floral kimono from Wet Seal ($26.95) draws
inspiration from Asia and the 1970s. Mules:
Standard Style, $130. Jeans: Wet Seal, $34.90.
Crop top: Wet Seal $12.90.
back-to-school fashion, grunge lovers rejoice: The ’90s
are back, with an abundance of denim (ripped and
layered), flannel and chunky mules.
make that the ’70s, with a reboot of flared jeans and
is it the ’80s bringing the bomber jacket back?
for students this fall are going back in time to borrow
trends and update them for today, proving that Taylor
Swift was right: We’ll never go out of style. Just
look at Pokemon. The ’90s fad is not only a ubiquitous
game app, but it’s popping up in back-to-school styles
Star hit up shops to pinpoint the biggest trends. We
browsed store shelves and talked to store employees and
all, while back-to-school shopping has moved online,
physical stores still reign as the preferred method of
purchasing. According to a Crowdtap study of 300
Americans, 64 percent said they favor shopping in
physical stores for clothing, and the number rises to 70
percent for school supplies.
National Retail Federation survey found that families
with children in grades K-12 will spend an average of
$673.57 this back-to-school season, up 9.6 percent from
last year. Specifically, 95 percent of respondents said
they would purchase clothing, for a grand expected total
of $9.54 billion nationwide. RetailMeNot Inc. broke it
down further: Its two surveys of 2,018 adults said
shoppers plan to spend an average of $273 per child.
if you’re going to drop big bucks on back to school,
you might as well get in on the hot trends.
can’t get enough of denim. How to get more in your
wardrobe? Layer it.
on denim, long the taboo of the fashion world, is coming
(back) into style. The style works best with lighter
shades — no heavy denim jackets paired with dark denim
jeans. Chambray shirts fake the denim look with
flexible, breathable fabric. Look for denim pencil
skirts as well (they’re a favorite of the Kardashians).
denim doesn’t have to be as unforgiving as the era of
the skinny jean. The bootleg and flared styles from the
’70s are making their way back onto the racks, and the
retro distressed, torn look gives an edge to the classic
fabric. Dust off those jokes, dads — you’ll once
again be able to ask, "Did you get a discount for
out American Eagle Outfitters for ripped denim. We found
a women’s classic jean jacket there for $59.95.
color orange screams fall — gourds, leaves and, of
course, pumpkin spice lattes. Incorporating it into an
outfit automatically puts you in the season, but the
brighter burnt orange on racks today also effuses the
carefree summer sun beating down on students as school
can have the best of both seasons in orange shorts (on
sale for $20) we found at Abercrombie & Fitch. For
women, the color pops up in accessories, like scarves
and earrings, but you can also find simple tank tops and
T-shirts from Abercrombie embracing the trend. For a
more dressed up look, try a two-piece burnt orange skirt
and crop top from Forever 21 ($38 for each piece).
dressed our model in a burnt orange "Saucy"
bodysuit from Wet Seal ($16.95).
has been three decades since bomber jackets last
permeated fashion culture, but the ’80s trend is
enjoying another style moment (thankfully, without the
big hair and parachute pants). The bomber is the perfect
transition between summer and fall — not as heavy as a
puffer jacket but just dense enough to guard against the
chill of October evenings.
has thoroughly embraced the new/old trend, as has
Charlotte Russe. Express’ women’s jackets can be
found in several colors online for about $80, including
berry, another shade expected to be big this fall. We
also found one at Wet Seal for $34.90, featured on our
men, the moto jacket is still more popular than the
bomber, but there are a few options for you at Express,
Nordstrom and Forever 21 Men.
of the more interesting trends this year comes from
across the Pacific: kimonos.
not the full-length garb from traditional Japan but
instead a cardigan-like wrapper, typically adorned with
florals. The kimono instantly adds polish and some
flowing, 1970s dreaminess to a summer outfit, and its
lightweight fabric keeps you cool as the summer comes to
Seal calls the trend "kimono cool" and has an
abundance of Japanese-inspired offerings — including
maxi dresses, off-the-shoulder tops and plenty of
florals. Kimonos, like the one pictured on our model,
typically run about $27.
boots with wide heels aren’t a new trend, but you
shouldn’t expect them to go away anytime soon. The
"new" trend? Mules, in all their ’90s glory.
the original iteration of the shoe style was closed-toe,
this season’s mules let toes see the light of day. As
fall approaches, the trend might move back to its
original look, but for now, feel free to incorporate
can find mules at Standard Style — the ones on our
model cost $130 — and Forever 21 sells one pair on its
website: buckled peep-toe mules for $19.99.
there’s one thing this reporter gleaned from talking
to kids at shopping centers, it’s that technology is
the ultimate cool factor. It’s all about the newest
cellphones, fitness trackers and smart watches.
if that doesn’t fit your budget, you can find
technology-inspired trends in clothing and accessories.
Stores geared toward younger consumers have stocked up
on emoji-themed pillows, patches and stickers. The tween
store Justice even has an emoji shop. Kids can decorate
their backpacks and binders with a five-pack of adhesive
patches for $6.90, featured on our model’s binders.
with the explosion of Pokemon Go, you can bet there will
be more ’90s throwback in apparel. The Bunker in
Westport already has shirts proclaiming Team Valor,
Mystic and Instinct, stocked for $25.
notable trends: flannels, monogram backpacks and
layering. An overwhelming feel of this season is casual,
so no need for teenagers to break out their heels to
wander the school halls. Fashion seems to be moving away
from the skintight era into a looser, more romantic
go ahead this school year — relax and feel the