What's in Your Back-to-School Shopping Bag?

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 - 05:05 PM

The girls still love Disney princesses. And superheroes and cartoon characters are still in. But this year parents have also been focused on practicality, hunting for backpacks with lots of pockets and picking clothing and sneakers in muted colors to pass muster with school dress codes, said parents and children doing their back-to-school shopping in Brooklyn in late August.

Large and roomy backpacks are in. One mother said she was looking for one for her daughter that has an attachable lunchbox.

As for clothing, an article in The Times last week reported that nearly 20 percent of public schools are now mandating uniforms and that more than half of public schools across the country have dress codes. Still, students are approaching back-to-school shopping with fashion in mind, gravitating toward dark jeans, pencil skirts and black sneakers -- particularly Air Jordans -- that meet dress standards but allow students to embrace fashion.

“The school wants all-black sneakers, so since he got the sneakers I figured I’d get him the backpack to match with the sneakers,” said Janina Pedroza, 45, who was shopping outside the Atlantic Yards Terminal with her son Isaiah Jones, 8.

There were some bright colors, like turquoise, peeking out of bags, but muted, adult-like patterns -- like gray stripes or dark-wash jeans -- made both children and their parents happy.

“There are new styles that almost look like you're a teenager,” said Joanne Magee, 38, of Park Slope, the mother of River Magee, 9, and Meadow Magee, 7. They attend the Little Red School House, a private school, in Manhattan.

“I’d say that more grown-up colors and patterns are in style for the kids this year,” she said, as Meadow modeled her new patent leather shoes with purple and gray plaid trim.


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