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This years back-to-school trends have been here before
Zach Turner
Zach Turner

Leggings and jeggings, plaid shirts, military styles in tops and pants and funky jewelry are what the fashion trend magazines and blogs are saying is hot for back-to-school fashion this year.

Many trends are throwbacks from the 1980s with a more modern twist. Like the sunglasses that Zach Turner and Skyler Weber say guys are wearing at Gainesville High School.

"They are wearing the Oakley Costa del Mars and Ray-Bans," he said, referring to the Ray-Ban Wayfarer that became hugely popular by Tom Cruise in the early 1980s when he starred in "Risky Business." "...Polos, Polo T-shirt, Nike tennis shoes, Sperry’s (top-sider)."

Weber said the skinny jeans that are popular for some guys are not on his fashion radar.

"No way, I wouldn’t wear those," said the 15-year-old. "I wear khakis or jeans ... I’ve picked out my own clothes since about seventh grade."

Laura Vinson said that going with school colors is a theme she sees quite a bit, which is where the inspiration for her black dress and red belt came from for the first day back to school on Monday.

"Definitely people like to get school colors, like with basic colors with color accents," said 17-year-old Vinson, also commenting on the heat as a consideration in planning her first outfit of her junior year. "I wanted to wear school colors and wanted to be a little different with the (cowboy) boots."

Vinson wore an above-the-knee short-sleeved black dress with a red leather belt and cowboys boots her first day of school. While many of the freshmen wore tops chosen by their senior buddy.

Wesley Sims, 14, wore a T-shirt personalized with the praises of Gainesville High seniors that had bright oranges, reflecting the current fluorescent craze.

"Oh yeah, we like bright colors," Sims said. "Skinny jeans and highway skirts. It’s called a highway skirt because it’s high waisted ... I like them because they are different."

Friend Tylashia Shirley said Vans and high-tops were popular and agreed that leggings are popular, but she isn’t sure about jeggings.

"They are neat but I wouldn’t wear them," she said.

Leggings and so-called jeggings — leggings with the look of jeans — are a big focus for Abercrombie among its "well-balanced" jeans assortment, spokesman Eric Cerny said.

"The skinny jean and legging have already hit the girls’ and women’s markets, but more novel is the adoption of a slimmer silhouette in men’s and boys’ collections," said trend-forecasting firm WGSN’s Claire Hamilton.

Target’s spokesperson said it also expanded the amount of skinny denim this year, as did designer Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., which said its back-to-school assortment will feature "many options of the skinny silhouette," including denim and corduroys in bright colors as well as grays and leggings with embellishments such as bows and lace, according to their officials.

"The jegging has been very strong," Jones Apparel’s Card said. "That’s going to be strong into the fall season."

In addition to skinny jeans and military-inspired jackets and shirts, other trends also include striped and plaid shirts and chunky sweaters, said Christina Casey, divisional merchandise manager of Young World at Bloomingdale’s, a unit of Macy’s.

Joe Piccolo, the general manager at the Mall of Georgia said back-to-school shopping was strong.

"We have noticed, the madras is real big. I grew up with madras popular in high school myself but mainly for the boys, the pants," he said. "Girls are still wearing the skinny-legged jeans and a lot of layering. Layering, the more the better I guess, as long as it’s comfortable."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.