Sure, a new wardrobe might be the only aspect of heading back to school that excites some children.

Sure, a new wardrobe might be the only aspect of heading back to school that excites some children. The reality, though, is that most young people don't need to refill their closets. Looking trendy on a budget--by stretching the use of existing clothes--is not only possible but relatively easy.

For students from elementary school to college, the season's hottest look is clear: "It's very '80s throwback,'" said Marshalls style expert Amy Cafazzo.

To help schoolkids achieve the look, we suggest a few new items that can rejuvenate the old lineup.

GIRLS:


VEST

Wear it open over a T-shirt and jeans; it's the easiest way to stylishly update comfy, casual clothing.

Use it as a layering piece-say, a tight T on the bottom layer, followed by a button-up shirt, topped off by the vest.
Accessorize with it. Make the vest look dressier (jewels), more casual (baseball cap) or somewhere in between (newsboy cap).

LEGGINGS

Add them and a plain shirt beneath a flowy summer dress to transition into fall.

Pair them with a tunic and sneakers for a fun, funky look.

Wear them beneath a long, layered top or sweater and with boots during colder weather.

STYLISH SNEAKERS

Wear them with no socks or low socks and pair them with a sundress, shorts or leggings while the weather is warm.

Pair them with patterned knee-high socks to give a skirt a playful twist.

Wear them instead of tennis shoes to jazz up jeans and a T.


GUYS:

ROCKER T

Pair it with a simple white T beneath and loose- or boot-cut jeans and sneakers to make the look more subtle.

Prep it up by wearing a patterned, collared, button-up shirt beneath.

Make a style statement by wearing a vest on top.

JEANS

Wear them with a belt and a shirt partially tucked in for a sloppy-yet-pulled-together look.

Try dark denim: It makes the overall look sharper and more stylish.

Wear skinny or distressed jeans to achieve a true rocker vibe.

STYLISH SNEAKERS

Replace your tennis shoes with these to update a simple jeans-and-T-shirt look.

Wear high-top sneakers with madras shorts while the weather's warm for a punk or preppy look.

Pair these with khaki pants and a dress shirt, or even a tie, to make a serious look more playful.