Remember dress code when back-to-school shopping

August 21, 2012

By Christina Corrales-Toy

Julie Singsaas (center), an incoming Skyline High School junior, and her sister Olivia Onnen, an incoming Pine Lake Middle School seventh-grader, admire the new bright color denim jeans at the Issaquah Target store during a back-to-school shopping trip. By Greg Farrar

When kids and teens begin to fill the hallways at schools in the Issaquah School District on Sept. 4, expect to see a multitude of glossy colors, vibrant prints and neon-bright denim.

Color appears to be the theme of this year’s back-to-school fashion trends.

The Issaquah Target store prepared for the back-to-school shopping season by making sure the hottest fashion styles were available to their customers, according to Kelly Cheney, the executive team leader of apparel and accessories for the store.

“In the apparel department, it feels like Christmas,” Cheney said of the back-to-school shopping season. “People are buying lots of clothes, lots of shoes, jewelry, accessories and all of that stuff to get ready for back-to-school.”

For teen girls, the season’s must-have article of clothing is a pair of jeggings, Cheney said. Jeggings are leggings that are styled to look and feel like denim.

“The jeggings are very popular for girls,” she said. “I think you are just going to see them everywhere. Jeggings in all different colors, animal prints, you name it.”

Skinny jeans are also a popular item, but the traditional blue hue of jeans is now considered boring. Expect to see colored denim with bright shades of yellow, pink and green.

“We’ve done away with a lot of the flare jeans,” Cheney said. “Now it’s back to the skinny, but kind of hipster trend.”

In general, the fashion trends are identical for both teens and younger girls, Cheney said.

“In the girls section, I’ve noticed a lot of the similar trends that teens have,” she said. “So that’s going to be colored denims and lots of big graphic prints, especially on dresses.”

For boys, fashions are more basic and the colors are less extravagant, with more blue, green and red clothing, Cheney said.

“For boys, it’s all about the polo shirts, the striped tees and the graphic tees,” she said. “Not so much color, but more boy colors.”

As students select their back-to-school fashions, it’s important to keep in mind school dress codes, according to district Associate Superintendent Ron Thiele.

“Mostly, it’s about just practicing common sense,” Thiele said of picking back-to-school fashions. “If you think something appears to be too revealing or not school appropriate, there’s probably a good chance that it isn’t.”

A page from the 2011-12 Student Handbook and Planner sets out the Issaquah School District dress code.

Thiele said comfort should be one of the most important factors as students put together a back-to-school wardrobe.

“Be comfortable,” he said. “School is hard work these days. We really push the academics, and being comfortable will actually help you concentrate and pay attention.”

Each school has its own dress code, but the guidelines are similar throughout the district. The main message behind each code is that clothes must not cause disruption to the learning environment.

Clothing that is too revealing or shirts that display inappropriate themes can be considered disruptive, Thiele said.

In the past, some students have been unhappy with the dress codes. But Thiele cautioned that the codes do serve a higher purpose.

“Partly what we are doing is preparing young people to be successful out in the work world,” he said. “What you will encounter in the workplace is dress expectations for certain environments. So we’re trying to help kids understand that there’s this idea of appropriateness.”

Thiele said he realizes that some feel the dress code infringes on a student’s sense of freedom.

“I get that it feels that way to them,” he said. “But I would argue that it’s done for a good reason. It’s done to protect the learning environment and help further the education of the students.”

Thiele, a father to high-school students himself, empathizes with students’ desire to express themselves through clothing.

“You know, kids want to look nice and I can appreciate that,” he said. “I understand that they want it to feel like it’s an act of their own personal expression.”

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One Response to “Remember dress code when back-to-school shopping”

  1. nompumelelo on August 27th, 2012 2:13 am

    what are the similarities of fashion for universty student

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