Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to School

Love Pink

Love Pink by aprilrain007 featuring a sports trainer

Back to school is always tricky with the fashion trends quickly changing from season to season. For a fashionista, it's a constant challenge, knowing what's hot, what's not and how long it will stay. In the 70's was bell bottoms; the 80's brought Members Only jackets; music paved the way for flannel shirts and grunge denim in the 90's. The 21st century has been unique in that along with being a fashion melting pot, new trends are literally at your fingertips. A click on your cell phone or computer, and you know what celebs are wearing, which styles are debuting in New York, Paris, Milan and what's happening in your hometown. These trends are for everyone not just for students. Enjoy!!!
Color Your Closet
Fall/Winter fashion often means neutral tones -- browns, blacks, gray and ivory but for 2012, designers are jazzing things up with color, so be prepared to get blinded when you go to the mall. Tangerine, bright blues, pink and purple are just a few of the colors; you'll see on the racks in 2012. You can accomplish a lot by using trendy separates. Spice things up with brightly colored accessories like a belt, scarf or shoes. Colorize your ensemble by putting a bright orange sweater with your black pants or a purple over-sized top with your gray leggings. Brightly colored pants (including denim) are another big fashion trend for 2012, so pair a neutral top with your eye-popping pants. Winter may be the season of snowy landscapes and gray, drizzly day, but these splashes of color will keep things radiant all year long.

Jazz Up Your Jeans
You can't discuss fashion without mentioning denim, a staple that keeps reinventing itself. For 2012, skinny jeans are as popular as ever. Now, you don't have to be skinny to wear these. Skinny jeans can work with almost any body type because they flatten and smooth out your bottom half; consider them Spanx you wear on the outside! And these skinny jeans are versatile -- long cardigans, blazers, hoodies, and that standard button-down shirt are great partners for them. 

Boyfriend jeans are another popular denim style for 2012. The antithesis of skinny jeans, boyfriend jeans are roomy, comfortable and causal. Since these jeans are loose and conceal more of your figure, you'll want to pair them with a slim-looking top or a fitted layered look. After all, a head-to-toe boxy look won't make you look stylish; it'll make you look like a box.

Another 2012 style that will be seen in schools everywhere is denim leggings, or jeggings. Jeggings are stylish yet comfortable -- no worries about squeezing into your favorite denims because these jeans are soft and stretchy. Like leggings, these jeans go with almost anything -- big sweaters, over-sized blouses, jackets and hoodies. 

Get Posh With Prints
Prints are another fashion trend that is everywhere in 2012. Designers are seeing just how crazy they can go with prints, and retailers love it. Racks are filled with abstracts, tribal, plaids, leopard, snake, stripes, polka dots and much more. They are appearing on everything from T-shirts, button downs, dresses, coats to rain boots and ballet flats.

The great aspect of prints is you can go all out, wear a block pattern shift dress or floral sundress or simply add a few separates to spice up your wardrobe. A tribal patterned sleeveless top with your skinny jeans, a plaid jacket with solid-colored pants, or a striped T with capris are great ensembles. Or, just choose a printed handbag. With a myriad of prints this year, there is definitely something for everyone.

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize
Flip through the pages of Vogue, Glamour or InStyle, and there'll be advice on finding a knock-off Blake Lively purse or Kim Kardashian's earrings. Because though you might have the outfit, you still need the accessories! Now, unlike the tabloid stars, your classmates probably aren't sporting Birkin bags or Harry Winston jewels, but in 2012, what will they be wearing?
  • Bangle Bracelets: Cuffs and chunky silver and gold bracelets are all the rage. Pile them on so that people can hear you coming. Whether it's a slim gold bangle or a textured, silver cuff, wristwear is in style this year.
  • Big Brooches: Channel your inter Blair (Gossip Girl) and add a big shiny brooch to your sweater. (floral is a great brooch approach.) You can also add a smaller one to a black sweater or jacket, or pin on several, as long as they're concentrated in one area of your outfit.
  • Woven handbags: Wicker and raffia are all the rage at design houses like Givenchy, Proenza Schouler and Emilio Pucci. Large roomy shoulder bags and brightly colored clutches are also popular.
  • Hair pins: Sparkly colors like gold, black or platinum, these hair pins can be worn along or with several at a time. You can even alternate sizes. Use hairspray for a look that won't move, as you place these on the side opposite your part.
Choose a Chunky Knit
Sweater styles have long extended beyond mohair, cable-knit and cardigan; now you have ankle length coats, cropped tops, and everything in between. With skinny jeans and leggings compressing our bottom halves, it's ok to add a little weight and texture to our upper body, and big chunky sweaters are the perfect way to do this. Throw on a long, belted duster with a camisole top, leggings and your boots, and you're set for a comfy Sunday at home. A nubby, brightly colored sweater with a long tee underneath goes great with a mini or a maxi skirt; pair it with ballet flats and a layered necklace, and you've got a date look or night out with your girlfriends. For some extra flair, add faux fur at the collar and cuffs.

