Focus on Fashion Stretching Beyond First Day of Class

Local Meijer stores remain prepared as families evaluate back-to-school wardrobes into the fall

Aug 31, 2021

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 31, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With supply lists checked and backpacks filled, Meijer fashion experts say choosing an outfit for the first day of class is only the beginning as parents help their kids prep their closets for the new school year.

"The excitement for a fresh start has parents and students making the most of their last-minute shopping trips," said Annette Repasch, Group Vice President of Softlines at Meijer. "The 2-year gap since the last full year of in-person learning means most students have outgrown their previous clothes – and interests – so now they're looking for relevant, trend-right wardrobe updates for the new school year."

The Midwestern retailer expects the wide variety of choices – everything from rainbows and unicorns to graphic tees, hoodies, mom jeans and joggers – will stretch the focus on fashion beyond the first day of classes. In fact, Meijer fashion experts believe the changing seasons and the inspiration students get from their peers' evolving styles will keep parents shopping for new school clothes well into the fall. 

Throughout much of the pandemic, trends in fashion included a surge in activewear, loungewear and sleepwear purchases, which fared as daily classroom attire for most students amid virtual learning. One year later, comfort-led styles and active wear remain popular as students head back to the classroom and get involved in afterschool extracurricular activities.

Repasch said the following trends are expected to continue through the back-to-school season, allowing students that 'back-to-fashion' moment they've been waiting for:

  • Relaxed & Retro: Unlike previous years, teenage students are opting for looser-fitting clothing and straight leg jeans, along with '90s grunge graphic tees.
  • Athleisure: National athletic-leisure brands, like Champion, Adidas and Puma, as well as the Meijer-exclusive brand MTA, easily blend top names in fashion with all-day comfort.
  • School Spirit: School uniform must-haves (sold at select stores) and local high school apparel are increasing in popularity and selling out early this year.
  • Back to Basics: Denim jeans, skorts and jackets, along with fleece hoodies and classic long-sleeved tops continue to be top sellers, allowing students to easily curate their personalized style.
  • Mix & Match: Bold colors and prints, like tie-dye and patchwork, are "in," following a year of quarantine-inspired DIY projects. Mixing and matching multiple patterns while shopping brands like Falls Creek allows Gen Z-ers to create a look that's all their own.

Overall, students are saying goodbye to previously trendy styles, such as skinny jeans and earth tones, and welcoming elements that allow for comfort, bright pops of color and personalization.

According to the National Retail Federation, parents are spending an average of $848.90 on back-to-school shopping this year – significantly more than years prior – so affordability for on-trend styles will remain a priority as parents add to their students' wardrobe. They will be looking to make the most of recent tax credits provided for school-aged children and taking advantage of sales into the fall season.

"Families began shopping earlier this year and will likely continue to help students create their own unique look as they seek deals into the fall season," Repasch said. "We hope to continually offer families potential style solutions as they shop for groceries each week."

About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates more than 257 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the "one-stop shopping" concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit Follow Meijer on Twitter and or become a fan at



For further information: Meijer Media Hotline, 616-249-6334 ,