This Back-to-School Fashion Showcase is presented in partnership with Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois.
Back-to-School season can be a double-edged sword for people - loving it on one hand, while dreading it on another. Personally, I always loved shopping for new clothes and supplies each year, but as parents, my wife and I feel that the season comes earlier than it did back when we were kids. The Rock Daughters™ get out of school in June, start summer academy right away (no break) and when that wraps at the end of the month, we're already at July and the Back-to-School ads are already showing up in the mailbox. By the end of August, school is back in session and the girls need to be ready to rock the halls... and they're doing it in-style with some new clothes that we discovered during a recent trip to Woodfield Mall - the largest and most-visited mall in Illinois, located just west of Chicago in suburban Schaumburg. Truth be told, I don't know how much attention (if any) my parents paid to fashion trends when we were little, and I know that by my own High School years I wasn't necessarily the most fashionable lad (I'm still not), but it's weird to think that we're now old enough that the trends from our High School years are back in vogue. In the 80s, it was always the 50s/60s that seemed nostalgic... the 70s in the 90s, the 80s in the 00s. Now that 20-year cycle has come into this decade, and #90sRedux is one of the hottest things going. Kids are going back-to-school this fall in what looks like the must-haves circa 1994 - the year that I graduated from High School! Factor in the #OffBeat music-inspired mix and the #ModernUtility trend, and you've got what's essentially my favorite fashion season ever, because what's old is new again (and I'm old?). If we're gonna go throwback, we're also gonna need a proper playlist, so I've curated one on Spotify.
It was initially announced last summer, but now comes word that TMNT x Melo, "a high-octane line of boys’ apparel and accessories inspired by the beloved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," will debut exclusively at Macy's this May. Created in partnership between Macy's, Nickelodeon and NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, this new collection is said to be "channeling the fearless energy of the crime-fighting foursome - a limited-time capsule collection that features graphic t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, pajama sets, and socks, as well as basketballs and an over-the-door basketball hoop so that kids can show off their inner Carmelo Anthony."
With Back-to-School Season in full-effect, there's a lot of choices out there in terms of Pop Culture Styling, and this year Hanna Andersson has a full line of Backpacks and Lunch Bags featuring some of our favorite characters. The Hannah & Friends Collection features FROZEN, STAR WARS and showcased here, PEANUTS. For the latter, as a Brand Ambassador for Snoopy and the Peanuts gang, the folks at Hanna Andersson sent one of their new backpacks for my oldest daughter (though my youngest is now eyeing the STAR WARS "Silhouettes" backpack for herself) in the Charlie Brown & Friends Design (also available: Snoopy & Woodstock). While Charles M. Schulz' iconic creations are already a big deal here at Rock Father HQ, you can be sure that they'll be a big deal when 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios release THE PEANUTS MOVIE into theaters on November 6th. Get ahead of the game now!
I'd like to think that when it comes to those "dad stereotypes" that are out there, I tend to not fit the bill. There is one, however, that I will fully admit to being a part of: I am a purveyor of "Dad Hair." I'm also not proud of that fact, yet my own hair has often been unruly over the years. I've had it gloriously long - did the 90s shoulder-length thing for awhile, and currently have it short and a little bit rockin'. I also once sported a dreaded mullet back in 1993. That's another fact that I'm not proud of, but I assure you it was a very fashionable, and somewhat enviable style in Iowa back then. Now, with two daughters, I often find myself serving as their stylist, and the results have thus far been mixed. With Back-to-School in full-effect, I've added some new tools to my arsenal with an assortment of SoCozy salon-quality hair care products for kids, several of which were sent to Rock Father HQ for me to put to the test... complete with COZY'S COMPLETE GUIDE TO GIRLS' HAIR.
THE ROCK FATHER is a paid 2014 BuyCostumes Halloween Brand Ambassador
And like that, Labor Day is finally behind us and #OrangeTuesday has arrived! What is Orange Tuesday, you ask? It's the new Black Friday - the official start to the Halloween Season, and that day is today. It's true, I'm an unapologetic fan of Fall and Halloween (I was an October baby), and my little ones are turning out to be as well (that picture up top is Addie at just 14 months back in 2010). In fact, as far as I'm concerned, Halloween is the #1 Holiday of the year with Christmas it's only A-list partner (my wife said I couldn't mark the boxes with Easter & Valentine's stuff as "B-List Holiday Decor"). 2014 is particularly special, as the folks at BuyCostumes have invited me to join their crew for the next ten weeks - bringing you more frightfully-good seasonal content than ever before, with spook-tacular goodies from BuyCostumes peppered on top of my already fang-tastic treats for the year. Yeah, I'm a bit punny - but it's Orange Tuesday, so let's celebrate with a jump on the Halloween Shopping Season. Are you ready?
When I last checked-in from our Back-to-School shopping adventure at Gurnee Mills, there was one store left that I wanted to hit - one that's been a staple of my seasonal fashion coverage for kids for over a year now, RUUM American Kid's Wear. What's become crystal clear over the past year is that we have one very fickle young fashionista in five-year-old Addie, who will quickly accept or reject an outfit or item (even ones that Daddy and Mommy really like), but 2-year-old Finley is a little more easy-going, at least for now. With new Fall collections (including Modern Rocker, Woodland and Back to School) in-stores and online at RUUM.com, the folks at RUUM invited us into their store to grab a few more outfits for the girls, and with $100 in Gift Cards and some additional cash from The Rock Father, here's what went down...