Back to School!

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With the warmth of the sun and calendars still full of fun, it is rather hard to even whisper the words “back to school”. But indeed, Fall 2016 is just around the corner. Tick Tock. So we sleuthed our way around Newport to find just the right spots to get that “back to school” on. Here we have an assortment of comfy clothes, trendy accessories, the hot spots to be a shopping hero. The fabric covered back packs this year are adorable. You will be making a fashion statement at every turn for 2016!

In addition to Macy’s, Fashion Island is home to a plethora of boutiques offering adorable clothing and back packs for younger students and teens alike. And what we like best is the high quality cotton that is sure soft, with adorable design patterns, fall color palettes, and colorful back packs for both boys and girls.

IMG_3600Peek Kids
Zeroing in on both boys and girls from 2 to 14 years of age, this store has super comfortable clothing for kids. There are big graphics on tee shirts, adorable dresses with matching leggings and soft cotton tops. There is a wide selection of colored jeans. And the designs are everything from strips with complimentary colors to flowered patterns. For the boys, there are pants in all types—from camouflage to colored jeans— tee-shirts, sweaters, vests, and even sweatshirts with hoodies. All made in super comfortable cotton and a wide selection of fabric back packs for boys. And just in case a quick gift is in order, they also have finely curated gift items from unique books to stickers, and art supplies, crowns and accessories. Peek has stores in eight states from Washington, to Texas and all the way to Florida as well. We’re sure glad they have one right here in Newport Beach too!

IMG_3526Hanna Andersson
The big red awning will welcome guests in. This is a children’s clothing store for kids all the way up to a size 12. With Swedish roots, Hanna has 71 stores in 23 states in the U.S. Touching the garments one can feel the super-softness of the organic cotton, the comfy seams and the long lasting durability are all a focus on the designing of these clothing items. Both boys and girls can just be carefree…from tops, to pants, shorts, sweatshirts. And it doesn’t stop there. They also have sleepwear, swimwear, hats and backpacks. The designs are fun, and the boys department is all about blues and reds, and the girls section is navy blues, soft pinks and patterns that are eye-catching. Kids will love to shop here and select their favorites for the new school year.

IMG_3612Ivivva Fashion Island
Ivivva is inspired by active girls and was created by lululemon athletica. They make technical athletic wear for girls in sizes 6-14. There are tops with matching wrap jackets, pants and beautiful bags to store all that gear. One item we feel in love with is the adorable skirts with pleated backs and comfy bicycle shorts underneath. We can see this being worn on the bike trails, or on the tennis courts. In a rainbow of colors and all sizes, this is a great fall item for active sports or weekend fun! The displays are all on rollers and they push those back to expose the large cement flooring where weekend classes are held. Every Sunday morning from 10-11am they host a complimentary class—-everything from boot-camp fitwall, to yoga, and dance. Mark your calendars for Friday, September 9th at 5:00pm when they will be hosting a “HAPPY NEW GEAR” Party in the Fashion Island store. This is a party….complete with Fashion and Function Show celebrating all their new awesome back to school clothes, a Hip Hop Dance Party, Photo Booth, Dreams & Goal setting station, and a Braid Bar for girls to try on new back to school hair styles as well. (On September 25th, The Susan G. Komen race is happening right here, and they will have a group of 25+ girls on a team representing ivivva and also providing a cheer station. So join the fun!)

AWHH_lowres13_0Alchemy Works Harbor House
This is the spot for older, hipster teens (and perhaps their parents) to shop. Tucked along the Lido Marina Village is a charming 1940’s boardwalk house. It has been transformed into a sleek new lifestyle boutique with black and white graphics that are bold and modern. It is a boutique and a gallery, all cleverly rolled into one. It is a fashion statement in and of itself! From men’s and women’s clothing, to jewelry, footwear, accessories and even home goods and art pieces from local to global. Jackets for men are exclusively from Apolis (from xsmall to xlarge), and pants from from 28-38waist. Women’s sizing is from zero to size 6 (medium). This is a must stop in spot to check out the latest trends in fashion for attire and the home too!

13668908_10154353548724725_2160727785527870264_oGAP
This is a store where Mom and Dad can score some shopping along with the kids. Crystal Cove Shopping Center is home to a great family store for all age groups and has such a wide range of clothing. Leaning on the more casual side of the scale, this store is huge, and has such a great selection of sizes and patterns. Everyone on the list is bound to enjoy some great finds. From glitter sneakers, to cool jeans jackets, dresses, lunch boxes and back packs, tee shirts with bold graphic designs, and of course jeans galore. Kids clothing is offered in sizes 4 to 18, and adult sizes too!

Store-Fronts_66Our Gang’s General Store
Back to school isn’t just about clothes. There are birthday parties to attend and back packs to find. And what better place than Our Gang’s General Store right on Marine Avenue on Balboa Island? This store is such a treasure trove of good times with vintage toys, board games, Melissa and Doug items, play sets, dolls, beach toys, plush toys, and so much more. But it is really the owners that make shopping here so special. They are so engaging and kind with all the kids who come in all wide-eyed and excited to see such a unique store.

Written by Deirdre Michalski is a travel and culinary writer covering topics near and far. You can read more about her adventures on her web site www.TastesAndTravel.co