Too cool


It’s easy to get in the back-to-school/fall spirit with copper hues and woodland critters. Target’s Cat & Jack brand includes a mustard-colored owl-print dress for toddler girls ($8) and an olive-green girls jumpsuit ($17.99). Meanwhile Boden is trotting out an embroidered fox shirt to match those fall pumpkins ($30).

Cat & Jack Woven JumpsuitCat & Jack Knit Core Dress

L’Amour Shoes reinforces that color palette (above) with its Ollie Stitch Down Leather Mary Janes in a trio of warm seasonal hues — red, brown and rose gold ($48); Oscar Nubuck Leather Double Velcro Sneakers in navy ($52); Joy Vintage Inspired Stitch Down T-Strap Mary Janes in mustard ($52); and Tyler Stitch Down Leather Lace Up Shoes in navy ($48).

L’Amour Shoes

Rich textures also conjure a traditional autumn feel, with lots of knits and corduroys, including JoJo Maman Bebe’s corduroy pants in mustard, navy, raspberry and seaspray blue ($34), plus embroidery and fluffy appliques like the British brand’s wooly-mammoth shirt ($39). 

JoJo Maman Bebe pantsJoJo Maman Bebe mammoth


Another seasonal element making a big splash this month — farm scenes! Mini Boden’s farmyard sweater presents tractors, cows and sheep in a charming Fair Isle design ($60). Meanwhile, Elizabeth’s Closet, a Chicago-based boutique, is selling show-stopping twirl dresses sized from infant to age 12 ($49–$69) with farm patterns that will inspire you to hit the nearest orchard to snap swoon-worthy pictures for Instagram.

MINI-BODEN Farmyard Knitted Play SetElizabeths closet

But the animal themes on children’s clothing this fall don’t stop at the barn. Back-to-school shoppers will encounter a veritable smorgasbord (to quote Templeton the rat). Mini Boden’s Awesome Animal shirts feature a frog, a snail or a stunning frill-necked lizard ($30).

MINI BODEN Awesome Animal tshirt

Dinosaurs will have a strong presence too, including a dino-print camp shirt ($30) from Macy’s Epic Threads line. Meanwhile, JoulesPeter Rabbit collection offers a softer look for toddlers, with an applique top-and-pants set among other outfits ($44.95).



That leads to another springtime favorite hitting the shelves this season — florals!

Joules’ signature florals take on a fresh back-to-school flair when paired with navies and mustards, such as its new Harbour Print jersey top, available for ages 3–12 ($24.95). JoJo Maman Bebe’s long-sleeved shirts with embroidered Peter Pan collars ($24) — which have been modeled by Princess Charlotte — range in size from 6 months–6 years and also feature botanical motifs.

Joules HARBOUR PRINT JERSEY TOP 3-12 YEARSJoJo Maman Bebe peter pan collars

This is where you see the color palette dip into the neon and embrace the pastels we associate with spring, including a surprising showing of sage green in a charming floral suspender skirt by Elizabeth’s Closet ($42).

Elizabeths suspender skirt


Rainbow and unicorn lovers won’t be disappointed this fall. Boden’s magenta jersey dress ($45) features two unicorns connected by a rainbow, while Cat & Jack’s navy bomber ($24.99) is covered in rainbows and topped off with brightly striped collar and cuffs — the kind of jacket that will delight young, starry-eyed rainbow gazers while pleasing parents with its throwback vibe.

Boden bright tiered jersey dress autumnCat & Jack Look 14 Layering

And that’s only the beginning of a heavy dose of retro! Janie & Jack’s boys line includes many varsity-style tops and hats, many in navy and maroon, one featuring a bulldog ($54). Macy’s is offering a reversible Epic Threads bomber jacket for girls ($56, above). Meanwhile, Mini-Boden’s gender-neutral knit sweater ($60) — with chevron stripes in a muted red, blue and cream — also feels delightfully retro. 

Janie and Jack VarsityMacy's reversible bomberMINI-BODEN-Chevron Stripe gender neutral  

Christina Ries lives with her husband and four children in Inver Grove Heights. Check out her blog.