Felicia Czochanski

It’s that time of year again! The season of BBQs and fun in the sun is slowing down, and the slow hum of cicadas going back into their dens marks the countdown to back-to-school. Like the start of a new year, the commencement of a new school year makes for the perfect moment to reflect and do a refresh that will set you up for success. Thinking about how you can revamp your wardrobe, extracurriculars, friend groups, and priorities, you can create a pathway for a great school year for yourself by thinking about what has worked well in the past and where opportunity areas for improvement are – whether that aligns with the types of classes you enroll in or who you hang out with after school. And hey, if you have butterflies in your stomach just thinking about what going back to in-person school will be like, take a deep breath and don’t worry! Confidence will be key this year and heading back to class in your version of the latest trends can help.

DAY TO NIGHT OUTFIT: Back-To-School can mean the return of a packed schedule. If you’re running from class to an internship to the cafeteria to a club meeting and then have plans to destress at a party day to night outfits will be the decision that keeps you going throughout the day without stopping back at your dorm. That, and coffee of course! This corduroy Free People jumpsuit is a perfect example.

Before we get into some outfit inspiration, let’s talk about the big question on everyone’s mind at the turn of the season – what is going to be the biggest trend people will be following? The answer might surprise you, but for Gen Z (current high school and college-age students under the age of 23) sustainable shopping at second-hand stores like your local Goodwill is all the rage. This is because second-hand shopping not only makes a huge positive impact on the environment but also helps you save money and limit outfit repetition. If there’s one thing Gen Z knows as the kings and queens of Instagram and TikTok, it’s that once you’ve posted content in one outfit, it could be time to recycle it by donating to Goodwill of Southern New England, and replacing it with some other thrifted treasures.

Old School Tops: For a more casual but still put-together look, leaning into the vintage print top trend is going to be your new best friend. Whether you opt for a vintage or vintage-esq band t-shirt or an expertly faded cool print like the NASA sweatshirt in the picture above, you can dress it up or down to showcase your own spin on the trend. This look is versatile too – perfect for class, date night, or even logging a few hours at the library. And there’s no better place to look for old-school tops to add to your collection than your local Goodwill of Southern New England store.

POPS & PRINTS: A cute corduroy mini skirt can easily become a wardrobe staple for the late summer and early fall months. As you ease back into your class schedule, you can show off the last of your summer tan while also playing into some of the big trends of the season. Pops of color will continue to be big – whether you’re a fan of neon or enjoy some of the more muted pastels that continue to be popular – and repetitive prints continue to dominate the market too, like the adorable croissant top.

As you prepare to go back into social spaces start the 2021-2022 school year, don’t forget to stop by your local Goodwill of Southern New England store and give your wardrobe a trendy, but still comfy, refresh. With just a few staples and statement pieces, you’ll be out and about again with confidence in no time.