Press Releases

Conservative Spending And Bold Colors

Foreseen For Back-To-School Shopping

Wednesday July 17, 2013
New York, NY

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:


Overall Color:

  • Classic primary colors flirt with their complimentary to create eye catching combinations.
  • Cool blues, greens and purples are warmed up with brights
  • Earth tones regulate bold colors in patterns
  • Clashing colors create complimenting color ways


  • An eclectic range of blues and greens
  • Pops of sharp yellow and orange break up rustic hues
  • The raw, earthy color combination dominates


  • Romantic reds and pinks
  • A full blue to red color scale with various purple shades tying to two base colors together
  • Muted ginger and off- white interject into this highly saturated color story.

Fabric and styling


  • Brightly colored and highly patterned bottoms
  • Dip-dyed cotton in all categories
  • Classic school uniform silhouettes updated with modernized garment details
  • Sleek blazers and pea coats bring maturity to outerwear.


  • Classic Oxford club-wear miniaturized
  • Rugby striped and plaid cottons
  • Heathered and slubbed knits
  • Wide-wale corduroys pants and skirts


  • Open knit cotton updates the classic cardigan
  • Eyelets, ruffles and smocking brings a feminine touch to garment details for girls
  • Geometric prints throughout
  • Denim treated with glitter coating and metallic finishes

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.


Share This: