Peggy Farar, sales associate at Stage, shows a screen-printed pink shirt. Pink is one of the leading colors in fashion this fall.

This fall’s crop of high school students won’t remember the fashions from the 1980s. But if they did, they might recognize the latest clothing trends as “retro.”

The autumn lineup for girls includes polo shirts with wide, horizontal stripes, longer denim skirts, and - love ‘em or hate ‘em - leggings.

“They’re [fashions] are covering a lot more [skin] this year,” said Peggy Farar, sales associate at Stage in Tahlequah. “The short, skimpy tops have been replaced with much longer ones.”

Farar pointed out anything carrying the brand-name “Dickies” is also regaining popularity.

“Dickies are back in a big way,” she said. “Not just the jeans, either. We have a lot of polo and T-shirts with the Dickies emblem or name that are big sellers.”

Shoppers can find the recently popular short, denim mini-skirts, but longer hemlines seem to be dominating the majority of offerings.

“Skirts are a little longer,” said Farar. “I’ve also noticed a number of leggings coming in, and girls are buying them to wear as a layer, not like in the 1980s.”

Mothers of teens may remember a time when all you needed to look fashionable (the jury is still out on this one) was a leotard; a ripped, oversize T-shirt; some leggings, and a pair of spike heels - a la “Flashdance.”

Farar said the new look is more conservative.

“Jeans are also selling really well,” she said. “And belts are making a huge comeback. You hardly see a pair of jeans on the rack without some sort of belt. I’ve seen some girls wear two or three at a time with a pair of jeans.”

Belts varied in width, material and color – from slender, sequined scarf-belts to wide, chunky leather belts with metallic embellishments.

Fashions for girls provide a myriad choices, all striped. From sweaters to polos to dress shirts, stripes are big this fall, particularly the horizontal variety.

Colors for females include browns and muted pinks, as well as pumpkin and a variety of greens.

“Jackets are shorter, fitted, with lots of belts, buttons and pockets,” said Farar, pointing out an olive-green corduroy jacket. “They’re fitted, but the fabrics are rumpled-looking, it gives them kind of a worn look.”

According to whatevershow. com, top fall trends for girls also include skinny jeans, menswear-inspired jackets, lots of layers, leggings (ugh, there’s that word again), cinched waists (hence the belt comeback) and volume.

That’s right – big, puffy sleeves are supposedly making a comeback, too.

“Puffball skirts, bubble dresses, cape coats and oversized sleeves will help you pump up the volume this season,” states the site.

“The key to wearing this trend is to pair an oversized item with a slim one, like a full skirt with a fitted top, or skinny jeans with an oversized blouse.”

If ‘80s trends are hip this year, teens may want to check out resale shops for “vintage” pieces – providing anyone has actually saved anything from that era.

Kathryn Finney, author of “How to Be a Budget Fashionista,” believes that Saks and Bergdorf-Goodman have nothing on a great Salvation Army thrift store when it comes to great finds with great purpose.

“The power of a thrift store extends past you and into the local community surrounding the store,” writes Finney. “Thrift stores help support the activities of the organization, which provide a wide range of social services to the community. You look fashionable while supporting our community. That’s real shopping power.”

Trends for boys and young men have changed little.

Staples for the male wardrobe include Bermuda shorts with fitted T-shirts, covered with either a short- or long-sleeved, button-down patterned shirt.

“Popular jeans for guys include South Pole, Polo and Levis,” said Farar. “The little boys still like wearing anything Nike.”

Alice Maples, manager at Goody’s in Tahlequah, said trends for younger girls and boys include denim shorts and printed T-shirts.

“I’ve notice more shoe sales than anything,” said Maples. “Flip-flops are still selling really well, as are the Croc-style shoes. You know those shoes that come in all different colors? The little girls really like them.”

According to a report by the Associated Press, credit-card spending spiked during July, possibly spurred on by parents trying to manage high gasoline prices and still provide new back-to-school clothing.

“I’ve noticed we’ve had quite a few more credit-card applications,” said Maples. “People are still paying with both cash and cards, but we probably have as many as six new credit applications every day.”

What’s hot for girls

According to, the following are must-haves for back-to-school 2006 for girls:

• Premium jeans, including brands like True Religion and 7 for all Mankind.

• Bermuda shorts, capris and gauchos.

• A pair of “funky” boots.

• A tiny handbag.

• Polo shirts.

• Charm bracelet.

• A cool “hoody” or “zippy” (hooded and/or zipper sweatshirt).

• Shrugs.

• Graphic-print T-shirts.

• A great skirt.


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