Most kids run around in swimsuits and sandals all summer. But when the leaves start to change and the temperatures start to drop, all eyes are on back-to-school fashion. Crisper weather opens the door for more interesting ensembles for people of all ages, but especially kids. This year, you’ll see a lot of the usual hallmarks of fall mini-fashion: jewel tones, flannels and knits, bold patterns, and pumpkin and turkey motifs galore. What sets fall 2016 apart are the colors (watch for muted earth tones and unusual pinks) and the cuts (relaxed and athletic). Lately children’s fashion has become more reflective of adult trends like athleisure. But as always, kids will seek out styles as imaginative as they are. Stay warm, and check out six of the leading fall fashion trends for children below!
1. Jumpin’ jackets
Layering is a must for fall. Forget the bulky coat that gets left behind in the cubby. If last year was all about miniature Parisian peacoats, this autumn will bring longer, wider lightweight jackets that can be worn all day with the right outfit. Today’s little ones may have missed the ’80s and ’90s, but that can’t stop them from rocking satin bombers or light wash denim. And this autumn layer craze goes hand-in-sleeve with the “military” trend that’s currently taking the streetwear world by storm: try slim, structured jackets in camouflage, earthy beige, or olive green. Throw on a pair of lace-up boots, and you’ve got a look!
2. Aye aye, cap’n
Even if chestnut-roasting, nose-nipping weather isn’t quite here yet, a cozy knit cap can be the cherry atop any kid’s outfit. Older kids might prefer caps of the sleek, sporty variety. But for the more adventurous, there are floppy caps that sport colorful pom-poms. “Veterinarian” is a one of the most common dream jobs for kids–so why not try a cap with sassy animal ears? There are even caps that double as masks for those cold and windy bus stop days. Knit caps are a classic marriage of function and fashion–with a dash of adorable.
3. Palette of pinks
Now, we know what you’re thinking–parents have been swaddling their young daughters in darling pink duds for decades. But this autumn, wardrobes big and small are getting a dose of a trend NYMag calls “ironic pink, pink without the sugary prettiness.” Think less Barbie and bubble gum, more salmon, light coral, and dusty rose. These subtler shades suit both genders. You’re bound to spot them on opaque tights and cardigans everywhere. Plus, they look striking next to navy blue, that perennial school uniform staple.
4. Sweat it out
With some trends, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In the adult fashion world, workout wear has gone from sweat-soaked to stylish. Now those gym-friendly joggers, track pants, and trainers are flooding the closets of the younger set as well. This trend wins with slouchy silhouettes that are fitted, yet comfier than jeans–perfect for a recess romp. Heather grey is the go-to neutral. Fresh sneakers double as a playground favorite and a fashion statement when paired with pleated skirts and even dresses.
5. Little luxuries
Fancy yet fun (fun-cy?) fashion will be everywhere soon. This season, dressy pieces are turning playful. It’s not a formalwear revival–it’s snatching the coolest textures from kids’ party clothes and making them appropriate for every day wear. According to Children’s Orchard, crushed velvet blazers are popping up in sumptuous shades of mauve and mustard–but paired with straight-legged jeans. Meanwhile, feathers add flair to basic skirts. Faux fur off-the-shoulder jackets and capes are a budding fashionista’s dream. Even booties come in velvet. And don’t forget leopard print everything!
6. Biff! Bang! Pow!
According to a recent nationwide survey by Fatherly.com, the most desired profession among three-to-four-year-olds is….superhero. On days that aren’t Halloween, parents can indulge these caped crusader fantasies with the latest sweatshirts, tees, and other apparel featuring vintage prints. Comic strip leggings provide a kid-friendly POW! And it’s a win for everyone when miniature Wonder Woman stops begging her parents to wear the full costume every day.