NEW YORK – Parents of America rejoice: Skin is not in this fall.
The body-baring "prostitot" and XXL hip hop looks that kids coveted last year for school are being ousted and replaced with more sophisticated looks like tweed blazers, flowery brooches and argyle sweater vests.
Dodai Stewart, senior editor of J-14, a magazine for 'tweens and teens, said the biggest look this fall will be a return to more dignified fashion — ladylike looks for girls and more tailored styles for boys.
Think less Britney Spears and more Norah Jones; less Nelly and more Kanye West.
The fashion industry is slowly hearing the public’s cry for more dignified clothing, according to Judith Rasband, director of The Conselle Institute of Image Management.
“With the extremes of the Britney look and J-Lo down-to-the-navel dress, there’s been slight consumer response, " she said. "They’ve had enough, they’re disgusted and they’ve asked the fashion industry to start supplying decent clothes again.”
But like most styles head-to-toe is not the way to wear it — a dash of trash adds zip to all the class.
Stewart recommended mixing and matching last year's duds with the latest looks: a favorite pair of jeans with a new corduroy blazer and a silky camisole peaking out underneath; a flannel skirt, that's mini and hot pink.
“There’s a way to do it, like wearing a faux Channel jacket, but with jeans and pearls and not just one strand of small pearls, big chunky faux pearls layered on.”
This may sound like another '80s rebirth, but as Stewart admonished, “These kids were born in the '80s, so it’s not really nostalgic for them. For them it’s new.”
While the skirts will still be short and flippy they’ll have an autumnal overhaul, appearing in fabrics such as tweed and flannel.
And of course denim doesn’t fade from trends, but the “how-low-can-you-go rise jeans are not as hot,” said Stewart. “They’ve come back up a little and are not as tight and the leg is narrower and slightly tapered.”
Feminine accessories will be blossoming all over this fall. Festoon flower pins fashioned in everything from corduroy to rhinestone can adorn blazers, sweaters and handbags. Ribbons make delicate belts and vintage-looking jewelry adds sparkle.
“I think there might be some closet raiding going on,” said Stewart. “Chances are your mom might have some brooches and pins that if you are 14 or 15 you’ll want to snag.”
Feet will also breath a sigh of relief this fall.
“There have been a lot of pointy shoes in the past couple seasons and now the look is coming back to round toes which makes it look new and fresh,” Stewart said.
Last year everyone and their mother was wearing Ugg boots, but this year more styled suede is the hot look in warm weather footwear, from moccasin lace-up boots to colored suede boots that slouch or have buckles. Ballet flats are a must for fall, going well with both jeans and skirts.
And boys will be looking a tidier this fall too. With hip hop stars tossing out their sports jerseys in favor of nice striped button-down shirts, a gentleman’s movement has begun.
The shift to more modest styles is wonderful, said Rasband, but she doubts that adolescents will start dressing up anytime soon.
“Teen sales are still up on the low riders and the sexy stuff, kids haven’t bought into this yet,” she said. “I interview teenage focus groups… They don’t even know what it is to wear pants at the waist line and they think all adults who do are stupid.”
But Stewart said the look will slowly start to emerge. Just don’t expect 13-year-olds to suddenly start wearing smoking jackets.
“They might not tuck in the dress shirt or wear it with slacks, but I do think there’s a classic look that’s coming back for guys and girls.”