Back to School Fashion, From 'A' to 'Z'

By Sharon Mosley

August 4, 2015 7 min read

Checking off that shopping list for back-to-school clothes can be as easy as A, B, C. Whether it's a must-have item like a new pair of jeans or a fun fad like flower-power fringe, here is a list of key fashion terms to study up on for the year ahead.

—"A" is for athleisure. It's the latest buzzword in fashion lingo and it's active wear at its best, perfect for getting comfortable. These are clothes that normally go to the gym but can be dressed up to wear to school. Try jogger pants, leggings and zipper jackets.

—"B" is for boho chic. The '70s trends are just too cool for school this year. Bohemian-inspired fashion is one of the best ways to stand out from the crowd and do your own thing. Think peasant tops, flare jeans, patchwork prints, maxi dresses and platform shoes.

—"C" is for chambray shirts. The soft denim shirt is fast becoming a new wardrobe basic. Paired with darker denim jeans, shorts or skirts for fall, it's a winner. Belt it and wear it with vests or unbutton it over tees and tanks.

—"D" is for denim. Of course! Jeans may be de rigueur for school, but now there are more denim choices than ever. The flared boot-cut is a new update, but skinny jeans are still going strong, too. Cuffed boyfriend jeans and wider cropped legs are also trending. Add vests, skirts and jackets to the mix this fall.

—"E" is for ethnic. It's a global world now, and fashion designers are traveling all over the world to get inspiration. See Ikat Prints. Mix and match it all — from near and far.

—"F" is for fringe. You knew it would happen if the '70s are having a fashion moment. Fringe is dripping from handbags, backpacks, jackets and more. Go with the flow.

—"G" is for graphics. You don't have to be enrolled in a graphic arts class to get this one. The prints and patterns that are found on everything this school year make getting dressed an art form. Remember to mix; don't match.

—"H" is for high-low dresses. High hems in the front, low in the back. Change things up and wear dresses to school. Make them funky paired with tights and boots.

—"I" is for ikat prints. Dip-dyed prints are another arts and crafts fashion project for the fall. Think also tie-dyeing. The '70s just keep on rocking.

—"J" is for jogger pants. Part of the athleisure craze, these loungewear bottoms may be akin to wearing pajamas to class, but the stylish, updated cuffed sweatpants are taking an active role in leading the class style roster.

—"K" is for knits. For younger kids, and even for older teens, knits are just another extension of the comfort craze that's breathing new life into hardworking back-to-school wardrobes. From rompers to fit-and-flare dresses to shorts and, of course, the always popular T-shirt, knits are essential to mix-and-match layering.

—"L" is for leggings. We can't get enough of these, and leggings — in all colors, prints and patterns — are now must-have basics that provide tons of possibilities for a change from classic denim.

—"M" is for moto jackets. The quintessential jacket of "cool," the motorcycle-inspired bomber in faux leather or the real thing is a great transition piece for chillier fall days for guys and girls.

—"N" is for needlework. From embroidery to appliques, crochet and lace, the details are what count to make fashion special this back-to-school season.

—"O" is for off-the-shoulder tops. Give them the cold shoulder with these fun tops that dress up fuller, looser silhouettes to top off jeans and leggings.

—"P" is for plaid. Bigger is better this fall. Check out oversized tunic shirts in bold, colorful buffalo plaids.

—"Q" is for quilted. It's arts and crafts time for the back-to-school crowd. Embellishment is stitched right into the fabrics of jackets, skirts and vests.

—"R" is for ripped. No, not those abs, but distressed denim that's torn and tattered in all the right places.

—"S" is for shorts. It's loose and long for the guys, short and cuffed for the girls. Team with graphic tees and oversized shirts for a relaxed style.

—"T" is for T-shirts. Go ahead and show off your favorite slogan, cartoon character or astrological sign. Graphic T-shirts are one of the best ways to add personality to everything you wear. It's all about attitude.

—"U" is for unlimited. And speaking of T-shirts, how about wearing one that proclaims you and your future are "unlimited." Check out Old Navy's campaign to help support Boys and Girls Clubs with proceeds from the sale of "Unlimited" T-shirts.

—"V" is for vintage. Whether you scour flea markets or like the look of "new" vintage clothes and accessories, what's old is new again. And it's not just the rock 'n' roll '70s: think '80s club looks, too, and channel your inner Madonna.

—"W" is for wedge heels. Platforms are stepping out in everything from sneakers to sandals. Step up and be seen.

—"X" is for X-factor. OK: This was a hard one, but when all is said and done, there's one key factor to excelling in school, and it's not the clothes you wear. It's all about being yourself and being your best self at the same time.

—"Y" is for yellow. Think bright and bold "Minion" yellow. Wear it and throw caution to the wind. You'll be anything but despicable, unless you want to wear Scarlet. (But then that might be overkill, right?)

—"Z" is for zip-front jackets. Think tracksuits and take apart the pieces. Zip-front hoodies and track jackets are easy ways to chill out at school even when you're not running to class.

 The oversized plaid shirt is a back-to-school style statement. Available at Macys.
The oversized plaid shirt is a back-to-school style statement. Available at Macys.
 Wear "Unlimited" T-shirts and get inspired to support Boys and Girls Clubs at Old Navy.
Wear "Unlimited" T-shirts and get inspired to support Boys and Girls Clubs at Old Navy.

To find out more about Sharon Mosley, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

Like it? Share it!

  • 0

In Fashion
About Sharon Mosley
Read More | RSS | Subscribe