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Back-to-school styles take the high road
Dress for success with flowery frocks and preppy sweaters
Brighten up any dull class with one of the neon-inspired shades in stores this fall. Check out more fashions in the slide show below.
Back-to-school fashion slide show: Check out the latest fashions modeled by local students.

As the saying goes, you dress for the job you want, not the job you have.

Following that advice, dressed-up styles are all the rage for students this year, giving them snappy skirts, neat cardigans and flowery dresses to spiff up their wardrobes.

Forget the scruffy shorts and flip-flops; these kids are dressed for success — even if they still have a few more years before entering the job market.

Jana O’Leary, spokeswoman for Target, said there are more skirts and dresses in their fashion lines offered for fall, along with bright, flirty patterns. And since Georgia’s state sales tax holiday continues through today, there’s still time to stock up on some clothes from local retailers.

"This fall we’re seeing girls will be dressing up more, seeing skirts and dresses and accenting them with cardigans and feminine trends like florals and polka dots," she said.

"The boys trend more toward a Southern California kind of style, but in addition to that, also that American collegiate look, with polo shirts and bold rugby stripes."

There’s rugby styles for young men at Old Navy, too, along with styles using more denim. Looks for young women include skinny jeans dressed up with Oxford shirts and cardigans in bright colors.

"We see a lot of argyle and cardigans," said Bret Ward, merchandising specialist for the Old Navy store in Gainesville.

The bright colors keep it from getting too dressed-up, though.

"It’s preppy but still kind of high school."

Graphic prints on T-shirts are also cropping up at many area stores, often dressed up by layering them with a button-up shirt underneath or pairing with jewelry.

At Rue 21, another popular store for teens, selections for young women include bold prints and details like sequins and lace.

"We have a lot of animal print coming in, and a lot of sequins," said Cynthia Daniel, manager of Rue 21 in Gainesville.

But don’t think dressed up has to mean stuffy. Lots of back-to-school fashions keep the styles young by incorporating bold colors, like fuchsia, turquoise and orange, into shirts and sweaters.

Even black and white gets updated, with layers — like a crochet-style cardigan over a black dress found at Target — or zebra stripes with black sequins at Rue 21.

Special thanks to Brenau University for the use of their campus.

Clothing loaned by Old Navy, Rue 21 and Old Navy.