Those mommies and daddies who have proudly checked new lunch boxes, new cardigans, and jeans off their back to school to-do list may have another thing coming just after Labor Day. You may have already shelled out money for those back to school outfits but if your kid is fashion savvy — and assuming that you come from a particularly privileged background — you may be headed right back to the mall. Because if your child is one of the “cool kids,” apparently they’re waiting to see what everyone else is wearing before committing to a fall wardrobe.
The New York Times reports that this back to school shopping season, which was anticipated to be “the strongest since before the recession” has been pretty lackluster. Backpacks and skinny jeans just aren’t flying off the shelves like retailers hoped for. Some contributing factors could very well be the “unusually hot weather” and the relatively late back to school start date. But some analysts are saying that students just aren’t willing to go out on a limb with clothes that haven’t already been deemed cool by the campus fashion police:
“Especially when you have a momentous change in fashion,” Ms. [Adrienne Tennant, an analyst with Janney Capital Markets] said, “with young girls, when you’re going into a big trend season, the early adopters will certainly be there, but the fashion followers will buy some stuff to start themselves off with, but go back to school and make sure they got the right color, the right fit and the right trend.”
Parents are welcome to put their foot down on this Mean Girls timeline, assuming that they don’t believe that their kids are “walking billboards” of their own tastes. However, if your child and therefore family is in a financial position to even have this luxury of being a “fashion follower,” then I’d say that your fall 2012 parenting worries aren’t all that dire.