The must-have looks to seek for back-to-school


With Connecticut’s sales tax-free week shopping underway through Aug. 24, back-to-school fashions are likely on the mind of teen girls from middle school to high school age.

Connecticut styling experts have looked at the trends this season and have offered some advice to girls (and their parents) as they draw up their shopping lists and head to the store.

Alyssa Anderson, a fashion stylist from Wolcott and the reigning Miss Watertown, said, “My best piece of advice when it comes to back-to-school shopping is to get staple items that can be mixed and matched.”

For example, Anderson suggested some basic t-shirts for under sweaters and jackets and blue jeans.

Jada Nicola, a fashion blogger (The Girl From Connecticut) also suggested mixing denim to “keep your outfit cool for school.”

“The Canadian tuxedo (denim from head-to-toe) is one style that seems to never get old and definitely has a cool-girl look,” said Nicola.

Waterbury fashion stylist Hannah Vitarelli said that when you shop for back-to-school, think layers. “Sometimes in the warmer months, it could be hot outside but cooler inside with the air conditioning on. So, bringing a light sweater can’t hurt.

“The same goes for winter,” said Vitarelli, “but with the heat on you may not need a bulky sweater indoors.”

“Opt for clothing that is comfortable since you’ll be it in for most of the day,” said Vitarelli.

As for more specific trends for school styling, Anderson said cheetah and snakeskin prints and statement earrings are in this year.

“A perfect back to school outfit for all ages would be a fit to flare dress with sandals or sneakers and a tassel earring,” said Anderson.

Anderson also like moto-inspired outfits. This look can include a leather skirt or pant or a leather jacket, said the Wolcott resident.

Florals in any form also are still on trend, said Anderson.

The stylists are one voice, but what are the teens coveting this school year?

A teen from Simsbury, Autumn Schless (who is also Miss Naugatuck Valley’s Outstanding Teen) said Vans shoes, a Fjällrävan Kanken backpack, jean shorts and skirts, ripped jeans, crop sweatshirts, and the color yellow are must-haves for teen girls this season.

Lili Rojek, a teen from West Hartford, said she is coveting ripped jeans, short shorts, crop tops with spaghetti straps, oversized sweatshirts or t-shirts, graphic t-shirts with vintage graphics, cardigans, and Birkenstock sandals.

Abigail Friend, a teen from Southington, had a veritable catalogue of must have items in her town. Among the trends she is seeing, in addition to those cited by Rojek and Schless, are Vineyard Vines shirts, oversized hoodies, boots of all kinds (Hunter rain boots, Sperry boots, and UGGS), and Vera Bradley backpacks.

Brand names to look out for as teens head back to class, said Rojek, are Vans, Nike, Adidas, and Converse

Friend cites Pink, Forever 21, H&M, Hollister, Urban Outfitters, and Aeropostale as some of her go-to retailers for back-to-school.


Model Monika Korbusieski wears a trendy cheetah print shirt dress from Target. Model Allie Maisto wears mustard jumpsuit. Both models wear an on-trend yellow sleeveless trenchcoat.

Photographed on location at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, Conn.