Retailers and analysts try hard to understand the teenage mind, which is no easy task. Some teen retailers seem to be striking the right cords with teens, while others are out of tune.
Earlier this week, just before school starts back up in New Jersey, I joined eight local teens, ranging in age from 13 to 18, trying to better understand what's hot and what's not for back-to-school and beyond.
Here's what I learned.
(Read more: Teens are shopping—just not at traditional malls)