Make the Grade With Back-to-School Shopping

Jul 19, 2011, 09:55 ET from Cotton Incorporated

Stay at the Head of the Class with Cotton Incorporated's Back-to-School Fashion Trend Forecast

NEW YORK, July 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Parents who do their homework on back-to-school shopping will get high marks from their children this fall, who want stylish apparel for the new school year despite the still tough economy.

Cotton Incorporated's Lifestyle Monitor™ Survey reveals that, on average, those consumers planning to make back-to-school purchases plan to spend about $223. And parents this year are planning ahead; 89% of consumers intending to make back-to-school purchases will do so before the first day of school.

For those budding fashionistas, Erin Burke, Product Trend Analyst, Cotton Incorporated, notes that children's wear trends, especially for back-to-school, are typically distilled or simplified versions of what's on point for menswear and women's wear.  

"For the 2011-2012 school year, color makes a big comeback," Burke says. "For girls, mixing sporty pieces with more formal ones is on trend, with bright pops of color like bubblegum pink. For boys, the inspiration comes from the outdoors, with hunter looks and Fair Isle patterns in cotton sweater knits."

For parents keeping an eye on the bottom line, supplementing what children have worn all summer with just a few heavier-weight but season-less items will ensure kids are always comfortably and stylishly dressed for the school year.

"Classics like denim and corduroy are always in style and durable enough to last all year," Burke adds.

The following is Cotton Incorporated's overall back-to-school fashion trend forecast:

Overall color:

-Color is much brighter and more lush for the season, with a playful feeling dominating

-Opulent jewel tones with darkened raspberries and plums alongside faded, silvery blue and softened pastels

-Tweaked primaries of warms and colds, reds and blues in varying happy shades

-Oranges and yellows are important colors for the season, pairing them with nudes or auburns and clean base neutrals feels fresh

-Greens are either darker more blued hunter varieties or vibrant and cool mint, with a few marine variations along the way


-Off-beat red, white and blues pair together

-Faded blues, powder blues and mints combine with marine tones

-Rusts, oranges and khakis


-Bright yolk with purples and grays

-Bubble gum pinks with maroons, taupe

-Hunter green with dark blues, teals and pale yellow

Fabrics & Styling


-Dressed up looks come back

-Stained and soot appearances in fabrics

-Chunky, dimensional cotton sweater knits

-Space-dyed yarns created shadowy appearances in fabrics

-Bright, playful denim


-Lightweight 100% cotton, crisp knits for layering

-Hunter looks and outdoorsman inspiration in styling

-Shiny cotton/nylon outerwear for a luminescent feel

-Smudged and over dyed jerseys and piques for shirts give a worn in feel

-Fair Isle patterns in cotton sweater knits


-Playful intarsia sweaters with animals or characters

-Distorted animal prints in accents

-Dressing up in everyday is important again

-Sporty inspired styling mixes with the formal

-Girl Scout-inspired cotton denim pieces

Cotton Lifestyle is a series of communications designed to highlight cotton's role in our everyday lives on an ever-changing variety of subjects. For more information, visit Cotton Lifestyle.

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.

For more information, please contact Shawn Steiner at 212-413-8350 or

SOURCE Cotton Incorporated