New York, Paris, London, Milan-all lay claim to the title of fashion’s capital city, but when it comes to trends, look no further than our high schools, where it is always fashion week. The following are just a few of the trends I noticed in the first two weeks of school.

Layers: When it comes to shirts, more is better. A polo over a long-sleeved tee for the boys; any number of combinations involving baby tees, stretchy long tops, and cardigans for the girls.

Heavy Metal: As in charm-laden gold necklaces and belts for ladies; anodized metal chain bracelets on the guys.

Patterns: Prints are popular, especially for skirts, dresses, and Bermuda shorts.

Flats: After years of ever-increasing heel heights, for daytime at least, the ladies are taking it down a notch, or more. Ballet flats are popular, as are metallic slippers and retro-styled sneakers; the coolest pair I’ve seen were made from yellow tennis ball fabric. From a distance they looked like someone had gone nuts with a yellow hi-lighter, but upon closer inspection they revealed their ultra-cool secret weapon: fuzz.

Phones: iPhones have not made the hit they might have been expected to, although they are certainly around; Sidekicks, Nokia 6300s, even Blackberrys are popping up as busy kids spend more time on the go and away from their computers. Oh, and make that laptop an iBook, while you’re at it.

Faux Twins: Girls seem to be enjoying the way they look together. It’s not unusual to see a pair of friends wearing what looks like the top and bottom halves of the same outfit, or identical-style sweaters and jeans in the same palette. But never the exact same thing! This is not a Doublemint commercial, people.

Multiple Bags: Although we remain deep in the era of the killer bag, those giant, instantly recognizable designer shoulder bags that cost as much as a used car don’t seem to be the answer to every situation this year. I’m seeing various bags for specific purposes trotted out and then stowed away, sometimes three in a day.


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