Your Back-to-School Shopping Guide
Back-to-school season is here and it comes with a flurry of new products and trends.
As parents of teenagers, we know that it can be both fun and overwhelming to figure out what our kids need and what they want. Shopping for the new school year can get pricey, really fast.
So, to make it a little easier on all of you, we sorted through the cool stuff on the market and want share with you some of the items on our radar. We tried to hit a variety of price points so there is something everyone can afford. Please note that some of the links to products are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. We hope you find our guide useful!
Look around and it’s pretty easy to figure out that water bottles are cool — especially those that keep the liquid inside cool. This year, you can find everything from glass to stainless steel to plastic options. The qualities we look for in a water bottle are that it is leak proof, bpa free, and that it doesn’t have a straw inside that can get yucky.
Two of our favorites which happen to be trendy this year are the Hydro Flask, a stainless steel bottle that comes in a bunch of colors, and the Swell bottle which comes in a couple of sizes and is super popular with teenagers.
If there’s any doubt in your mind that jogger pants are hot with teens for back to school take a look at the advertisements. They are everywhere. Guys love them as an option to jeans. American Eagle has a great deal on them right now — buy one get one 50% off
Remember the blah, gray-colored calculators teens used to need for high school math? Things have changed. This year, calculators are fashionable and colorful.
One of the coolest out there is the graphing calculator made by Texas Instruments. You can add your own grid lines and color-coded plots and graphs for easier viewing and it has all kinds of preloaded apps within the device. Another bonus is that it is approved for use in AP classes and SAT, PSAT, and ACT exams. Finally, math is getting more fun.
Teens don’t want to walk around anymore with wires connecting their headphones to their ears. They want freedom in the form of bluetooth headphones. There are some pretty cool ones that both stylish and functional. The more popular ones have comfort fit pads that stay in place while teens are jamming to tunes or on the move.
If you’re budget conscious consider heyday Wireless On-Ear Headphones. Target has them in black and gold, reasonably priced at $59.99
Don’t make a mistake and think we’re talking about the fitted cardigans your grandma wears. This year’s big fashion statement for teens for the new school year are comfy, oversized cardigans (sometimes called chunky cardigans) that are worn with ripped jeans, shorts or jean skirts. They are supposed to hang loosely over t-shirts. Express has some nice ones. We happen to love a gray one at Old Navy that’s on sale for $24.
For any teenager who attends a school without a uniform requirement, ripped jeans are going to be super trendy. There are various price points for this year’s big back-to-school must have. Some girls are going with the extremely ripped look, but that’s kind of about your parental tolerance. Both of these below can be bought directly from Amazon for less than $25.
This back-to-school season there are a variety of sneakers that teens want and some are VERY pricey. But Converse seems to be a the top of the shopping list for high schoolers and sell for about $35. There are tons of colors but white is particularly in demand in the classic Chuck Taylor style. Good luck to teens trying to keep them clean all year, or even the first month of school. The good news is that teens find them super comfy which means they will get worn.
Every year there’s a hot accessory and this year it’s the pearl choker. The leather strand comes in brown or black, but black seems to be more popular. The look is fun, which is why so many teen girls will be wearing it this school year.
Say goodbye to the plain, solid color backpack. This year, backpacks have more character and more pizazz. Just like phone covers are reflecting teen’s personalities, backpacks are going the same way with decorations that are WILD! The popular brands haven’t changed (Jansport still rules!) We find spending a little more on quality is well worth it when it comes to backpacks that teens lug to school every day. Most high schools don’t have lockers so backpacks are the new lockers and they can get pretty heavy. You definitely want to get your teen one with padded straps, especially if there’s going to be a laptop in it. Just a bit of advice! The one below by Jansport sells on Amazon for about $70.
While backpacks are still in, some teen girls prefer totes. Why not when they come in some really cool styles! Most of these chic carryalls can hold anything—lunches, papers, a laptop, cell phone and even a stylish water bottle. Forever 21 has some nice ones, including the denim bag below for only $12.90.
Forever 21 also has a Baggu striped duck bag for $38 (which can hold a 15 inch MacBook).
Happy Back to School Shopping! Wishing everyone a great school year!
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