Denim continues to be a wardrobe staple for most high school and college students, but it's only one of several noteworthy looks for back to school.
“I love all the fun prints out there. Floral, geometric, stripes, polka dots, and, yes, even chevron,” said Jamicia Wylie, buyer and manager for Gil's Clothing & Denim Bar.
A playful take is to mix prints with texture such as a faux fur vest over a floral top or a washed chambray shirt with snakeskin pants.
Retro, urban glam and athletic inspirations are also in the mix, and Ivy League looks emerge for guys as well as girls with oxford shirts, intarsia sweaters and button-up vests.
Some favorites have to stay in the closet when school starts, but that just opens the door to new choices. While the crop top was a big look for summer, school calls for more covered-up pieces such as a tucked-in top, comfortable chambray shirt or a flirty dress.
“There are lots of one-half and three-quarter-sleeve dresses that are perfect for this transitional time,” Wylie said.
Wear them now with sandals and later with tights, boots, brightly colored blazers, pretty cardigans, jean jackets or vests. Denim jackets and vests are making a comeback and are easy layering pieces, she said.
When it comes to jeans, skinny rules, though straight-leg styles are popular for girls. And colored jeans show no sign of fading.
For guys, Wylie said she's seeing more color, along with V-neck T-shirts, cotton henleys, woven shirts, straight-leg jeans and five-pocket twill pants.
She said this is also the time of year when students want to show school spirit in vintage-style collegiate wear, a look that's always popular in Oklahoma.
But denim still tops all trend lists.
“We love denim for back to school — from chambray shirts and skinny jeans to the must-have denim jacket or vest.,” said Sofia Wacksman, vice president of trend for Kohl's.
To mix the look, try a dark rinse skinny jean with a pretty feminine top and leather biker jacket or go bold and wear denim head to toe by mixing light and dark washes together, she said.