Students Spot Fashion Trends
By Francie Devine / July, 2011

When it comes time for students to head back to school, there are many things to consider. It's time to buy books, choose extracurricular activities and, in some cases, a new wardrobe. Each new year poses the opportunity to grow and change, which often includes fashion tastes.

Some of the trends for the 2011-2012 school year are no surprise, such as skinny jeans, bangles, and floral prints. But, according to the web site for Seventeen magazine, there are some new additions to the trend list, such as tribal pattern tops and stylish brooches. Designs inspired by the 1980s are making a comeback, such as puffy sleeve jackets.

Personal style is intensely individual. What fashion trend are students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland most excited about? Kathleen Liu, in 11th grade, says, "I'm excited to wear bright colors like salmons and yellows. I also like the glitter and sequin trend going on."

Alyssa Noud, also in 11th grade, is interested in the "military fashion trend and the bohemian fashion trend that has become really popular." Eleventh grader Anthony Carmona is "a little excited about the whole 1980s' look everyone is doing, and excited about bringing the past up to date." Tenth grader Caitlin Nowlan is looking to buy tribal prints and crop tops for back to school this year.

Interest in style can start at a young age. Fifth grader Joao Luis Rebello's favorite piece of clothing is shoes. He has his eyes on a $150 pair of basketball shoes for back to school.

While it may seem that fashion choices are limited due to the Florida climate, some local businesses offer great solutions to the never-ending question: what will I wear today?

Clothes offer the wearer variety and flexibility. While being fashionable is important, being comfortable and obeying school clothing guidelines are key, which is why dresses and Nike shoes are popular sales for Stacy Pesaturo, owner of Playfully Panache in Deerfield Beach. This new business offers clothing from preemie to size 8, but is looking to expand sizes. When asked what she believes will be the next big trend for fall, she answers, "Anything that makes a statement."

Annette Lamboy of MonkeyZ Closet in Coral Springs agrees, "In today's trends, it's all about being yourself and expressing who you are as an individual. No hard rules."

Monkeyz Closet features all types of children's clothes for back to school, including uniforms for sizes infant to 14.

Males are sometimes overlooked while discussing fashion, but Jonathan Reed Clothing in Coral Springs offers a lot of variety and sizes for boys and men. They offer sizes 8 to 20 for boys and men's small to extra large. Their most popular items are shoes -- Nikes Lebron James. Michael Rowley, the store operations manager, says he has been seeing "flat front Quicksilver walk shorts and plaid shorts with bright color tees" as a popular trend for back to school.

Jackie Rheyes, from Xpress Your Self Dance Studio in Coral Springs, has dance gear on hand, such as shirts and leotards. The studio caters to children from age 18 months to adults.

Amy Tyroler of Just Shoe 'n Me in Coral Springs and Boca Raton knows that a great pair of shoes is important. "Proper fit is important for a child's growth and development," she says.

Popular back to school shoes at Just Shoe 'n Me are athletic shoes. Tyrolder anticipates that Hunter boots and the bright new colors from New Balance and Saucony to be big sellers for fall. The store carries styles for pre-kindergarten to tweens. "Kids come in and pick the shoes they like," she says. "They gravitate to the bright colors."

No new look can be complete without a new haircut. A good cut can help make a good impression on the first day back at school. Linda Paliska from SportClips in the Deerfield Beach Mall knows the most requested cuts for men and boys. "The most popular haircuts that guys like are the fades and the faux hawk," she says.

Fashion should be a reflection of personality, individual style and comfort. Without the latter, one cannot be oneself. Be mindful. Economists predict an increase in the price of clothing, based on the 150-year high price of cotton and other factors. It is wise to buy school fashions now, rather than wait until later in the summer.

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