School-Approved Style

Crazy 8 Collegiate Cardigan

Shopping for back-to-school fashions with the kids? Don’t forget school rules.

“In just the past few years, school dress codes have become a bit more conservative,” says Debi Gilson, marketing director of PREIT East Malls, which includes nine malls in the greater Philadelphia area.

Gilson has worked in the shopping mall marketing industry for 25 years. “The good news is that some of our newest fashion retailers for children are making it easier by designing fashions with this in mind,” she says.

Gymboree’s Crazy 8, 77kids by American Eagle and P.S. from Aeropostale stores feature collections for students. According to Gilson, fall trends include fitted button-down shirts and leggings under skirts and shorts — casual preppy looks that, thankfully for Mom, can be integrated with ease into school-ready outfits.

77kids' khaki skortA few ideas: Trade sand-covered beach flip-flops, a no-no at some schools, for classic Keds sneakers (available at Stride Rite, $25-$30). Girls can try the 77kids pleated khaki skort ($19.50) as an alternative to a cut-off denim skirt. Cover sleeveless shirts with a cardigan or hoodie, such as the Crazy 8 or P.S. collegiate versions with crests ($24.75-$24.99).

The first Crazy 8 and 77kids stores in the Delaware Valley are set to open this month at Springfield Mall in PA and at Cherry Hill Mall in NJ respectively. P.S. from Aeropostale and Stride Rite have stores in PA, NJ & DE. To shop online or find locations:,, (click: Shop Kids),

Stephanie Halinski is calendar editor of MetroKids.

Categories: In Style