Stretchy pants are in and jeans are out, say the fashion writers. Teens are trending to the athletic leisure look like lululemon athletica yoga pants or high-waisted skirts for girls. Girls also like highlighting their feet with leggings, Uggs or combat boots. Boys still like Nikes, but jeans didn’t make either of the boys’ or girls’ lists. What are parents to do to keep up with the kids growing out of their size or having to throw away clothes that fit but are suddenly not in style. Kids are costly. Sometimes it pays to find the fit and fashion your child needs now rather than going back to the mall for a new outfit in the middle of the season. CBS Minnesota featured five “Best of” stores for back-to-school shopping in an earlier article, Best Local Boutiques For Back-To-School Clothes Shopping. Here are six more of the best locally owned metro-area shops where you can find back-to-school attire.



3327 Galleria
Edina, MN 55435
(952) 929-9252

“Girls from Kindergarten through college returning to school this fall will find things for back to school,” Mary Mead at Melly, a specialty boutique located in Galleria Mall, said. Melly has been locally owned and operated since 2006 by mother and daughter Mary Mead and Caryn Kelly. The store features clothing and accessories from Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, Tory Burch, Shoshanna, Barbour and Moncler for women of all ages. The shop is well merchandised, the racks are immaculate and the salespeople are friendly. Don’t miss the popular “can’t live without” Lilly Pulitzer Agenda sale that begins in August and runs through December of 2015. You pick your favorite print and size for a truly personalized day planner.
Related: Best Places For Back To School Shopping In Minnesota

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Shoe Zoo
3146 Hennepin Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 823-3988

Check out this locally owned shoe store in Uptown. It has specialized in top quality kids shoes for 28 years, packed with a copious collection of domestic and imported stylish shoes. Pick up fashionable European brands, extraordinary Camper shoes from Mallorca, TD4s’, Aster Kids French shoes, Umi, a high-end brand sold for years in Canada and the United Kingdom for kids and toddlers, cool Kenzo vans from Paris, Italian brand Primigi shoes for kids, Brazilian Havaianas sandals and Italian luxury fashion house Moschino shoes. The customer is best advised to rely on the skilled staff to find the right shoe, get the right measurement, cut through the clutter and ensure a good buy. Value-conscious shoppers will like the outlet store upstairs. The store also provides an online store for convenience of purchase.

Shopping Rack - Thinkstock

Lillians of Blaine
10950 Club West Parkway, Suite 120
Blaine, MN 55449
(763) 785-0400

Owner Barb Gonyea will be focusing on denim for her back-to-school month. She loves to help young customers put together unique and fashionable yet affordable outfits. Meanwhile, mom can relax with a cup of Keurig coffee while she is waiting. “Lillians is all about the experience with the crooners playing, treats offered and personal assistance,” Gonyea said. Find other Minnesota Lillians stores in Alexandria, Anoka, Buffalo, Duluth, Farmington, Hutchinson, Rochester and St Cloud.

Peterson Shoes
209 E. Main St.
Anoka, MN 55303
(763) 421-3433

Peterson Shoes is another case where a locally owned store can provide unmatched customer service. A knowledgeable staff is there to greet you. Three certified Pedorthists on staff can help you be sure you have the right shoe with the proper fit for your child’s growing feet. The store operates in a manner ensuring satisfaction, having depended on return traffic for over 150 years. Peterson’s kids shoes include asics, Kids New Balance, saucony, Skeeeters and Stride Rite.

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867 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 291-1997

Young women especially appreciate Karma’s original and distinctive approach to merchandising. By limiting styles, brands and colors, owner Jada Breuer ensures that each buyer will be wearing the latest in fashion and not be seen with the same item 50 others bought off the same rack. Mothers like Karma for the inexpensive accessories such as necklaces and earrings they can acquire for themselves and their daughters. The boutique caters to women’s sized extra small to extra large providing basics, affordable trends as well as luxury goods since October of 2005.

Donald’s Apparel and Uniform
972 Payne Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55130
(651) 776-2723

6407 City West Parkway
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
(952) 942-7448

Surprisingly, many schools require uniforms and Donald’s Uniform serves every school in the alphabet. For example, one can find uniforms for Annunciation (parochial), Barack and Michelle Obama Elementary (public), Cologne Academy (charter) or the Twin Cities Academy (private). Shoppers can order online and get free delivery for orders over $250. Storeowners say there is no problem with stopping by any time during business hours for a free fitting. This local business has been family owned and operated since 1952.

Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at