Growing up in Southern California, I always looked forward to back-to-school shopping with my mom.
It was the one time a year she would take my sisters and me on separate trips to the mall. She learned early on that if she took the three of us together, we would fight over who was getting more time to try on clothes or who was getting to buy more clothes than the other two.
As the youngest, I cherished these times to bond with my mom and without being constantly talked over by my sisters. Plus, it was my time to pick out my own clothes instead of getting my usual hand-me-downs.
We would usually start at the major department stores. In the 1980s, that meant Broadway, May Co. and Mervyn’s. As I got older, I embraced a preppy style that called for a mandatory stop at The Gap.
Both my mom and I have always loved the fall season. Even though it would still be warm here in Southern California, I couldn’t wait to try on trendy new sweaters, long-sleeve dresses, pants and our favorite – jackets. Unfortunately, I also wanted to wear all those new clothes during the first week of school, even though I would basically melt in them.
Coordinating our back-to-school fashion photo shoot takes a lot of work behind the scenes, but it is always one of my favorites. It takes me back to those great memories of shopping with my mom.
This year, we decided to go to a modern, outdoor mall, Irvine Spectrum Center, to replicate that shopping experience. See our favorite school styles on page 34.
In this issue, we also feature tips on writing college essays, our favorite school supplies, tutoring apps, recipes for after-school snacks and look in on four schools that choose not to focus on standardized testing.
We also would like to take note of the departure of editor Heather Skyler, who continued to work for OC Family months after she had relocated to Athens, Ga. Her efforts have been much appreciated, and readers likely will see her byline in these pages again in the near…