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Backpacks, vests and clunky shoes are all the rage Acid-washed jeans, ripped knees are out


Teen fashions this fall are an eclectic mix of styles: street-wise and baggy, updated preppy and western-influenced are just a ** few of this season's cool looks.

Here are a few suggestions on how kids can make the grade this school year by dressing up their favorite silhouette.

* Multicolored nylon backpacks are teens' replacement for the venerable book bag. But today, in embroidered and brightly colored patchwork styles, the emphasis is more on fashion than function.

* Heavy-soled Dr. Martens lace-up shoes are cool and kind of clunky -- and not just for the boys.

* Vests in button and zip closures are popular with both boys and girls. It's a sophisticated way to feel dressed up but not weighed down.

* Don't forget an outer layer for those crisp fall days: motorcycle ,, jackets in velour and nylon, silk bomber jackets, denim jackets with leather or pearl trim, varsity jackets and sweaters, and oversized boyfriend jackets.

* Caps and hats: For boys, it's baseball caps worn turned around. For girls, the look is close-fitting -- caps, decorated berets and cloches worn close to the head to frame the face.

* Cool accessories this fall include bracelets, funky belts with all kinds of hardware hanging off them, and, for girls, whimsical conversational pins in fun shapes.

* Take note: Acid-wash jeans and pre-ripped knees are definitely out this school year.

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