Step Out in Sleepwear
You know those days when you just don't want to get out of bed and get dressed? Well, now you don't have to! loungewear as everyday clothing continues to hang around in 2012. That girl at the grocery store or the mall who is sporting plaid flannels and a T-shirt didn't forget to get dressed, she's embracing the loungewear trend. And designers are getting in on the act. Rachel Roy sported her jammie pants with Manolo Blahniks at a movie premier. The New York fashion label and retail store Rag & Bone is another designer embracing the lounge look, and they'll have plenty of cardigan and comfy PJ bottom displayed along with Old Navy, the Gap, Aeropostale and Victoria's Secret Pink. And if you don't want your pajama pants to look too much like pajamas, there is that strange hybrid, the pajama jeans as seen on TV.

Embrace Femininity
2012 is about letting your inner girlie-girl shine through. While the androgynous look of straight pants and boyfriend jeans still lives on, this year is also about ruffles and frills, sugar and spice and everything nice. Puffy shoulders and peplums on jackets and shirts, recycled styles from the 1980's are some examples of feminine flair that you'll see this year. In case you don't know, a peplum is strip of fabric attached to a top and flared at the waistline. This look goes great with a skirt, pair of jeans or your favorite leggings. Continuing the girlie trend, design houses like Oscar de la Renta and Christian Dior are playing up pleats and lace, and young celebs are sporting lace on the red carpet. Pair a lace dress with tights and boots or a brightly colored lace top with black pants, and you'll be set for a date or a movie with friends. If you follow the runways, you'll notice that design houses like Zac Posen and Alexander McQueen are embracing their feminine sides with silhouette and hourglass shaped dresses and blouses. Rather than covering up our curves, this is the year to flaunt them!

Finish Your Look with Fancy Footwear
Boots have been popular over the last several years, and 2012 is no different. So, if you're looking for something new in bootwear, here are just a few trends.
  • Textures: Textured leather is a popular look. You can go big and clunky with squared-off heels or toes, sophisticated with pointed toes and kitten heels or anywhere in between. Features like shiny buckles, lace-ups and zippers add a little extra something.
  • Go colorful: As we've mentioned, color is making a splash, even on your feet -- red, purple and other brightly colored boots are on the runways. This is one trend where it pays to go the faux-leather route. Today's yellow suede boots could be tomorrow's yard-sale donation.
  • High and lows: Thigh-high boots are in for 2012. These boots come just over the knee, and you can pair them with a mini-skirt, leggings or skinny jeans. On the other end of the spectrum, you've got ankle boots or booties. Whether they're flat, heeled or wedged, booties are a cute look and go great with pants.
What other kicks will classmates show off in 2012?
  • Brightly colored sneakers may have you reaching for your sunglasses to cut down on the glare. Pair neon green or yellow high tops with your favorite pair of jeans and a casual cotton hoodie.
  • Ballet flats are no longer just for arabesques; this fashion staple has been around for a while but has some new twists this year. Try bright patent leather in a bold red or blue to add excitement to a casual outfit or extra flare to a dressier look. Or, to jungle fever with an animal print on your prima ballerina flats. It's a stylish but understated way to embrace the print craze.
  • Sandals for those who want to bare a little more. Trendy pastels like pale aqua, light yellow and rose will be in style, but the recurring fashion theme of bright, bold colors for 2012 will show in sandal wear as well. Sandal will shine with metallics, gold and silver and don't be surprised if you see extra accents like lacing, rivets, buckles and braids.
A special shout out to NYU!!!


  1. Thanks for the back-to-school tips. This post is very helpful because I have teenagers and college students. We all enjoy your blog!

  2. Lovin' this post :)

  3. My kids went back to school today. Thanks for this post, a big help!