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August 21, 2007 > What will this fall bring?

What will this fall bring?

Discover fall-fashion for 2007

By Mekala Raman

August is ending, summer is fading, and store owners are rejoicing. For them, the end of summer means major profits because torrents of students and their parents are flooding in for back-to-school shopping. Students are forced to pack away their swimwear and tote bags and haul out sweaters, long pants, and backpacks from the dusty corners of their rooms. Now it is time to fill backpacks with new notebooks, pencils, and felt-tip pens. It is also time to discard clothes from last year, now two inches short, and buy new clothes to start the school year in style.

This year will feature a variety of looks. As has been the fad lately, girls will embrace women's styles from the 1900's. Previously, young women raided their mothers' closets to find large hoops and cut off sweatshirts from the 1980's. Now, inspired by themes in pop-culture, like Christina Aguilera's "Candyman," girls have begun to honor a completely different era in American culture - the 1940's.

During this decade, America was involved in the climax of World War II. The huge demand for war materials hauled the United States out of the Great Depression and spurred us to economic success. The war also introduced a novel idea - women in the workforce. Women's attitudes changed and they became more independent; their style of dress made a likewise adjustment. Previously, the fad had been for women to look less feminine by wearing flapper dresses which greatly reduced the waistline and styling their hair in bobs. Now, women were flaunting their femininity with long, voluminous skirts and fitting waistlines, perfect for dancing the Jitterbug or swing. They also launched new ideas of decorative sweaters and jackets, introduced puffed sleeves, festive polka dots, and high heels. These ideas are making a comeback this year, modernized by combining them with jeans, a loose belt, or flats, for example.

Some girls may choose to feature this era as well, but in a less feminine way. They have the option of going for the military look. This can be achieved by combining an army jacket or a trench coat with cargo pants, flats or sturdy boots, and aviator sunglasses. Anything with camouflage print will also do the trick.

In addition to looking back, this fall will also look forward with more modern looks. Previously, wearing too much black meant you were going for a gothic or punk style. Now, however, it is perfectly acceptable and black can be preppy. Wearing printed tops can set off solid black pants, jackets, and shoes and produce a sophisticated look. Bows, ruffles, and pleats also soften the sharp look of black clothing. Also, black nail polish used to be interpreted as morbid, but now is simply a convenient color that will match everything. If black nail polish still seems too gloomy, though, sparkles can make it more jazzy.

Favorite celebrities are always setting new fashion trends because fans want to look like their role models. The extremely popular Disney Channel movie High School Musical has made an impression on students all around the country and many are copying the bright, vibrant style of the characters. Zac Efron, one of the leading roles in the movie, has initiated a new hairstyle of longer hair with side-swept bangs for boys.

For girls and some boys, skinny, tight-fitting jeans are becoming more appealing. According to Santa Clara High School student Novelina Singh, "Skinny jeans are really in, especially when they are worn with flats." Most boys, however, are still wearing loose-fitting jeans, sneakers, converses, or skate-boarding shoes, and t-shirts. It has also become more popular to wear collared shirts and loose cotton, cashmere, or wool sweaters. Compared to past years, the male image is starting to clean up. Before, extremely baggy, sagging jeans and oversized t-shirts were the fad. Now, pants are less baggy, shirts with collars are classy, and belts are used to keep pants in place and not to prevent them from sagging off.

Despite the different themes of clothing available, all teens and pre-teens are looking for just one thing: to be comfortable. Often, this means lounging in sweats or pajamas, but it could also mean dressing up and looking nice to feel more confident. Young men and women like to shop for brand-name clothing and don't mind spending more than $100 for a pair of jeans. However, a new fad has encouraged purchases from Target, Steve and Barry's, and Kohl's for more affordable versions of designer clothes. Many also sort through clothes at thrift stores and flea markets to find unique or designer items for nominal amounts of money.

All of the fashion items mentioned can be found at Target, Kohl's, Steve and Barry's, Forever 21, PacSun, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Old Navy, American Eagle, Nordstrom, Macy's, Mervyn's, JC Penney, Sears, Gap, and many others.

Dress Codes
A multitude of new and exciting fashions will be introduced this fall and they look great because the model in the picture does not have to adhere to a dress code. But your child does. Make sure that your student is within the rules and dressed appropriately by taking a look at this list of local public schools.

The Fremont Unified School District's policy states that tank tops, off-the-shoulder, and belly-showing shirts are not allowed as well as fishnets, halter tops, muscle shirts, tube tops, and spaghetti straps. Short shorts and skirts that are higher than mid thigh are prohibited and undergarments should not be visible. Shoes without heel straps may not be worn to any physical education class, but may be worn otherwise and no gang-affiliated clothing may be adorned at any time. Similarly, no student may wear anything that symbolizes the use of drugs, racial discrimination, or any illegal activity and no hats or sunglasses may be worn in class.

A spokesperson at the Superintendent's office said that the Hayward School District has no dress code at this time.

The Milpitas Unified School District does not allow flip-flops, slippers, stilettos, high heels, and sandals. Clothing or buttons which show obscene words or pictures and bandannas, doo-rags or anything else that promotes gangs are prohibited. Students may not bare cleavage, bodice, or underwear.

The Newark Unified School District prohibits any sports paraphernalia, sheer, strapless, or midriff exposing tops, shirts or skirts above mid-thigh, and sagging pants. NO flip-flops or slippers may be worn to school. Tennis shoes may not have any red on it and bandannas of any color are not allowed. Furthermore, red and maroon clothing and anything with writing, pictures, or advertisements may not be worn.

Union City
The Union City District's Dress Code calls for solid color, plaid, or striped polo shirts, turtlenecks or mock turtlenecks. Pullover crewneck sweatshirts and sweaters, blazers, sports coats, suit jackets or vests are also acceptable. Pants and shorts must be loose fitting and cannot drag on the floor or be more than three inches above the knee. Hats, bandannas and head coverings are prohibited.

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