Back to school shopping lists for college students tend to include dorm room essentials like sheets and laundry supplies, but it’s fun to get new clothes at any age. Free college T-shirts might make up the majority of your wardrobe, but even if you can’t afford to purchase a ton of brand-new clothes—and seriously, who can?—a few new pieces can help give you a whole new look. Here are 5 fun back to school fashion trends for fall 2012.
Bright colors are everywhere this fall! From hot pink to electric yellow, neon clothes are popular among both girls and guys. You’ll still want to sport your college’s school colors from time to time, but brightly colored T-shirts, dresses, shorts, and even jeans are trendy and stylish. Not that brave? Try a brightly-colored scarf, bracelet or other accessory.
Although the name implies otherwise, you don’t have to be super skinny to wear skinny jeans. A nice alternative to traditional, baggier styles, skinny jeans are form-fitting and cling to your body. Similar to leggings, skinny jeans look great with everything from sweaters to tank tops.
Speaking of sweaters, once the weather gets chillier you will want something warm to wear in addition to your beloved college hoodies. Chunky knit sweaters, topped with a belt or worn with a T-shirt underneath, can look great as casual wear in your own room or while you’re out on the town with friends.
Tribal and Southwestern prints are popular this fall because prints in general are a current back to school fashion trend. Stripes, plaids, polka dots and everything in between can be found everywhere from shirts and dresses to boots and shoes. Chances are, there’s no print too crazy. Pair a printed piece with a solid and you’re good to go.
Neon colors were a hit in the 1980s, but they aren’t the only fashion trend that has made a comeback in 2012. You may cringe at the sound of it, but padded and puffy shoulders and other styles from the ‘80s are appearing on runway models as well as real people. If your parents are packrats, you may be able to raid their closets and find some vintage goodies.
If you’re eyeballing something at the mall but not quite sure if it’s right for you, always remember that clothes that fit your body properly are always your best bet. Purchasing something on a clearance rack in hopes of fitting into it after “losing five pounds” is most likely a waste of money.
College is definitely an adventurous time, but you should always dress appropriately for the situation. Unless you will be working alongside fashion designers, it’s probably not a great idea to wear the trendy new neon tank and skinny jeans mentioned above for an important internship interview.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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