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Back-to-School Teen Trends

Studio 5 Style Contributor Holly Stone combed the stores at Valley Fair Mall to bring us the latest trends and styles and broke it down into four basic looks.

The back-to-school fashion season for teens is shaping up to include trends like Glam Military and Preppy Chic for girls and Cargo Cool and Old School for guys. Here’s what’s hot and hitting the halls this season:


Preppy Chic

This looks includes oxfords, blazers and classic denim. Tops and accessories come in layers. The color scheme is either contrasting or complementing – both work. This looks aims for smart and classic.

Glam Military

This look includes military jackets, bold detail and lots of cargo. This trend is for the young lady who is both sassy and expressive. It’s playful, fun and can be dressed up or dressed down.

Here are a few other trends to be aware of…

JEANS: Skinny and low-rise.

     • The new slim style of jeans is a great addition to your wardrobe of flares, boot-cuts, and wide legs. Be wary of a tapered leg: way too ’80s and very unflattering to most figure types.

• New washes. Obvious whiskers, ripped patches and over-the-top bleaching? It’s over! This fall denim is going old school. Natural washes — along with classic light and dark — are what it’s all about. But if classic is not your thing, consider an edgy black rinse.

SKIRTS: Femininity with an edge.


This prim and femme skirt may seem stuffy and professional (and that’s why it’s so important to pair it with something fresh). But it is just what you need to be on top of the trend. Keep your eyes open for a denim pencil: fabulous!


This skirt is the most universally flattering style, if the A-line is slight. Ideal for wearing with fitted sweaters and tees, they can be dressed up or down. A small kitten heel is just right for this knee-length skirt. Steer clear of flats! They will make your legs look stumpy.

Utility-style skirt

  In addition to cargo pockets, look for eyelet-adorned belted styles or cool buckle details. These skirts are perfect balanced with a flirty top and heels, but look just as chic with a tank and flip flops.

Leggings Worn Under Mini-Skirts

• Black is the most popular color though other colors are starting to pop up.

Rounded Toe Shoes

• Ballet Slippers and kitten heels work well with the skirts and jeans of this season.

Bags with lots of Pockets and Zippers

• The more detail the better. Over the shoulder bags can carry lots of school supplies.

Military Jackets with Metal Buttons

• Army-inspired jacket. Whether you go for an elegant satin bomber or a sharp cargo blazer, both add tons of style to basic jeans and a tee. And avoid a utilitarian overload by steering clear of cargo pants.

• A little fitted blazer is required this fall. Best in tweed or corduroy, these jackets work with everything. Keep in mind that this boyish style is best worn with a feminine touch, be it a chiffon camisole or a flirty little skirt.

• The old classic is handy, but this year an updated jean jacket is required. Go biker-chic with a banded collar, sophisticated with a blazer, or schoolgirl-style with a pea coat. Another cool look: jean-style corduroy jackets.

Victorian-inspired Tops and Blouses

• Ruffles down the front, or around the cuff of the sleeve will bring out the girl in you. The flowing fit of fall blouses reflects the gentle femininity of chic. Remember, too loose or too tight can make you appear heavier than you actually are. For great style, find the perfect fit and let the blouse do the rest.

• White oxford. If you don’t already have one, get one. And even if you do, buy another. This trusty little button-down is definitely the most versatile item you could own. Under a sweater. Over a tank. Alone and cuffed. Belted. So much versatility in just one item of clothing.

Cargo Skirts, Shorts and Pants

• The satin (or satin-trimmed, for the more low key girl) cargo is a perfect mix of tough and sweet. Glamorous yet caz, these cargos look great paired with a basic v-neck tee shirt and sandals in August, and when the weather turns cold can be switched up with a thin, fitted sweater and pumps.


Cargo Cool

This trend incorporates cargo pants, military jackets and the graphic printed tees. Look for clothing with clean lines and neutral colors. You want a look that is both sporty and playful. Keep the fit relaxed – nothing tailored or too deliberate.

Modernized Old School

This style includes plaids, oxfords and blazers and vests with flair. Aim for that disciplined, tucked in approach – solid colored clothing with a timeless appeal.
Here are a few other trends to be aware of…


• Skinny jeans are still the rage. Dark washes and boot-cut are staples

• Button down, pants and sweaters-all can be found sporting this design.

• Be careful as to not mix patterns and prints. Plaids should be worn with something simple so as to be the stand-alone eye catcher.

• Blazers and military style are all fashion forward. Pair with jeans or trousers. Don’t wear with cargos. Too much bulk on top and bottom

Cargo pants and shirts

Pockets and metal buttons define this look. Be careful not to buy too baggy or they will look like they are wearing YOU!


• This is the new accessory of the season. Over a tee or button down, can be worn more casually or under a blazer for more classic look.
Deco Shoes

• Shoes with artsy designs are all the rage. Whether it be athletic, or designer, sport something that looks like an artist has marked your feet.


• Your shoes and belt should be the same color. Black with black, brown with brown

• A rugged necklace made of leather, shells, or big beads can really pull an outfit together
Use hats in small doses. Baseball hats will be out of place worn with a nice top and jeans. A newsboy cap can only be pulled of by the trendiest of guys. Opt for a military cap. If you insist on sporting a topper, try a stretchy knit cap or a visor.

• Buy cool shades. The hottest sunglasses feature lenses with flash mirroring and gradient colors (such as deep reds, oranges and golds) .

• Experiment with styles: Urban, Prep, Sophisticated, Artsy, Retro, Mod, Punk, Surfer. Try to mix different looks

• Be particular about the fit of pants-especially denim. Tapered leg (fitted at the ankle) is a definite NO. Slightly loose fitting with a boot cut is always a flattering option.


• Avoid the head- to -toe baggy look. T-shirts that reach to your knees will make your legs appear 2 inches long and make you look short and squatty.

• Skip the athletic socks with non-athletic shoes. Loafers, oxfords, leather boots and most importantly any type of sandals do not look good with athletic socks.

• Pass on head-to-toe logos. Mixing labels=good. Mixing over-the-top logos=tacky. When it comes to designer sigs, less is more.

Shop Valley Fair Mall for all of your Back-to-School shopping needs. Teen clothing stores include: 2 Love, Downeast Basic, Maurices, Pac Sun, Vanity, Mariposa and many more! Right now, with a minimum mall purchase you can get a twenty dollar Real Salt Lake gift card and scarf through August 23, 2008.

Visit for more details.

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