COLLEGE STATION — Put down that baggy florescent shirt or the fashion gods just may smite you down. It’s time for back to school, and those in the know say those lazy, bright days of summer are long gone.
Lisa Gendreau, manager of College Station’s Post Oak Mall’s American Eagle Outfitter, thinks men’s clothing is going from loose to look out.
“Baggy clothes are going out. Men’s clothes actually fit, and the look is very collegiate,” she says.
Gendreau adds that the days of the micro mini are also ending. She says young women are also opting for a collegiate look when it comes to skirts and prints.
“Skirts are going longer, right above the knee. Some are right below the knee. A-line dresses are also back.” A-line dresses, she explains, are fitted at the waist and then flare out.
Not only are plaids supposed to be a huge hit this fall, animal prints continue to run wild on the fashion frontier, says Gadzooks manager Jennifer Burkhardt.
But don’t look to see them just on the most obvious spots, like shirts and pants. As every truly fashion conscious person knows, the secret to good dressing lies in accessories.
“Shoes have big heels, or clump heels. Doc Martin sandals are still big. Chokers are back, hemp is in and animal prints are in style in backpacks,” Burkhardt says.
On the color front, Burkhardt forecasts lots of khaki and black for young men. She also says men’s clothes are getting more fitted, but that typically applies to shirts. Young men are still buying wide-leg jeans, she says.
For young women, Burkhardt says, earthy tones like maroons, olives and browns are big for fall.
Kim Saucher, manager at The Gap, says straightforward denim will remain her store’s focus for back to school.
For young women, Saucher says, she’s selling lots of jeans and small tops.
“Stretch is still a big focus,” she says.
Guys are wearing long-sleeved, woven button downs, she says. They’re also taking on a whole new shine when it comes to shirts.
“Men are wearing lots of muted colors and a lot of things that are metallicy,” she says.
Big fall accessories are going to be hats and large purses, Saucher adds.
Gendreau agrees that hats and baseball caps are big this year for both sexes. She adds that scarves are still a big hit for women, as are chunky rings and big earrings.
Gendreau adds that denim can be more than just your favorite pair of old blue jeans. “Denim is gonna be even more fashionable this year. It’s almost accessorized with rivets and carpenter-style denim will be big.”
Shaun Constantine manages Vanity, a store that specializes in clothes for young women.
She says that navy blues and Indian summer tones are also good colors this fall. Two staples that a girl’s gotta have, she says, are wide-leg jeans and a simple black tank dress.
“Generation X and Calvin Klein (fit and flair and traditional easy fit) are the jeans that everyone will be wearing,” she says.
Black dresses are a good buy because they’re versatile, Constantine says.
She says alone, the black dress is sexy. With a sheer top over it, girls can dress it up for work or a party. And with a denim shirt and silver belt, it’s still a little dressy but also casual.
“Anybody can wear a simple black dress. It shows your figure and can also be very slimming.”
This year’s party clothes are “halter tops, any kind of short dress that shows off your legs, and short black dresses with cut-outs or a racing stripe,” she says.
For school, Constantine says, square-toed boots with chunk heels will be the rage. She adds that many girls are going back to basic silver and gold jewelry.
“Honestly, young women are not going with cheap stuff. They’re wearing basic, basic stuff in gold and silver. If they want funky, they’re gonna wear beads.”
If girls want to update some of their old pieces for fall, Constantine says, stick with that long print skirt.
“Dress it up with a little satin shirt,” she says.
Regardless of what you buy for back to school, Gendreau says, remember to buy based on reasonable price and good quality.
According to Rebecca Zehetner, a clothing and textiles assistant with the Texas Agricultural Extension service, this is the time when stores are inundated with fall fashions at premium prices. Clearance sales will be on last season’s fashion and in October and November, this season’s clothes will be on sale to prepare for holiday fashions and winter wear.