Home Monthly Observances Back to School NJ's Best Shops for Back-to-School Fashion

NJ’s Best Shops for Back-to-School Fashion

Back-to-school time for kids generally goes hand-in-hand with the purchase of new fall fashions. In other words, the new school year means new clothes! In this feature, we’ve rounded up the best independent boutiques in New Jersey that offer stylish back-to-school fashion for both boys and girls.

Read on to find out what’s popular this season in school fashion — as if your little trendsetter didn’t already know — and where you can find it.


Celebrity Kids

School Fashion: celebrity kidsLocation: 18 Washington Street, Tenafly
Details: Owner Vikki Price knows what’s trendy now for kids: “Patches—lots of them!—on everything from leggings, tops, sweaters and jackets.” Bomber jackets are huge too, as are laced-up sweaters, tops and laced sleeves. Emoji prints are still the rage and can be found on accessories ranging from undergarments to backpacks and lunch bags. In-demand brands include Zara Terez, Vintage Havana, Ocean drive, Chaser and Junk Food. The shop also sells a plethora of school supplies (including scented notebooks), along with cosmetic bags, printed socks, lariat necklaces, hair ties, colorful pillows and more.
More info: www.celebritykids.biz or call 201-569-8469


Kids At Heart

kids at heartLocation: 565 South Livingston Avenue, Livingston
Details: Twenty-five years ago, three longtime friends with a passion for fashion opened Kids at Heart. Today young shoppers from the 90s are returning with their own children, proving this boutique is a real generational gem. The store carries girls’ clothes in sizes 4 to juniors. Popular brands include So Nikki, Dori Creations, Terez, Vintage Havana, Chaser Brand and Flowers by Zoe. Trends include camouflage patches, ripped jeans, novelty socks, long necklaces, Lokai bracelets, choker necklaces and more. They also sell school supplies such as pencil cases and lunch bags, Nailmoji nail polish and accessories including gloves and hats.
More info: www.kidsatheartnj.com or call 973-992-2440


Nellie & Bean Mercantile

School Fashion: Nellie & BeanLocation: 840 Bloomfield Avenue, Verona
Details: This family-owned lifestyle shop blends Bohemian with a modern and preppy flare, which is reflected in the special and personalized gift items they carry. Unique and cool back-to-school fashion options they offer include fringe tunics in a variety of colors, printed tops with whale patterns, rainbow-shaped tote bags, backpacks with candy shapes, scented markers, colorful notebooks, heart-shaped crayons, cupcake-shaped erasers, pastel-colored sandals and beaded hoop earrings. They also sell baby kimonos and sweaters, children’s toys and candy.
More info: www.nellieandbean.com or call 973-857-1339


Charlotte West

Charlotte WestLocation: 100 Main Street, Manasquan
Details: Charlotte West is the younger sister of Violet & Valentine, its tween “big sister” shop. The boutique carries baby and kid clothing, as well as must-need baby gear and toys. In store, you’ll find little boy and girl tops, shoes, accessories (sunglasses, backpacks, highlighters) and more. It’s the must-shop hot spot for hair clips and chunky plastic bracelets too. In-demand brands include Pink Chicken, Joah Love, Lauren Moshi, Yosi Samra, Patagonia and more. Soft, comfy chambray dresses are a popular look, perfect for pairing with some fun leggings.
More info: www.charlottewestbaby.com or call 732-223-9400.


Violet & Valentine

Violet & ValentineLocation: 100 Main Street, Manasquan
Details: The “older kid” version of Charlotte West, Violet & Valentine carries skinny jeans, baseball caps with various prints, baggy tank tops with cute quotes, white jeans, tanks with smiley faces and other popular items. New school fashion arrivals include Sally Miller dresses and there is a definite trend in faux suede, flairs and chambray. Tweens love the shop’s beautiful floral prints and the Terez leggings are always popular.
More info: www.facebook.com/violetvalentinenj or call 732-722-7407


