. What are you waiting for?

Those with school-age students need to pick up the basics: trendy backpacks and lunchboxes, plus some fashion-forward shoes and a crisp, new outfit to give their kids that extra edge.

Here are some of the trends to look for this month, according to Sofia Wacksman, vice president of trend for Kohl's Department Stores:

Plaids, checks and herringbone patterns signal a return to the all-American look. Boys and girls can pair chambray shirts with patterned sweaters, then add bold stripes and polka dots for a modern twist on classics.

The playfully rebellious can go "back to the future" with neon minis and Swatch watches, skinny jeans and distressed motorcycle jackets. Studded and platform sneakers pair well with this look.

As always, denim jackets or vests can mix and match with anything from soft blouses to skinny jeans. And adventurers may want to explore the "East meets West" style of the Boho chic look.

Shoe trends are refreshingly practical, with lace-up oxfords, comfy loafers and tuxedo slippers keeping styles down to earth. For a dressier look, pick up a pair of Mary Janes with a heel or a platform. And don't forget the knee socks.

Kids are thinking outside of the backpack these days, with satchels, messenger bags and canvas totes picking up in popularity. They can see what they've got packed with a trendy, see-through bag made of clear plastic or mesh.

Lunchboxes have gotten quite fashionable, emulating the look and feel of designer purses. Look for sparkles and make sure kids hydrate with a Hello Kitty water bottle from SIGG.

If you have a college student, dorm decor is trending toward vibrant colors in geometric prints and tribal prints on everything from floor pillows to butterfly chairs. Add a little humor with a moustache motif on bulletin boards and desk accessories.


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