Story & Photos by Kim Adams – Collegiate Staff
Back to school is a great time of year for fashion. Not only are stores doing major sales, but it’s also a fun time to try out some new trends. As you likely know, there aren’t any on-campus living options at Grand Rapids Community College, so you normally don’t see many people wearing their pajamas to class. If you are going to get out of your pajamas anyways, you might as well try to look nice for class! You never know who you’re going to meet, and while clothes certainly are not everything, they do help you make a good first impression. Here are five trends for him and her that will have you looking great for class. Try some out of these trends and quickly become one of the best–dressed students on campus.
For Her: Model – Kim Adams
Rompers: Rompers are probably one of the best pieces ever created. They started out as a trend for toddlers (because they’re easy, adorable, and they cover everything they need to cover), but now they have become totally in for college students. Throwing on a romper and a scarf or necklace will make you look completely put together without trying at all. There are lots of affordable options at Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, and Pac Sun. Try a solid chiffon romper for a more dressed up look or try a tribal printed one for a more relaxed, bohemian effect.
Romper pictured is from ShopLately.com.
Maxi Skirts: These are perfect for back to school for a number of reasons: they’re trendy, comfortable, and easy to throw on with a plain crop top or t-shirt. Personally, I own more maxi skirts than I care to admit. They are the perfect thing to wear when you’re not sure what to wear. While some people say they only look good if you’re the right height for them, I completely disagree. I’m only 5’1” and I love rocking a high-waisted maxi. My taller friends can rock them too – they just have to find longer options! Check out stores like Forever 21, Wet Seal, and Charlotte Russe for options in almost every color and pattern you could imagine.
Maxi Skirt pictured is from Charlotte Russe.
Beaded Headbands and High Buns: Flower crowns are great for festivals, but not so great for going to class. Ditch your crown and grab a cute beaded headband. It’s the perfect fix for a late wake up: add it to a messy bun style and you’re ready to go. Try a multicolor beaded design for a fun look, or stick with neutral colors and details such as pearls or rhinestones for more of a glam look. For inexpensive but still cute headband options, check out Claire’s or Wet Seal. If you’d like to find something a little more unique, check out some local boutiques (I’ve bought a couple at boutiques in downtown Holland that I love!)
Headband pictured is from The Icing.
or if you’d rather stick to stores at the mall, check out Francesca’s and Charming Charlie.
Kimonos: Ever heard of Coachella? If so (and even if you haven’t), chances are you’ve probably seen this trend in overwhelming quantities. Kimonos are a huge trend right now. Pair a fun printed kimono over a plain top with leggings or a maxi skirt for a effortless-but-trendy back to school look. I also like pairing my kimonos with skater dresses for a girly vibe. You can find lots of different patterns: from polka dots to tribal, or go for a solid option. My favorite kimonos are from online stores such as 10DollarMall.com and Tobi.com. Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, and Aeropostale also carry kimonos.
Kimono pictured is from 10DollarMall.com
Cowboy Boots: This was a trend that definitely took me a little bit of getting used to, but now I love it! Cowboy boots are not only for Birthday Bash anymore. Rock a pair with ripped jeans or your favorite dress for a cute, Southern Belle look. I found a great deal on mine from 6pm.com, and I’ve also seen them at a variety of other stores: from second-hand shops to Macy’s. There are thousands of different colors, patterns, and washes. Like jeans, you can buy them with a destroyed look if that’s your style. The possibilities are endless.
Boots pictured are from 6pm.com
For Him: Model – Chris Huls
Elbow Pads: This trend is definitely vintage-inspired, however, brands are remaking this trend to be very current. Elbow pads add a nice extra detail that looks classy and sophisticated. If you’re the crafty type (or if you have someone in your life who is crafty and willing to help) then adding elbow pads to a sweater you already own is fairly easy. Buy fabric in whatever color/pattern you’d like, cut to size, and either sew it onto the sweater or use some fabric glue. Easy! You now have up cycled your old sweater.
Sweater pictured is from Ralph Lauren
Dark Leather Belts: A dark leather belt should be a staple in every man’s closet. It ties together a look effortlessly and gives off a very cool, yet put-together vibe. It’s also very practical, as nobody wants to see your pants sagging around campus. You can buy a dark leather belt from most stores that carry men’s clothing. Try stores such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, and Kohl’s, depending on your personal preferences. Wait until a sale to get the best deal on your belt.
Belt pictured is from Abercrombie & Fitch
Plaid Shirts: There’s nothing better than a man in plaid. I’m not kidding. Channel your inner
lumberjack by wearing a plaid fleece for the fall. Pair your plaid with dark wash jeans, and your favorite pair of everyday shoes – you’ll be looking cute for class without trying too hard. For more expensive options on plaid button downs, check stores such as J Crew and Ralph Lauren. For more affordable options, head to Pac Sun or Kohl’s.
Shirt pictured is from Ralph Lauren
Dri Fit Polo Shirts: Not only are dri fit polos very silky and comfortable, they’re also very trendy for back to school. They give off a cool, sporty vibe without trying too hard. Pair a dri fit polo with some shorts in the warmer weather or khakis if it’s cooler. There are many different brands coming out with dri fit polos, some of them being Nike and Ralph Lauren. Check sporting good stores for sporty dri fit polos, or check department stores such as Macy’s for designer options. Budget friendly designer options can sometimes be found at Nordstrom Rack.
Polo pictured is from Ralph Lauren
Boat Shoes (Sperry’s): These are something I think every guy should consider buying. Boat shoes look good with almost any outfit you could put together. They’re easy to dress up and down, and if you get a brand such as Sperry Top Sider, they’ll last through just about anything. You can also get boat shoes from stores such as Kohl’s and J Crew. There are lots of different colors and patterns, but a basic, dark brown pair are my personal favorite.
Boat shoes pictured are from Sperry Top Sider
Whether you choose to channel your inner-Coachella with a fun kimono or keep it simple with a leather belt, these trends are sure to have you looking great for back to school. You don’t have to be in Fashion Design classes to look like you put thought into your wardrobe. Picking out your outfits does not have to be a chore. Be creative with your clothing and, most importantly, have fun!