Back to School Basics for Contemporary Girls


As we know the days of buying without regard to price are gone, and calculated consumption in this troubled era has become the norm. Purchasing a few great items is the way to go to organize student life effectively and economically. The following items have been tested for their quality, value, and appeal. They’re great for a tween on the go this fall.

For the sturdiness of a boot and the ease of a pull on shoe, the equestrian-inspired Tambour Clogs by Ariat are perfect. Ariat uses the same, patented technology of its riding boots for the Performance Casuals collection. The comfortable fit includes gel cushioning in the front and a superb ankle support at the back, and these premium leather, hand-crafted clogs have fashionable details such as a rubber platform and a contrasting vamp with tiny studs. This is a strong shoe that will last for years; they can be worn in any weather, and on any occasion to be comfortable and look awesome. Available at, Nordstrom and other selective department stores.

Swedish clogs have been a classic for unconventional middle and high school girls since the ’70s. Uncomplicated, comfortable and full of character, Cape Clogs adapt to any weather, and offer an amazing array of graphic uppers to fit any taste. This green, flower stitched clog is lined with warm natural fibers and has a black stained algerwood heel. Quality stitching and stapling ensure this classic clog endures and lasts over several seasons acquiring a weathered look that’s charming. These are great for growing girls as they promote orthopedic comfort by embracing the foot’s movements on a thick semi-cushioning sole. Check out the colorful collection of new woolies for fall at

Kids love crocs so much in the summer, that they often won’t take them off after the first signs of frost. The Mammoth Style Croc with its fleece lining offers comfort and warmth for Crocs fanatics in a colder season. Available in many colors and all sizes so you never have to give up your Crocs. Find them at

Olive Juice is a sophisticated-yet-playful line of children’s wear that’s both charming and functional. Made of quality comfortable fabrics, the line is elegant, understated, well made and durable. Your style-conscious daughter will find a lot of classic basics for her fall wardrobe, including button-down cardigans, pants, shirts and shoes. This tweed cotton fully lined skirt has an elastic waist, insert front pockets, belt loops and is available in sizes from 2 to 12 yrs. Make sure to measure your daughter adequately, as the fit is generous. Shop online at

Romantic, nineteenth century beauties were often painted wearing embroidered arm warmers that elongated their slim upper limbs – and gave them a subtle air of elegance that a pair of gloves simply could not match. Today, Janska Arm Warmers are made of 100% polar fleece known for its weightless warmth and comfort. They allow fingers to be free to grab whatever they need and are available in many colors. These arm warmers will energize any fall outfit and become an irreplaceable accessory for the breezy look to which all girls aspire.

Available at

MyselfBelts is a line of belts with no buckles and a simplified fastening process with velcro that takes the frustration out of closing one’s belt. They come in simple leather or personalized with your child’s name on them, and your impatient little daughter – who hates buckling her belt – will love it. See the lineup at

My Plan Calendar from the makers of MyAgenda and MomAgenda understands that girls need to have a basic, personal, journal-like calendar to carry around. The electronic mini calendars available on computers and blackberries just don’t have the snug intimate feel of this 5 x 7 in. calendar. Divided in two sections – a monthly calendar to jot down important dates and events, and another Week at a Glance Section – girls can get organized by prioritizing activities each day, write down their thoughts, or take extra notes. There’s also a lined section for writing, a source for toll free numbers, online resources, an address book, a holiday calendar. Girls will love the bright pink and green cover with gold lettering and its smooth surface. Available at Staples stores everywhere and

To ensure that your daughter walks home safely on a rainy night, keep a Walk Safe Umbrella in her backpack. The compact umbrella has a unique 3M reflective tape on each tip that lights up against oncoming night traffic. Designed in memory of a Portland resident who was hit by a car while walking in a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood, this umbrella is unique on the market and can give added protection when visibility is low in rain or snow. The light produced by this umbrella is the equivalent of 500 standard lit candles. Check for other stylish choices.

The Whoops Bunny Backpack is part of a fun and colorful original series of bags and school accessories featuring the Whoops Bunny character, “a bunny who was jumping across the fingers on a hand and had a “whoops” and almost slipped off. Fully lined in bright orange, this colorful backpack is made of soft polyester, contains a zippered pocket and an inserted name label. Check the website for an assortment of whimsical backpacks, pencil containers and more for school at

For fashionistas who get distracted easily and need help focusing on their reading duties, the Mark My Time digital bookmark allows them to more easily track required reading time. It consists of a digital clock and programmable countdown timer with alarm. You can also program cumulative timers for multi-session readings. Check it out at

Mabel’s Labels for kids include peel and stick Skinny-Mini labels for small school supplies, Tag-Mates for clothing care tags, extra tough Shoe Labels that won’t peel off, Iron-Ons that will adhere to most fabrics and Bag-Tags, and sturdy metal tags to attach to school bags, luggage and more. Your child will be sure not to lose a thing! Check styles and pricing at

Some shoes are not the best at protecting your daughter’s sensitive soles or knees and providing necessary ankle support for proper leg alignment. Dr Scholl Shock Guard Technology Inserts make any shoe extremely comfortable, protect soles from harsh pavements, give a little bounce to one’s step and can improve posture or even help support flat feet. The ¾-length design fits easily into casual shoes, boots or sneakers. Check Dr Scholls complete line of inserts that will enable schoolgirls be comfortable in their shoes, and walk with a confident step. Available at

Remind your daughter that quality endures and to limit her purchases to worthy classics that never disappoint, rather than fickle feel-goods that easily fall apart. Check next month for more Back to School new items for her room and health.

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