With polka-dots from the ’50s, overalls from the ’70s, neon hues from the ’80s and flannel prints from the ’90s, students will get a history lesson in fashion with the season’s popular back-to-school looks.

Pairing pieces from the past with patchwork denim, Bohemian chic jewelry and the classic plaid shirt will create updated and contemporary outfits.

“Trends come and go. We’ve seen chokers, bell-bottom pants and rompers. Right now we are full force in the ’90s. Next year, we will start to see pieces from the early 2000s. One thing that remains popular, no matter what decade we are in, is oversized plaid shirts. They are always huge. They are a staple piece for every season,” said Denise McNeill, owner of Indigo’s Boutique in downtown Decatur.

To give the plaid shirt a modern look for 2018, students can wear the piece with statement T-shirts, contrasting patterns and jeans with a raw edge. That’s right adults, that frayed, unhemmed pant leg is on purpose.

“Everything is raw edge, pants, shirts, dresses. Some pieces will come frayed, some will come cut and will fray as you wash it. That is the big thing this year in denim, having a raw edge,” McNeill said.

For those not wanting to spend extra money for a distressed look — according to the National Retail Federation, the average back-to-school shopper will spend $237 on apparel this year — create the raw edge at home by cutting jean shorts, culottes or pants at the sought-after length and fraying the fabric with your fingers.

Along with a raw edge, local fashion houses said playful patchwork and embroidered styles continue to dominate the denim scene. From jackets and shirts to pants and skirts, patchwork and embroidery can take a piece of clothing from ordinary to unique.

For the latest in urban and street wear, stop by Higher Learning’s annual Back to School Fashion show in Athens on Aug. 25 when more than 50 youth will model outfits from regional fashion houses and designers.

“This is all about getting kids together to showcase fashion, but, more so, it is about building their self-esteem. It takes courage to go walk a runway,” organizer Chenequa Farrar said.

Frilly tutus paired with leggings for girls, plaid tailored shirts for boys and animal prints will dominate the runway.

“Look for big and bold colors. It’s all about making a statement,” said Farrar, who organized the event with Keysha Wiley and Sarge Thomas.

Tickets to the event, which will include a give-away of school supplies, cost $10. The show at 17915 W. Elm St. will take place 6-9 p.m.

More back-to-school trends will bring color, comfort, patterns and prep to the classroom.

Child’s Play: Bold patterns and fun designs will dominate elementary school classrooms this season. For young boys, styles mimic looks worn by teenagers: gingham shirts and chino shorts. For young girls, expect outfits with patchwork and frills. Graphic T-shirts and backpacks also remain classic go-to pieces. Expect to see superheroes, “Paw Patrol,” “Hello Kitty” and “PJ Masks.”

Color Craze: What might come as a surprise, the fashion industry named chartreuse, a bright shade of yellow-green, as the color of fall. For a bold look, embrace the color with a chartreuse dress or pair a chartreuse shirt with a red, blue or purple skirt. For a more reserved look, add a pop of the eye-catching color in jewelry, shoes, a scarf, belt or bag. Chartreuse joins a color palette filled with neon hues and metallic sneakers.

Overall Winner: Fashioned in all fabrics — from denim to linen to corduroy, and forms — from shorts to skinny-leg pants — overalls are a must-have piece. Since the fashion industry deemed overalls as a trend for tweens, teen girls and hipsters, the clothing, a staple among farmers and gardeners, has grown in popularity. “They have been and continue to be the big thing. Most girls going back to school will have a pair of overalls,” McNeill said.

Pattern Play: Bring a hint of fun to an outfit through patterned shirts, skirts and dresses. Along with plaids, look for polka dots and bold stripes in vibrant colors. Guys, pair gingham or checkered shirts with solid shorts for a polished look. For an unexpected look, opt for colorful shorts that venture beyond the typical khaki, white and navy. Tip: When choosing a short-sleeved collared shirt look for sleeves that hit mid-bicep, a sleeve seam that falls on the edge of the shoulder and a tail that ends halfway down the zipper of the pants.

His is Hers: Boxy and slightly slouchy, the boyfriend jacket is a trendy item among girls. Versatile, the jacket can be paired with jeans, shorts or over a dress or multiple looks.


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