"It makes sense that parents are doing their research to make their dollars go further. If kids' backpacks fall apart or they tear through the knees of their pants, it's not only money that's wasted, but the time it takes to replace them."
A survey conducted by Lands' End revealed that 3 out of 5 parents love to shop with their kids "because they love seeing the new styles and products." And a whopping 96 percent of parents said they would share first-day-of-school pictures on Facebook.
So what fashion trends will kids be posing in for those Facebook photos?
Here's a roundup of the latest must-haves for girls and guys going back to school:
"The key for girls to make the grade this back-to-school season is color," says Jennifer Coccaro, senior merchandise manager for Lands' End Kids. "Color is everywhere, whether as a striking statement in pencil-fit pants and skirts or a more subtle surprise in shoes and accessories."
--Colored bottoms -- Look for denim and corduroy in the season's hottest silhouette -- the pencil leg. It doesn't have to be tight, just slim and trim. Mix it up with a fun skirt with a ruffled hem that has a little bit of flounce.
--Space-dye style -- The trendy, striated space-dye pattern is fun and comfortable when done in French terry separates such as hoodies, long-sleeve dresses, ruffled knit skorts and rolled-up pants.
--Detailed Tees. Forget the plain Jane T-shirts. This fall, dress up everyday jeans or skirts and blazers with Tees embellished with delicate ruffles and pin-tuck detailing.
--Dresses and Leggings. They're the perfect duo offering style and comfort. Solid color leggings make a great accent for any printed dress, while mixing-and-matching prints and patterns lets girls create their own personal looks.
--Long-Sleeve V-neck cardigans. To top it all off -- these cardigans are the most versatile layering pieces that can add a playful pop of color to any outfit. Longer lengths are perfect because you can belt them for a more tailored look.
For the boys:
"Boys will break the mold in back-to-school this back-to-school season with looks that are rugged, tailored and comfortable," says Adam Napier, senior merchandise manager for Lands' End Kids. Here are five must-haves for the boys on your back-to-school shopping list:
--Graphic rugbies -- The stripes are on the back-to-school playing field. Embroideries, screen prints and dip dying make the Rugby shirt a go-to-fashion-must-have for the guys.
--Cadet-inspired pants. These rugged pants are a sure style hit this fall. Dressed up or down, these are the official pants of fall.
--Hoodies -- By now, a collegiate favorite, the hoodie is updated with a lining of super-soft cotton Sherpa fleece.
--Five-pocket corduroy pants -- Jeans may be an all-time basic, but cords are back in style in pigment-dyed rich colors such as rust, blue, mahogany and gray.
--Long-sleeved button downs -- Whether it's a colorful washed oxford or a long-sleeve plaid shirt, these are classics that will mix and match with denims and cords alike.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association.