— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
The summer months have flown by, and somehow it’s already August, which means the first day of school is just a few weeks away. If you haven’t already, it’s definitely time to start thinking about back-to-school shopping. In addition to school supplies like notebooks and backpacks, now’s the perfect time to buy new clothing for the upcoming school year.
So, what are we wearing? Subscribe to Reviewed’s weekly Style Check newsletter to get the answers from stylish people.
There are a number of back-to-school fashion trends that you’re sure to see all over the hallways this fall, and many of them feature bright colors and loose silhouettes. These popular trends let you showcase your personal style while staying comfortable during long hours in the classroom—perfect for the first day of school and all semester long.
Here are several of our favorite back-to-school trends that you’re going to see everywhere this year.
1. Wide-leg pants
Skinny jeans have been the go-to style for several years now, but gone are the days of squeezing into skin-tight denim. Today, wide-leg pants are quickly gaining popularity thanks to their casual-yet-cool look, and they’re much less restricting than their skinny counterparts. For these reasons, designs like the Eco Ripped Low Rise Baggy Jeans are going to be a high school staple this year. These jeans are easy to style and have a ripped knee slit and raw hem for added edge.
Wide-leg cargo pants are poised to be popular, as well. The Canvas Wide-Leg Cargo Pants have a variety of pockets where you can stash your phone, wallet and other supplies, and the partially elasticized waist offers a comfortable fit.
On those days when you just want to be comfy in class, the Cozy Wide Leg Pants will be your go-to bottoms. The pull-on style is made from a super-soft fabric and has a subtle ribbed texture.
In response to the upcoming Barbie movie, which stars Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie, hot pink has been having a major moment. The so-called “Barbiecore” trend is all the rage right now, and all it takes is to dress in bright pink hues from head to toe. Start with a top like the Up For the Weekend Pink Cutout Bodysuit, then layer it with the Remikstyt Womens Chunky Cardigan for some serious pink-on-pink action.
You can embrace your inner Barbie during PE with the hot pink MakeMeChic Women’s Sweat Shorts, which have a drawstring waist for a secure fit, or the chic Johanna Rib Onesie in hot pink from athleisure brand Year of Ours.
Or, just add a touch of Barbie to any outfit with accessories like Tinted Lens Fashion Glasses. They might not offer any protection from the sun, but they’ll certainly be eye-catching as you stroll through the halls of your school.
3. Matching athleisure
If comfort is your top priority when getting dressed in the morning, you’ll be happy to know that matching athleisure sets are still extremely trendy. Pair pieces like the Perfectly Oversized Cropped Crew and the Softstreme Relaxed High-Rise Pant for a coordinated outfit that’s oh-so comfortable all day long.
Some brands even sell two-piece outfits to make it easy to match your loungewear. The Fixmatti Women’s Two-Piece Outfit includes a pullover top with a faux turtleneck and matching drawstring jogger pants that are slightly cropped to show off your shoes.
4. Platform shoes
Leave your classmates wondering if you grew several inches over the summer. Platform shoes, which have extra-thick soles, are stylish this year, and we’re not just talking about high heels, either. There are lots of cool platform sneakers that you can wear to class, including the LUCKY STEP Women Chunky Platform Sneakers and the adidas Originals Women’s Nizza Platform Sneaker.
If your style is a bit edgier, you can grab a pair of platform boots. The Dr. Martens Women’s Shriver Boot is a classic choice—it’s made from real leather and has a 1.5-inch platform sole.
5. Belt bags
You may used to be calling them “fanny packs,” but these hands-free accessories have recently been giving a fashion rebrand. Enter, the belt bag. Both practical and trendy, belt bags are having a total moment right now, and are great for everyday use to carry all your essentials—gum, keys, hand sanitizer, you name it. There’s a huge variety of belt bags on the fashion scene right now, with no shortage of different shades, silhouettes, and materials to suit your taste.
The Lululemon Everywhere Belt Bag is one option that’s been soaring in popularity, frequently going in and out of stock online. It features several zippered and mesh pockets to help keep you organized on the go, as well as an adjustable strap so you can sling it over your shoulder or around your waist.
Another cute, retro choice is the Abanu Multi from Kipling, a brand you’ll likely recognize by the signature monkey keychain that adorns its durable bags and accessories. This throwback bag will keep you looking super cute heading back to school or campus, and doesn’t skimp on functionality with its multiple zip compartments, removable crossbody strap and clip closure.
For something more affordable, this $22 Zorfin belt bag has accumulated more than 6,000 positive ratings from Amazon shoppers, and is available in a whopping 21 colors, with bright neons, florals and more to make your outfit pop.
6. Oversized sweaters
Continuing with the theme of comfortable clothing, oversized sweaters will be a fall staple in 2022. You can keep things simple with an option like the Women’s Oversized Los Angeles Crewneck or show some personality with a bright top like the Sheep Drop-Sleeve Sweater. These sweaters can be styled with jeans, leggings or even biker shorts. Size up for an extra-baggy appearance.
7. Tie dye
Tie-dye is holding on as one of the hottest styles to sport today. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can create your own multi-colored clothing with a tie-dye kit, but there are plenty of pre-made designs to choose from, as well. The Just Relax Blue Multi Tie-Dye Shirt Dress can be styled as either a top or a mini dress, and it has an eye-catching blue, pink, orange and white tie-dye print that’s sure to earn you compliments.
Once the weather starts to cool down, you’ll want to wear the Aleumdr Womens Tie Dye Sweatshirt all the time. The tie-dye design comes in several color options, and it’s made from soft polyester fabric.
Guys can get in on the tie-dye fun, too! The adidas Essential Tie Dyed T-Shirt has a comfortable crew cut, and its dappled tie dye pattern is sure to earn you compliments on the way to class.
8. Bucket hats
No outfit is complete without a bucket hat this school year, and luckily, these trendy accessories are super affordable, meaning you can get a few options. The Mashiaoyi Reversible Bucket Hat has a unisex design, and you basically get two hats in one thanks to its reversible pattern. Plus, it comes in a variety of fun prints, from flowers to bananas to tie-dye.
If you prefer a plain hat, the Standard Cloth Cotton Bucket Hat is available in several trendy solid hues, such as a dusty pink and blue-gray.
You can even combine two trends into one with the adidas Color Wash Bucket Hat. It has a tie-dye finish that comes in several color options, and the hat features a shorter brim that won’t block your vision.
9. Head-to-toe denim
When it comes to denim, more is more in 2022. You’re going to see lots of head-to-toe denim ensembles, and you can get in on the action with clothes like the Marla Trouser Jumpsuit. It comes in two colors, and the coverall has a relaxed, tapered silhouette that’s both flattering and comfortable.
You can also embrace the denim trend with a pair of overalls, such as the WallFlower Women’s Denim Overalls. These pants come in a variety of hues and have fun criss-crossed straps in the back.
Who said overalls have to be pants? The Lily Parker Ripped Denim Overall is actually a short dress made from stylish denim, and you can put a T-shirt underneath it for a school-friendly outfit.
Get deals and shopping advice delivered straight to your phone. Sign up for text message alerts from the experts at Reviewed.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.