Consumer confidence may be up, but spending is not. As the country enters the back-to-school season, Cotton Incorporated research indicates parents will be spending about the same as last year. While back-to-school apparel spending will likely be flat, the choices will be sharp and stylish.
Recent Cotton Incorporated Lifestyle Monitor™ data reveal that consumers planning to make back-to-school purchases this year will spend an average of $231; roughly the same amount as last year. Tops top the list of must-buy items among 90% of respondents; jeans rank a distant second (75%) followed by socks (68%), and pants (66%).
Against the backdrop of cautious spending are bold color combinations. Jenna Caccavo, Product Trend Analyst at Cotton Incorporated, says “Overall the big back-to-school trend is a considered clash of color.” Caccavo cites prints as an example, explaining that girls can expect to find muted base colors punctuated by pops of romantic pinks and reds; boys will see offerings in rustic hues with splashes of optic oranges and yellows.
“Tops and bottoms in complimentary colors will energize each other to create vivid visual pop,” adds Caccavo, who also foresees updates to classic silhouettes and traditional fabrics. “Denim and corduroy are always staples for back to school; this year girls will find denim accented with glitter effects and wide-wale cords will be prevalent for boys.” For silhouettes, Caccavo predicts updated classics such as school uniform styles retooled with modernized details, sleek blazers and open-knit cotton cardigans.
The following is Cotton Incorporated’s overall back-to-school fashion trend forecast:
Fabric and styling
Cotton Incorporated, funded by U.S. growers of upland cotton and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, is the research and marketing company representing upland cotton. The Program is designed and operated to improve the demand for and profitability of cotton.