|Sunday, 20 July 2014|
by Mathilda Hatfield
“Back to School” fashion in the 501 can present a slew of problems. To successfully make the grade, apply these basic principles to your wardrobe: subtract, add and accessorize!
Whether you’re moving to college, starting a new teaching year or giving up the office summer-casual-policy, the first lesson is to review what you already know. Sort into piles the clothes you want to keep, what needs attention (such as cleaning or mending), what is fitting for your daily activities, your evening fun and what you need for weekend wear. Remember to sort through shoes, jewelry and accessories with the same focus. Subtract all those pieces that are faded, worn, torn or scuffed beyond repair.
The next task is to organize. Place those items that you will wear most often front and center. At this time of year, boots, tights and leggings move to the back. You may also want to introduce your clothes to felt or padded hangers, place shoes in clear plastic boxes and keep untangled jewelry in colorful pouches.
Now that you’ve done your homework, it’s time to add some fun to the equation! Allison Reed, owner of Statements in Downtown Conway, knows that adding new transitional pieces to your wardrobe will multiply your outfit choices. Reed presents a beautiful store full of colorful, functional and some hand-made pieces, all just right to solve your fashion problems.
Transition-weight material is essential this time of year. Knee-length cotton dresses can be the answer to the heat and humidity of the 501. The fuller cut means that they fit just about everyone. When the temperature finally does start to dip, these convert to tunics and look great with leggings or tights. While the colorful patterned dresses hold their own, pairing the neutral colored dresses with bright scarves and jewelry will help them go the distance, too.
Accessories earn top honor for carrying summer fashion through to fall comfort. Working from the ground up, Sock It To Me brand now features an anklet, perfect for August school days. Treat tired teaching feet or late night trips to the suite next door to cute, pillowy slippers.
The ultimate multi-tasker — the scarf — single-handedly resolves most wardrobe conundrums. A statement scarf can function as a belt, a cover-up in the A/C or transform a boring T-shirt into a trendy fashion “Do.”
Oversized jewelry can also convert summer, casual outfits to work worthy fashion. Rowdy Wreckage is a jewelry line handmade by Catherine Starnes of Conway. Her witty sense of humor and style add some “funky” to an otherwise staid outfit.
Sure, the current outside temperature may permit your summer wardrobe to get you through just fine. However, that mentality is similar to hitting the snooze button too many times. You’ll end up in a panic and looking disheveled because you’re late for class.
Knowing the fundamentals of “Back to School” fashion in the 501 will ensure a smooth transition to the fall. Remember to show your work.