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7 Cool Canadian Kids On Back to School Style

May 06, 2024

The kids are all right.

Tweens and teens these days don’t seem as enthralled by trends as we once were. Outfits are built for speed, for self-expression. Individuality reigns supreme, whether it’s a wristful of bracelets from the Lacrosse World Series or punk pants lovingly stitched together by hand.

Is something in fashion? Is something cool? These youngsters don’t really seem to care. They care if it’s comfortable. They care if they think it’s cool. Their fashion advice is inspiring and personal, not prescriptive. “Just be yourself and wear whatever you feel comfortable in,” said 12-year-old Sofia. Ten-year-old Sky agreed. “Be proud to be you,” she said. “My style is my way of expressing myself in the world, how I feel, how I move, what interests me. It’s kind of like my art. I get to create it, design it, change it. It’s always mine. I stand out, but it’s not a big deal.”

“Artsy, and sometimes modern, sometimes vintage.”

“A new lunch bag because I love making fun and yummy lunches for myself. A new book because I love reading. And new platform Converse because I’m a very short kid and need a little boost for 8th grade.”

“I’m not a fan of shorts, and too short for cropped pants, so you’ll usually spot me in pants or a maxi skirt, even in 30-degree weather.”

“It makes me feel confident because the clothes are both interesting and comfortable.”

“My hand cream, to avoid having dry hands, and it will help with writing and also smells good.”

“My style often shifts depending on my mood but there is usually a theme and I try to make a statement no matter what I wear.”

“Old-fashioned punk.”

“Sketchbooks, mechanical pencils and paint markers for drawing and making posters.”

“Black clothing with patches like my crust pants, tartan skirts that I wear either by themselves or over top, and metal piercings and jewelry. I want to have a lot of piercings in my ears.”

“I find most of my materials at thrift stores or scraps by train tracks or on the street; that’s mainly what my crust pants consist of. Value Village is an easy store to find cheap and rundown stuff, which is what I like: reduce, reuse, recycle.”

“Band members of my favourite punk bands. Songs inspire me, too.”

“My style is fresh, cool and a reflection of how I feel and how I want my friends to feel with me: good vibes. I wear different styles and mix it up. Sporty, fashion, dressy, street…whatever. I like to be comfortable and feel good in what I wear.”

“A cool backpack that’s colourful and light, this year I’m into Adidas Originals. And a vintage-style green Victrola record player to listen to my favourite artists like Tate McRae, Olivia Rodrigo, Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish and Harry Styles. I’m obsessed with records. I just got the new Barbie record and it’s so good! A fresh pair of kicks. I like Nike Jordan high tops. Anything teal.”

“This outfit makes me feel good because it’s funky and fun, just like me. I like roller skating because it feels good to have the breeze in my face and do cool tricks with my friends.”

“Comfortable, oversized, gender-neutral and skater-casual with dark colours and not a lot of patterns.”

“A beanie, which is easier to throw on than to do hair, plus it keeps me warm, and looking cool and androgynous. Cargo pants are super comfortable and dressier than jogging pants. And Vans, which are comfortable and perfect for skateboarding or biking. I don’t wear a lot of jewelry, but when I do it’s this thin silver chain necklace.

“I use TikTok and Pinterest for my fashion inspiration. Clothing with pop-culture graphics like Spider-Man or musical iconography, like band tees, guitars and music notes, is super-cool for me.”

“I like to incorporate my queerness into my style by playing with gender presentation. My name and my style are pretty gender-neutral and it’s important for me to be comfortable in my look.”

“Cute and sporty.”

“I would say that my top three things would be new clothes and skincare but if I was really talking about my wishlist I would say Taylor Swift tickets.”

“My shoes and clothes make me feel comfortable and confident, and my bracelets have a special meaning to me because they represent places I’ve travelled to recently, including Spain, France and Italy.”

“Social media and my friends. What makes something cool for me is if it fits well, looks good and if it’s comfortable—and when it makes me feel like an individual.”

“Sporty, I guess.”

“My lacrosse stick. My favourite hat, a Black 5ives hat; it was the first Black basketball team. And my backpack, which I got at the World Series for youth lacrosse, for being the captain of my lacrosse team.”

“I’m wearing my school gym shirt—I just like repping my school. These shorts are from my Beaches community lacrosse team. I’ve been on that team for eight years; I started when I was five. I’m on a lot of teams, like four or five. I like playing, it’s a lot of fun, and I like the friends that I make. I got one of my bracelets at the World Series, and one at Dave and Busters. I wear them all the time. I got my Johns Hopkins sweater last year at a tournament with Beast Lacrosse. We visited the university; it was cool. Maybe I’d want to go there one day.”

“I got a new calculator at the end of last year. It can fit into your pocket.”


“Khakis, they’re comfortable enough and they look alright. Sweaters with a zipper. And jeans. I prefer them in the winter over khakis, to be warmer.”

“It’s my favourite Banana Republic khakis and Eddie Bauer sweater, both of which I chose myself for back-to-school clothes on my last trip to Seattle. I like this sweater because of the full-length zipper, as it’s easy to put on and take off.

“A watch, since you always need to tell the time. A large backpack: I have a big army-green Herschel, which fits a lot. And a book to read on the TTC.”

“My father. He likes to say his style is timeless. Monochromatic is cool.”