Must-Have Back to School Fashion Trends

From grunge-inspired layers to nostalgic 80’s leggings, the trends are out and about this fall as students head back to school. While the trends often originate on the runway, there are many pieces for students on a budget to buy without breaking the bank.

First is the coveted layered look. Not that piling layers of clothes on is difficult, but it takes a certain fashionable finesse to combine the right textures, colors, etc. and look like a knock-out. One fashion staple to buy now and wear way into fall, winter, and possibly next spring, is a pair of leggings. They look chic with trouser shorts and heels or with a quirky shift dress, as long as you stray away from animal print or bright-colored leggings; black or gray look best with most outfits.

You can find leggings at any store, from Top Shop in the U.K. to Wal-mart. Urban Outfitters has a variety of more sheer leggings between $18-$28, and JC Penney’s have adorable Arizona Jean Co. leggings that provide more coverage and have lace at the bottom (for about $10).

Another trend back with avengence is the “grunge” look, which is very easy to pull-off. It provides a sense of effortlessness in one’s chosen attire, and almost anyone can pull it off. A tartan-print skirt would do the trick with a creme-colored plain shirt (try Gap’s Favorite Fit Tee) and a printed thermal underneath. Chuck Taylor’s are the shoes of all shoes to top off this look. But remember, this look is not something you could wear to the office!

Some trends that were popular in Spring and Summer 2006 will have lasting power through Fall 2006; wedges, vests, and anything nautical are several examples. Wedges, since they are chunkier than stillettos, need to be paired with flowy fabrics or light layers. They look great with those leggings you’re going to purchase! Vests, made popular by Sienna Miller and movie theater ushers everywhere, can be played up (with suit pants, pumps, and pearls) or played down (with a vintage tee, rolled shorts, and layered necklaces). Lastly is the nautical trend. As long as you aren’t wearing a sailor’s suit with a giant anchor around your neck, this look can be cute and cheap. Try a striped-tank from Zara with a glitzy, ironed-on anchor or, for just a touch of nautica, wear anchor earrings (Urban Outfitters has a cute pair if you don’t mind paying around $20 for a pair of earrings).

Stores that have the aforementioned trends include:

1) Forever 21- from tights to tunics, they have anything and everything trendy (and at a very affordable price)

2) Urban Outfitters- although the store is on the pricey side, stock up on vintage tees and comfy, nearly slouchy shorts here

3) H&M- with Forever 21’s affordable philosophy and trendy pieces that change by the week, hit up this store for uber-trendy pieces that may not be in style for long (like a vest)

4) American Apparel- for the basics you need in your wardrobe, and for a price tag you won’t wince at (they even have a legging-type catsuit to wear under one of fall’s brocade dresses)

If you enjoy hunting for pieces, try your local Goodwill or consignment shop. You can always find some vintage threads that come back in style (especially wide belts or funky clutch bags)

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