Best Back-To-School OuterwearBack-to-school troops stay cozy and dry in outerwear made to outlast the academic year. There are heavy-duty parkas for snowy days, raincoats for downpours, jean jackets to ward off spring chills, vests for layering, and gloves, hats and scarves to seal the deal.
Heavyweight Coats and Jackets: Warm Wishes
When fall's chill turns to winter's deep freeze, kids need some serious protection against the weather. Down-filled parkas keep 'em toasty, with some sporting faux-fur trim on the hood or fleece linings. Others come with detachable linings for season-spanning versatility. Wool pea coats also retain body heat well and look snappy besides, and budding fashionistas will flip for faux-fur coats. Some jackets are heavy-duty enough for winter: Puffers and other down jackets insulate well and they're kid-faves, too. Snowboard jackets are also trendy, and the longer, heavier, extra-insulated varieties keep kids looking cool in the cold.
Vests: Most Valuable Layer
Perfect layering pieces to pair with heavier coats and jackets, vests provide the ease of sleeveless warmth. Children's outerwear vests are a bit bulkier than fashion vests, but down or down-alternative puffer vests keep kids snug without the weight of bulky layers. Quilted down vests are especially popular (and in fun colors and prints, so much the better). Fleece vests aren't quite as insulating as down, but they're thinner, so kids can wear a relatively light jacket over them and be ready for fall or spring's transitional weather. And since denim jackets are such a trendy back-to-school item, denim vests are seeing their own popularity surge.