Precious Cargo

School Fashion: Precious CargoLocation: 2 West Northfield Road, Livingston
Details: For young men, it’s all about the brands PreFresh, Rowdy Sprouts, Mish Mish, Butter for Boys, Appaman, Bitz Kids, Tiny Whales, Blue Rock and Under Armour. Additionally, they’re bringing in lots of skulls, Rock & Roll, collegiate, Super Heroes, plaids, peace and athletic looks. For girls, popular brands include Chaser, T2Love, Sparkle, NuNuNu, Joah Love, DL1961, Hudson, Splatter, Vintage Havana, Les Tout Petit, Hope, Splendid and Pink Rock. Girls also love skulls, printed leggings, fur vests, cold shoulder tops and jeans. Patches are huge right now on many different garments, especially glitter patches for jeans and backpacks. At their upcoming trunk show, any school name can be added to leggings, tops, sweatshirts and thermals.
More info: www.preciouscargolivingston.com or call 973-994-4040


Dirt & Noise

Dirt & Noise
Location: 43A Church Street, Montclair
Details: Owner Melissa Adler says it’s all about “retro and rock tees for both boys and girls, such as Blondie and Joan Jett, lots of cool graphics, and tops with cute and cool sayings.” Popular right now for boys is attire from the brand Prefresh: dark and light grey sweats with a cartoon-style pattern on them, such as a “talking” ice cream cone or doughnut. Long-sleeve Rockstar-style tops from the brand Rowdy Sprout, with matching shiny leggings, are a trendy look for girls. Thick black boots for boys will be in style this fall and can be matched with faded and ripped skinny-style black jeans. Other popular school fashion styles include Upcycled vintage denim, any leggings, tops or accessories with metallic or shine, and faux fur outerwear, especially in black.
More info: www.dirtandnoisekids.com or call 973-655-0572


Eat Your Spinach

Eat Your SpinachLocation: 42 East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood
Details: At this cute and cozy shop, which has been open for nearly 30 years, patches on anything is huge right now, along with unicorns, patterned leggings galore, lace-up tops, Bomber jackets, vintage-style sweatshirts, camouflage, fringes, flannel shirts, chokers and anything with an emoji on it. The store carries clothing for boys and girls in sizes newborn up to 16. Kids will also find colorful cross body bags, Terez tote bags with a pastel doughnut pattern, sweat pants with matching tops, hoodies with glittery embellishments on the back, temporary tattoos, casual dresses, hats, headbands and more.
More info: www.facebook.com/EatYourSpinach or call 201-444-5503


Denim & Daisies

Denim & DaisiesLocation: 8 Broadway, Denville
Details: A chic and unique fashion boutique, Denim & Daisies carries clothes for both girls and boys. Slim jeans with a ripped look, hoodies, tie-die, stonewashed jeans, tees with inspirational quotes and other casual styles are popular with girls. When it comes to outerwear, faux fur coats remain in demand, along with pleather jackets and parkas. The store also offers cute backpacks, lip glosses, pens and other kid-approved accessories for school.
More info: www.denimndaisies.com or call 973-331-9009


Little Skye

School Fashion: Little SkyLocation: 171 East Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood
Details: Little Skye carries more than 50 brands of one-of-a-kind items that kids can’t find at their local mall. The shop offers European labels, such as Mayoral, as well as up-and-coming lines like Red Caribou (from Portugal), Hebe Kids, Rylee & Cru and more. According to owner Melissa Troise, popular looks for fall include anything with a desert or cactus theme, the brand Joah Love for boys, Italian shoes from the brand PePe and Boho Bands (headbands that can be worn in many ways). Little Skye is the largest U.S. seller of the Australian brand Paper Wings and the store recently teamed up with the brand to sell some dresses exclusively at Little Skye.
More info: www.littleskyechildrensboutique.com or call 201-645-3132

Looking for more locally-owned stores in the Garden State? Click here to find The Best Independent Stores in New Jersey.


Hero (Top) Feature Image: © Syda Productions/Adobe Stock
Additional Body Images (in order) Courtesy:
Celebrity Kids, Inc.
Kids at Heart
Nellie & Bean Mercantile
Charlotte West
Violet & Valentine
Facebook/Precious Cargo
Melissa Adler
Eat Your Spinach
Denim & Daisies
Facebook/Little Skye Children’s Boutique

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