La Rentree - a little French & American styling..
What my girls are wearing for Back to School Fashions this year in Bordeaux, France
So I need to say up front - that its not normally my style to write a post on the fashion of my daughters. But we had a lot of fun this year picking out new school clothes. It's also enjoyable to watch them mix and match what they already owned with a few new pieces. We were fortunate also to have some visitors from the States bring us a few packages from some of our favorite US stores. As an American, in general, I find clothing in France to be a bit more expensive than in the States. The French do not have the constant sales like we find back home. There are two big sales times during the year and they last about 3 weeks. The first one is mid January to clearance out Fall/Winter styles and the other big time is July to clearance out Spring/Summer. Occasionally, one finds a few smaller sales. The big thing in France are loyalty cards - every store seems to have a card. The programs vary from accumulating points to use, special reimbursement certificates earned, special deals for card members and some stores even have on-going discounts for card members. Bottom line is this is where you can save some money. In most stores, these cards are free, just sign up, but for a few stores there is an annual fee - but this is definitely made up by the savings earned. One store, I pay 25 euros a year, but in return I get 50% off all items, all the time at the store. When I was shopping for Christmas, the cost of this card was paid for in one trip from the savings that was earned by having the card.
It's taken me a little while to find stores that we like. There are some that we know - H&M & Zara for instance. New stores that we have discovered - Desigual, Orchestra, Okaidi & Kiabi. I also have found some nice pieces through the catalog store, La Redoute (For Americans, think JC Penney). Some stores have some great deals on certain items and then other items seem high priced to me. One just has to be savvy about what they buy. The other concept here in France also is that people don't seem to buy tons of clothes like in the States. They buy a few key pieces and mix and match them with basics that they already own- leggings here, a scarf there. I think some of this is based on cost of items, but I also think this is changing and it depends obviously on family income. I have also found that the kids here are not as set on certain makers or designers. You don't see Aeropostale, Hollister and Abercrombie everywhere and on everyone. Certain styles and a few designers are popular at each age, but it's more about the style than the name. Clothing is also sold at the markets, and this is very popular with the teenagers and young adults - especially sundresses, tanks, skirts.. This summer for example, my daughter and her cousin bought this adorable white cotton drop waist with ruffled skirt sundress. I've often see this same cotton dress from the market worn by many different people and ages - and everyone is creative with their own - a belt with one, a scarf with another, and the other day I saw a university student wearing the same adorable white sundress with a denim vest. I think girls here truly enjoy putting their "own" style into their wardrobe, whether it be with shoes, scarves, vests or jewelry.
So the following are some of what my girls have picked to wear this Fall:
For my 6th grader in middle school- (6eme en France) -
Here she chose a cute t-shirt from Zara and matched it with a scarf (Zara).
Check out the ballet flats - very popular here.
Below it's a cute graphic t-shirt from H&M paired with popular black hi-tops.
Striped shirts and sweaters are in this Fall - here the Navy & White sweater from H&M
paired with denim short, tights and ankle boots.
Fun ankle boots are all over the stores this Fall -
many different colors and styles to match anyone's wardrobe.
Knitted sweater and ponchos are very popular -
This sweater happens to be from Delia's (US) paired with ballerina flats and gray skinny jeans (Zara)
It's still warm here - so this outfit is just a cotton sleeveless blouse
paired with a dark cotton skirt (Delia's) and ballerina flats.
A sweater over her shoulders or a cardigan left open would complete it for a cooler Fall day.
Shorts over tights are very popular here
Paired with a bohemian long-sleeve top (Delia's)
My middle daughter is entering 3rd grade (CE2 in France). She has a bit of her own style and wasn't into modeling as much for me - but we wanted to show some of what she picked out.
Long sleeve white cotton blouse- tunic length/belted (Zara) paired with a great neutral scarf (Zara).
She would wear this with jeans or shorts and ballerina flats
Long sleeve purple jersey cotton t-shirt with small graphic design (Zara) paired with a faux fur vest (Zara)
worn with slim jeans
One of my favorites (wish she put it on..) - Adorable denim dress (Okaidi) to be worn with tights or leggings paired with a fun heart-printed scarf (Okaidi).
She also has an adorable red cardigan that looks great with this outfit! (See below)
Red Cardigan (Okaidi) paired with scarf and awesome suede ankle boots.
She did model her fun bright blue t-shirt with sequins (H&M)
paired with jean leggings (H&M) and her new black/pink high tops
Close up on the high-tops - loads of fun!
A summer romper (Okaidi) that could have a sweater or cardigan put with it in cooler weather.
She paired it with her fun ballet flats from last winter (amazing that they still fit her feet!)
Again, stripes are everywhere this season
Her black/white striped sweater (H&M) paired with a pair of black dress leggings (H&M)
Finally, here are a few pieces and outfits for my almost 5 year old. She's entering Kindergarten or in France (Grand Section-Maternelle) She loves dresses and tunics with leggings. But her main criteria in her style is it has to be soft and comfy! She's always liked softer clothes. She also knows what she likes and what she doesn't. Each of these outfits were picked out by her at the store.
Long sleeve "purse" embroidered t-shirt (Zara) paired with brown leggings (tea collection)
and fun ballet flats.
Long sleeve cream graphic t-shirt (Zara) paired with soft corduroy shorts (tea collection) and leggings
Here's my youngest modeling one of her favorite tunic length tops with matching leggings
Having a little fun with her big sister
Here school shoes this year are adorable and fun! Dark grey Mary Jane's with purple flowers.
The striped area are part of the shoe making them warmer and more secure in fit.
I also love the extra rubber on the ends.
I'm not sure what the back to school style is presently in the States for school age through high school kids - would love to know what is similar and what is different. In summary, skinny jeans, stripes, shorts, graphic prints, anything denim, ballerina flats and scarves are very popular here. We had lots of fun this Fall shopping and putting it all together. I'm sure as the year goes on, my girls will continue to be creative in how they mix and match their wardrobe. It's nice to see them each develop their own sense of style. So Happy Back to School everyone and in France - Bonne Rentree! Hope it's a great year for all!