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What is (surprisingly) hot for 2012 back-to-school fashions (including a gift card giveaway)

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When TaRhonda Thomas of 9News asked if I’d be willing to pull together a back-to-school fashion segment, my initial reaction was to laugh. Though I love cute clothes as much as the next person, I’m certainly not a fashion expert. However, I am someone who likes to be pushed out of my comfort zone and this was anything but comfortable.

But do you know what I discovered? Fashion is fun and with so many fashionistas out there, it’s easy to catch onto the latest trends. This morning on 9News, I talked about cool back-to-school products at 6:40 a.m. (see them here) and at 8:40 a.m. on My20, we did a fashion show with all the latest styles featured below from Kohl’s, H&M, Tea Collection and Hanna Andersson. (Go here to watch that 9News segment; fashion show begins at 4 minutes on the video).

Disclaimer: My children and family friends are my models. That’s my way of saying they’re not pros so fingers are crossed there will be no swinging from the chandeliers.

Or rather, from the studio lights.

Boys, Tea Collection
Featured: Helskinki Brigade Outfit that includes the Peli Stripe Hoodie ($30), Fire Brigade Tee ($26) and Just Jeans ($49)
Remember those days when boy’s clothing wasn’t stylish nor cute? Those days are over! There are plenty of fun trends this fall for boys that include bright colors for clothes, accessories and especially shoes. Beanies (knitted) caps and fun layers are hip, too. I especially loved Tea Collection’s Fall 2012 styles which were created from the bold, modern designs the designers found while in Scandinavia. Founded in 2002, Tea Collection designs distinctive children’s clothes from newborn to age 12 and women’s apparel inspired by the beauty they discover in their travels around the world. Based in San Francisco, Tea is available on the digital flagship website, in over 300 high-end boutiques, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomindales.

Girls, Hanna Andersson
Featured: Hanna Ankle Tights ($22), Animal-print Bubble Skirt ($36), Slouchy Crochet Hat ($24), Messenger Bag ($34), Criss Cross Cardigan ($44), Fur Sure Friends Tee ($32), Merrell Moc Burst Mary Janes from Little Feet (win a $50 gift card here!)
As soon as I heard bright colors were in fashion this fall, I turned to Hanna Andersson because nobody does that better. Fall 2012 styles are everything from skirts with colorful tights to boots of varying colors and textures to flowered headbands and to all that glitters (they are, after all, girls). Skinny jeans are all the rage, as are denim leggings (or jeggings) and oodles of bangle bracelets and big, floral headbands. And don’t forget the animal prints, paired with the best and brightest. Bottom line: It’s just fun being a girl! Not familiar with Hanna Andersson? When her son was born in 1980, she searched for soft, quality cotton clothes like the ones she’d known in her native Sweden but couldn’t find them. On a trip back home, she went shopping and when she returned, her American friends wanted to know where they could find the same great clothes. And that is how Hanna Andersson began.

Tween/Teen Boys, Kohl’s
Featured: Tony Hawk pants ($27.99), Marc Anthony graphic tee ($32), Helix button-down shirt ($42) and Vans Kress skate shoe ($49.99).
Kohl’s is the ultimate one-stop shopping stop for back-to-school. Kohl’s Visual Supervisor Anna Alvis gave us the inside scoop on what’s hot for teens and some of her recommendations were a bit of a surprise. Brightly-colored pants/jeans are the rage, as are skinny-fit jeans, which is good news for the slender set. Rock ‘n roll and graphic tees are hip and down vests à la ’80s are making a comeback, as is the V-neck shirt. And, brace yourself for this one: pants with detail pockets. That’s right, folks. Embellishments aren’t just for the girls. Have at it, dudes.

Tween/Teen Girls, H&M
Featured: Faux leather blazer ($49.95), Cheetah-print dress ($17.95), purse ($34.95), Silver ballet shoes ($24.95), jewelry ($5.95, $12.95)
Remember Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? That pretty much sums up a teen girl set loose at H&M, one of Denver’s hottest new stores (with a new location opening at Flatiron Crossing on August 23). The styles this fall are bold, fun and creative. From animal prints to leathers, to over-size polka dots, it’s all about combining patterns and colors. The same goes for accessories–it’s OK to mix your metals and have one outfit with silver, gold and copper. Jewelry is also multi-functional. Take that long gold chain necklace and wrap it around your wrist several times to make a bracelet. Remember: girls just wanna have fun!

And that’s what Fall 2012 fashions are all about.

Enter your back to school photo for your chance to win $125 in gift cards courtesy Sears, Colorado Mills and 9NEWS. Go to 9News’ Faceboook page for all the fun details!

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