Back to school shopping was something I loved as a kid. On one hand it was sad, as it marked the end of summer and the start of the school year, but on the other hand it meant new clothes for me and my sister! Compared to the rest of the United States, school attire is much more casual in Hawaii. Even with private schools, the dress code can include shorts and slippers! Nonetheless, there are still some great retail spots to get back to school attire for your keiki (Hawaiian for child).
If you are shopping for a girl or young lady who is seeking a fun and feminine back to school look – then be sure to hit Cinnamon Girl. Launched in 1993 by Jonelle Fujita, this shop has grown to six locations across Hawaii. With a love for sewing at an early age encouraged by her Auntie Shirley, Jonelle started creating hand-sewn fashions made with very feminine details. Cinnamon Girl is best known for their mother-daughter matching pieces that has set this store apart in the market. Their retail store concept is well done and you get the feeling that every piece is made with love and caring. www.cinnamongirl.com
On the complete other end of the spectrum - the jock. If your child has that surfer vibe, than Up & Riding is the place for you. I featured them a few months ago as they opened their new Kahala store with pro surfer Bruce Irons dropping in! While they trend to the more casual, Up & Riding is where many mommas shop for their boys. Up & Riding carries many of the active brands like Billabong, Quiksliver, Soljah and even Roxy Girl. They also have a great selection of sporty backpacks for both boys and girls for back to school. www.upandriding.com
On the Windward side of Oahu in residential area of Kailua, there are some fabulous boutiques for women and childrens clothing. One that is gaining in popularity is aptly called Little Sprouts. It is one of the largest selections of eco-friendly clothing and toys for children on the island of Oahu and was noted as the best baby boutique in Honolulu Magazine for 2010. They cater to infants and up to six years of age, carrying everything from cloth diapers to unique shoes and items for the hip mommy! www.littlesproutshawaii.com
Also in Kailua, is Organic Keiki. This boutique features creations from a wide range of vendors that wife and husband team Regan and Sue Ranoa gave hand-picked for their store. They are committed to providing organic and eco-friendly clothing to their clients that are made from socially and environmentally responsible sources. They even post healthy recipes and kid friendly activities on their website. www.organickeiki.com
BECCA beach Kahala is a luxury beach lifestyle boutique located in The Kahala Hotel & Resort. While this sounds unexpected for back to school, I can attest that the owner, Joanna Beall, who is a hot momma herself has a great eye for really cute girl dresses.