On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, one of the last days of summer for thousands of North Bay students, Monica Bourdens was inside a shopping mall, two teens in tow.
She was armed with a good-sized cup of caffeine for a back-to-school shopping trip.
"I even had the kids get caffeine too, as a treat," said Bourdens as the three were browsing through PacSun at the Downtown Plaza.
Kelly, a sophomore starting this week at Analy High School and Georgia, an eighth-grader at Willowside Middle School, were chipping away at their lists.
"My son is looking for specific shoes," said the Santa Rosa mom, but he otherwise wasn't being too picky. "My daughter wants the latest styles."
Bourdens was struck by the familiarity of some of the clothes her daughter was getting.
"The eighties! Baggy shirts, necks cut out. It's cracking me up," she said.
PacSun clerk Lauren Boudreau knows what teens want, from her job in the front lines and as a teenager herself. She'll start her senior year at Santa Rosa High on Tuesday.
"A lot of people just want jeans and something comfy to wear to school," Boudreau said.
Jeans, skinny jeans, low boots and loose tops or layered tanks will be part of the uniform of this fall's females returning to upper grades, according to some teens and workers who were out in force Sunday.
"A dress, leggings and jeans," said Boudreau. "That's what I'm getting.
Charlotte Yoell of Santa Rosa turned 11 Sunday and spent part of her day at Coddingtown Mall with her grandma, who was helping with a school shopping spree.
"We just got four pairs of shoes," said grandma, LaVonna Williams of Santa Rosa.
"I like lots of colors, like rainbowy stuff," said Charlotte, explaining what she was looking for next in clothes.
While many were inside stores Sunday, getting the first-day outfits taken care of or classroom supplies to fill backpacks, temperature outside were cresting 80 degrees in Santa Rosa and other North Bay locations.
"I'd definitely rather be camping," said shopper Bourdens.
"I'd rather be somewhere else," said dad Mitch Genser, who would have preferred hiking to shopping. But he indicated he was OK about helping his son, Montag Genser, get ready for his freshman year at El Molino High School.
Katharine Reiff who brought her daughter, Cassidy, 14, out to get clothes for her freshman start at Sonoma Academy, said she was all right being indoors.
"I'm good here," said Reiff. "I've spent a lot of time in the sun."
School starts Monday for some charter schools with classes getting underway Tuesday for Santa Rosa City Schools and Mark West districts.
Classes resume Wednesday for other Santa Rosa-area districts and the Petaluma, Sonoma Valley, Healdsburg and West Sonoma County High School districts.
Windsor schools start Thursday and Cotati-Rohnert Park district schools open Aug. 23.