By FELICIA KRIEG
---- — PLATTSBURGH — As summer winds down, students and fashion lovers will scour local clothing stores for the perfect fall wardrobe.
“It’s my biggest season,” Julie Woodley, owner of DressCode in Plattsburgh, said of back-to-school time. “It’s like Christmas for everyone else.”
On a local level, it’s difficult to predict trends and what shoppers will favor before the season starts, said Stephanie Brown Mavor, owner of What’s In Store, which offers new clothing, shoes and accessories for men, women and children at a discount, in the Village of Champlain.
Leopard print will likely be popular in fall clothing, as well as sweaters and boots, Mavor said.
Aztec-inspired prints are also in this season, Lola’s Closet sales associate Krissy Flynn said, pointing to a sweater in the window of the boutique with a purple, turquoise, orange and brown geometric print.
Pieces with intricate prints are nice because they add interest to an outfit and few accessories will need to be added, she said.
“Asymmetrical is huge,” Woodley said.
Women’s magazines predict last fall’s polka dots, “granny” plaids and camouflage-inspired attire will be traded for wine and burgundy hues, navy blue, winter white and reptile print.
Skinny jeans and jeggings will also continue to be in fashion this fall, said Kristin Perry, manager of the women’s clothing store Pink in Saranac Lake.
For a simple yet chic first-day-of-school look, Perry recommends a pair of denim jeans, a loose-fitting T-shirt and boots or flats.
Flowy, button-up shirts; high-waisted pants; thin belts; and lace will be popular for fall, too, Woodley said.
Bright hues of magenta, red and green have been popular this summer, Flynn said.
Handbags, shoes and jewelry can add pops of color to an outfit, but brightly colored jeggings have taken the trend a step further.
And just because the summer fashion season will soon be over doesn’t mean fashion lovers need to put away spring and summer’s neons and brights, Flynn said. Brightly colored dresses can be paired with leggings, chunky sweaters and boots for a fall look.
Pieces traditionally thought of as spring or summer clothing can be combined with other pieces for the cooler weather, Perry said.
“A lot of things we have, we encourage our customers to layer,” so they can be worn throughout the year, she added.
For example, open-knit sweaters sold at Pink are “good for summer nights and fall,” Perry said.
If an outfit’s base pieces are simple or were worn last season, accessorizing with jewelry, scarves and handbags can give each ensemble a fresh look, Flynn said.
Quirky and more unusual jewelry always flies out the door at DressCode, Woodley said. The octopus necklace on a model in her store won’t last long, and any kind of jewelry featuring owls is popular, too, she added.
Julie Ressler, owner of and buyer for Where’d You Get That Hat? and Bag Time in Lake Placid, said infinity scarves, which feature a seamless, unbroken circular design unlike traditional scarves, will likely be popular again this fall and winter season.
Younger shoppers may like the newly released handbag styles because most of them have both a long strap and traditional shoulder straps so students can use them to hold books and other school supplies, Flynn said.
“A lot of places (clothing and accessory designers, and companies) are looking at functionality now,” she said.
Bag Time will carry larger bags, a popular choice for many students last fall who used them instead of backpacks, Ressler said. For the cruelty-free conscious, the Lake Placid store also offers vegan and animal-friendly styles.
BRIGHT AND FUN
Jewel tones, such as teal, will be one trend in bags and hats for fall. Shades of mustard, gray and chocolate will also be popular, Ressler said.
But when in doubt, go with a classic.
“Black, of course, is a classic and always will be,” Ressler said.
For the novice hat wearer, there are a few non-intimidating styles that work well, Ressler said.
The cloche, military style and jokey are all safe options, she said.
The difference is in the brim of the hat. The cloche style has a short brim all around the hat, and military and jokey hats have brims only in the front.
With all the options available, outfits need not be predictable or boring.
And while shoppers may be tempted by all the fresh and new fall fashion, now is a great time to shop for summer clothes, since the season is ending.
“This is when everything is marked down,” Flynn said.