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Back to School Style 2018

Flash back to the 70s & 80s and find out how to get the hottest looks for less

Aug 14, 2018

Clothes are the way we express ourselves to the world--they tell a story about who we are. With your school style, you can show yourself and your classmates who you want to be this year. So, in this style guide, you will find ways to take current trends and modify them to fit your own, unique personality while saving money at the same time!

Flashback! It's the 1980s

Whether this is a welcome change or a dreaded one, 1980s fashion is back. This means animal prints, tube tops, sequins, brightly colored accessories, statement makeup, and even padded shoulders are on their way. These trends have been seen walking down runways and sported by celebrities, so stocking up now will help you get ahead of the game.

The 1980s were all about accessorizing. So, why wear just one necklace when you can layer multiple? Wearing three or four necklaces in varied lengths is super trendy right now. Buy them in a pack, or stack your miscellaneous favorites —as long as they're the same metal, of course.

Last year's camo trend was just the beginning: prints are everywhere — from funky floral to animal. These can be seen on tops and bottoms alike. The trick to wearing prints is to keep the rest of the outfit simple so that the print can have its moment to shine.

The '80s show up in trends from head to toe: '80s shoes are everywhere right now. Throw on some jelly sandals, Doc Martens, chunky shoes, or beaded sneakers, because a funky pair of shoes can really spice up an outfit!

The 80s are back in full force this fall. How retro will you go?The 80s are back in full force this fall. How retro will you go?Courtesy of Central Pine Needle

Instagram Influencer Style 

This summer, fashion has been all about 70s vibes with a modern twist. With their high prices, however, constantly sporting 70s-esque, on-trend brands such as UNIF and using Glossier makeup is typically reserved for the Instagram-famous elite. Rest assured: there are inexpensive ways to dress in an expensive way.

In the style of fashion and lifestyle vlogger Emma Chamberlain, hit your local thrift store. As I’m sure you’re tired of hearing by now, thrifting is the best way to get expensive-looking clothes for cheap. Salvation Army and Goodwill are accessible, but there are also boutique thrift stores solely selling very gently used, on-brand clothes.

However, the often hectic experience of thrift shopping is not for everyone. Many thrift shops can be hot, stuffy, and disorganized. While some shoppers see this as a challenge similar to mastering a competitive sport where the gold medal is finding a perfect-fitting vintage item in mint condition at a bargain, others don't feel it's worth the effort. Those who feel this way can turn to the more pleasant online thrifting, using Etsy, Depop, or even Instagram. A word of advice: buying something used online is quite a gamble, so start by looking to see if anyone you know and trust is selling their clothes online. This way, you can be sure they won’t inflate prices or con you into buying something heavily used.

Another way to get the clothes of your dreams is by finding new remakes at stores such as Forever 21, H&M, Owl Fish, Macy’s, or other mall-based stores. Before you hit the mall, however, look at a store like UNIF and make a specific list of the items you want. This way, you can limit your purchases to just what you need.

For duplicates of expensive makeup, such as Glossier and MILK, stop into beauty stores such as Ulta or Sephora.

Sporty feminine fall stylesCheck out Nordstrom's style personalizer where you can find your best look in the hottest styles each season.Courtesy of Nordstrom

Artsy Style

Today, the modern equivalent of a teenage hippie would likely shop at Whole Foods, listen to indie folk music, and have a tapestry on their wall.

This easy-to-replicate aesthetic is making a comeback, and can be fueled with vintage graphic tees, a distressed jean jacket, layered homemade bracelets, drop earrings, and a pair of checkered vans.

To shop for this style, boutique or thrift stores will be key. Urban Outfitters can also become your second home, as its sale section is often vast and will offer high quality, standout wardrobe additions for as little as $5-$10.

Retrofitting is a time-tested method for having a unique style – take an article of clothing you want to get rid of and change it up to fit your modern style. Add embroidery, patches, sequins, or ribbons to your clothes, or, if you can, draw or paint directly onto the clothes. If getting crafty isn’t your style, try swapping out plain shoelaces for ribbon, tying the ends of a loose-fitting shirt into a knot, or layering a short-sleeved shirt under a long-sleeved one.

With this style, it’s important to think about one to two components of the outfit you want to stand out before getting dressed. For example, if you want to wear a vintage T-shirt and drop earrings, wear plain sneakers and jeans to help the T-shirt and earrings stand out.

Thrift shopThrift shops are a treasure trove of vintage fashion if you have the patience and the know-how to shop for the best merchandise.Courtesy of Best Brains

Throw in Some Personal Flair

Following trends might be easy, but true fashion is about self-expression. Some easy ways to stay true to yourself in getting dressed include: wearing a trademark accessory or maintaining a unique makeup routine.

With daily makeup, come up with a simple yet funky routine. Some makeup trends include: brightly colored blush, heavy mascara on your bottom lashes, highlighter as eye shadow, feline winged eyeliner, and colorful bottom eyeliner.

As for a favorite, constant accessory, wear a favorite belt or a beloved yet simple necklace almost everyday as a signature. This way, everyday, your outfit will have a little bit of "you" built in.

Carrie Bradshaw's purseCarrie Bradshaw took her iconic purse everywhere and it even launched her career in The Carrie Diaries. Watch it on Netflix for 80s fashion inspiration.Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Have Your Say

Which of these back-to-school styles are you up for? Know about any other recent trends? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.