Boys sported rugged, casual, comfortable looks in denim Levi's or khaki cargo shorts and button-down shirts in colorful washed solids, or in pattern, plaid or stripe, worn open over graphic T's or buttoned up.
Those who want to carry an attitude should roll up the sleeves. Pants and shorts get worn at the waist now for boys -- but still in a relaxed, easy fit. Levi's denim or khaki cargo shorts and button-down shirts are the dynamic duo for boys' fall fashion.
A guy in knee-length khaki cargo shorts, loose and relaxed but not sagging, a pink T-shirt with a button-down shirt worn opened and the sleeves rolled up, a pair of light-colored Sperrys and sunglasses looked right on the fashion bull's-eye.
Floor-grazing maxi skirts and dresses rock the fall season for teens. A denim shirt, tied at the waist toughens up a lacy frock. Blouses and shirts tied at the waist work well with skirts, pants and shorts. The look is not one of skin showing. If the shirt is tied so tight as to show a hint of belly skin, well, you're just not getting it. Loosen the knot and cover thy belly.
Androgyny lives on in "borrowed from the boys" blazers and boyfriend jeans, which fit looser and are more relaxed than skinnies. But ruffles, frills and fringe, sugar and spice, and everything nice from signature '80s looks -- puffed sleeves and shoulders, oversize "Miami Vice"-look blazers, color blocking and retro-feel pleats -- are right on trend for fall.
Lightweight and chunky sweaters, leather bombers, military buttons and vests are some of the season's most-wanted items. The hall jungle will see a zoo of bright backpacks, and animal prints on any item a body can wear or carry.
Find color in fancy footwear for fall too. Flirty ballerina flats and neon sneakers will be the most popular teenage shoes for fall. Chucks and Toms, in color and patterns, are what the well-heeled high-school fashionista will want to wear. Put a little pep in your step in boots made for walkin' in all leg lengths -- over the knee, to the knee, ankle boots and booties -- whether wedged, heeled or flat.
Chunky flower rings, multilayered necklaces, flowered headbands, scarves and knitted beanies for boys and girls (the kind your grandmother hand-knitted for you) are back-to-school finds. Girls should soften the beanie look by letting their hairstyle show through the edges of the cap. The beanie trend is not meant to be a cover-up for bad hair days.
There are a few looks that will not make the fall must-have list: capes -- you are neither Superman nor a British nanny; shorts with tights; toning sneakers; midriff skin; baggy-saggy bottoms; and platform stilettos (Chicago Tribune readers voted these shoes the top stupid style of the year).
My teenager couldn't wait to shop the denim rainbow and brighten up those hallways in the hottest styles for the back-to-school season. She's added bling, glitter, crackle and extra glam in top- to-toe colors to suit her mood of the day. She's going to need a bigger closet!
Tommie Sue Roberts writes on fashion for the Sunday Gazette-Mail. Email her at tsr1...@yahoo.com.