June Ambrose with her children. Credit: Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock

Back-to-school shopping can be stressful — which is why Us Weekly enlisted celeb stylist June Ambrose to assemble first-day outfits! “Kids want to be cool and blend in, but they also want people to see them,” the mom of Summer, 12, and Chance, 14, tells Us. Here are picks that will please even the fussiest teen. 

The Effortless Style author says this “easy, breezy” denim button-down pick allows girls “freedom to move but still look put together.” (Ralph Lauren cotton Blue Chambray Pintuck Shirt Dress, $114, alexaandalexa.com)

The NYC-based stylist notes that a whimsical charm bracelet injects “flavor.” (Kitsch Tassel Charm Bracelet, $18, nordstrom.com)

Dr. Martens combat boots “are going to be the fall shoe,” predicts Ambrose. “They’re edgy.” (Dr. Martens Junior Delaney patent, $75, drmartens.com)

A cotton or silk varsity jacket adds individuality to basic separates, says Ambrose, who encourages mixing prints. (Zara floral bomber jacket, $22.90, Zara.com)

Adorning a ponytail with a quirky headband evokes a “supercool Gwen Stefani” vibe, Ambrose tells Us. (Blue Floral Print Knotted Bow Headwrap, $8.50, Claires.com)

Ambrose, whose clients have included Jay Z, Mary J. Blige and Alicia Keys, took inspiration from her daughter and selected an Aztec-print bag, explaining, “it’s uncontrived with the free spirit of a child.” (T-shirt & Jeans Festival Muse Tribal Crossbody Bag, $42, kohls.com)


Electric green and navy, she explains, “is always a great color block.” (Cole Haan Boys' Grand Oxford, $78, colehaan.com)

Her tip for zeroing in on a denim jacket: Go for “grunge.” (Old Navy Denim Trucker Jacket for Boys, $34.94, oldnavy.gap.com)

For a specs-wearing teen she says, “These aren’t your average kid glasses.” (Archive III frames, $109, readingglasses.com)

“Dad hats are really in right now,” notes the stylist. “They are great accessories to dress down an outfit.” (Dope Tonal Script Baseball Cap, $32, forever21.com)

Burgundy jeans are “fresh and rich,” she says. “Colorful denim is a way for guys to make a statement and show character.” (Gap 1969 High Stretch Slim Jeans, $39.95, gap.com

In a sea of students, a graphic tee lets kids “define themselves,” Ambrose muses. “A child may be quiet verbally, but the outfit should speak to the kinds of friends they want to attract." ($15, unavailable. For similar styles, shop here)

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