We found top spots to find on-trend basics that work for every grade.
Geared to girls in high school and college, the store tries to stay trendy but affordable, says owner and buyer Laura Greenfield. "We really help you pick out outfits and put things together," she says. "Our stylists are trained. I train them myself."
WHAT'S HOT: Graphic T-shirts for girls are in, as are beaded Lokai bracelets, Greenfield says, adding that rompers will continue to be popular worn with tights. The stores carry brands such as Free People, Articles of Society, and Tractor.
INFO: 6401 Jericho Tpke., Commack Peppertree Commons, 631-499-4100
Lester's, which also has stores in Manhattan, Rye Brook and Brooklyn, is most popular with tweens, says divisional merchandise manager Jill Oralevich, but the store sells baby through adult sizes for both males and females.
WHAT'S HOT: For girls, the store is seeing "tons of fringe," Oralevich says, as well as lots of plaids and camouflage, too. The onesie fleece jumpsuits will most likely go from summer camp through to the first days of school, she notes.
INFO: 90 Northern Blvd., Greenvale, 516-626-1161
Please Mom caters to boys and girls from newborn up to size 16 with a selection of clothing, accessories, backpacks and lunchboxes.
WHAT'S HOT: Little girls still love their back-to-school dresses, says Jaime Horowitz, co-owner of Please Mom, but also are buying lots of soft fleece outfits. Big hair bows are still in, and puffy down coats are already on the racks. Small furballs on keychains to clip onto backpacks are also a hit, she says. Boys' clothes feature sports-related sweatshirts and flannel shirts, she says.
INFO: 7915 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury (516-496-4441); 1022 Willis Ave., Albertson (516-621-2450)
Zoey's carries clothing for girls of late elementary age through middle school and high school, sizes 6 to 16 and juniors.
WHAT'S HOT: Owner Angelo Zeck says he can't keep Karma bracelets, Flying Monkey jeans, So Nikki clothing or anything with emojis in the store.
INFO: 5500 Sunrise Hwy., Massapequa, 516-795-3244
Ruby and Jenna
Teen girls are the biggest customers at Ruby and Jenna stores, five of which are on Long Island, says owner Barbara Lubel. She says she chooses merchandise that reflects what is happening in the fashion world, but is not overly trendy.
WHAT'S HOT: Colors for the fall are olive and burgundy, Lubel says. "Plaids are still around, oversized. . . . Casual wear is still super important for kids." Fringe and faux suede and leather are also popping up, she says, as are casual dresses worn with sneakers.
INFO: Four locations: 1018 Old Country Rd., Garden City (516-794-5939); 377A S. Oyster Bay Rd., Plainview (516-933-7175); 3521 Long Beach Rd., Oceanside (516-544-2315); 433 Glen Cove Rd., East Hills (516-801-3444; 60 Jobs Lane, Southampton (631-283-1915, Only open May through October).
Max & Gino's
The sportswear store focuses on middle-school girls growing out of the "cutesy" stage, manager Kelly Ford says. The store's own unisex brand, Butter Supersoft, is one of its biggest sellers of items like hoodies and sweatpants. "The designs are really cool, not just basic solids," Ford says. "Some are tie-dyed and dip-dyed."
WHAT'S HOT: Girls are looking for graphic tees with flannel button-down shirts. Denim jeans are softer and broken in with rips, says Ford. Customers also like the soft T-shirts from Los Angeles brand Lauren Moshi and knit sweaters, she says.
INFO: Three stores: 1317 Broadway, Hewlett (516-295-6895); 7911 Jericho Tpke., Woodbury (516-364-1700); 160 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station (631-271-1144).
This store is situated between the middle school and high school in Port Washington, so kids in the neighborhood know about it, says owner Linda Levinger. The store carries popular brand names for girls such as Wildfox, a vintage-inspired knitwear line. The store posts some of its new merchandise on Instagram daily so kids can show their parents their favorites.
WHAT'S HOT: Lots of vegan fur and leather, tops and jackets with thumbholes and shredded jeans.
INFO: 1013 Port Washington Blvd., Port Washington, 516-767-0071