With the new school year, it brings back fun memories of my school days. Would you be surprised if I told you some of my favorite school memories have to do with fashion? That’s right…even in a small town in south Arkansas, I found fashion inspiration!
So, two things you need to know about girls from my home town:
…The most beautiful girls I ever knew were from my home town…
…and to this day, I still remember their style and how they inspired me!
I can actually go back as far as 1st grade and remember what girls were wearing. My favorite fashion memory from my early elementary days was petticoats, and the way I remember it, Tamra Parker was the petticoat queen. Today’s petticoat equal would be a tulle skirt. Don’t you just love it when designers teach an old fabric new tricks? The good news is they are appropriate for all ages and come in all lengths and colors. I love to wear a taupe tulle maxi skirt I purchased a few years ago with a denim shirt, add a wide brown belt, and top it with a jean jacket and flat brown boots. And by the way, I’m definitely giving Tamara my “petticoat inspiration” award!
Growing up, my mom was a wonderful seamstress and made my clothes. My favorite back to school look was a plaid skirt or dress, complemented by a new book satchel. I never tired of this look and even remember wearing a plaid mini skirt in high school. I rolled the skirt up (after I left the house) and paired it with a blouse, sweater vest, knee socks and loafers. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Britney Spears….eat your heart out!?! My favorite plaid look today is still a skirt but midi length instead of mini length. I love all the new ruffled plaid skirts, which make for a great transition into fall and a new school year!
There were so many beauties at my high school. My best friend from third grade, Janet Crumpler, was crowned Miss Derrick our junior year of high school (and BTW…Tamra Parker was Miss Derrick 1971!) What I remember about Janet’s style was her beautiful wardrobe, and that she was even voted “best dressed” our senior year. Most of us wore homemade clothes, but Janet’s were store-bought. I have a feeling they came from Sample’s or the El Dorado House….the two best department stores in south Arkansas in the 60’s and 70’s. Years later, I discovered Donna Axum, Miss America 1964, purchased her pageant clothes at the El Dorado House. Be sure to check out this week’s styles on our Pinterest board.
Remember the television show, The Mod Squad? There were 3 girls from my class who nailed the mod look…Verlyn Carr, Belinda Counter, and JoLynn Dennis. These three were the “it girls” from the Class of ’73. From their afros to their minis….they brought “groovy” to a whole new level at Smackover High! I think we need to talk about bringing groovy back! Don’t you?
One of my favorite groovy trends this season is a pair of wide leg jeans or pants. And to get your “groove on,” pair them with a sweatshirt, sweater, or oversized blouse, and add a pair of boots or sneakers. Another fun back to school trend is track pants. These can be worn so many ways…for example, with a blazer or a button-down tucked or untucked and even with heels. And just so you know, these pants are definitely not for running track.
Another school-day fashion memory was from the first day of gym class my sophomore year. I remember sitting in the bleachers before class and admiring everyone’s new school shoes, especially Cheryl Gandy’s. Truly, this was a fashion eye-opening experience! Who knew how popular a pair of shoes could be? And by the way, Cheryl was the varsity cheerleader captain and very popular. This fall, blocked heels and fashion sneakers are on my “most popular” list. And a new pair of fall booties will definitely win you class favorite votes!
Hopefully, this article will motivate you to incorporate some of the new fall trends into your own “back-to-school” style. And if nothing else, maybe it will inspire you to dig out your high school yearbooks and reminisce about your “glory days!”
Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation. Contact Holley at [email protected]