Local women in business and fashion talk back-to-school trends ahead of Tax Free Weekend in Texas

Isaura M. League

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Bill Cunningham, the late fashion critic and icon, said that “fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life,” and local fashionistas are helping Borderland students arm themselves before going back for in-person learning.

This year, parents are saving on school supplies thanks to district-wide giveaways. KTSM 9 News spoke with local women in business and fashion, as well as Walmart about fashion trends for students ahead of Tax Free Weekend in Texas.

“If you don’t like a trend, it’s okay to not like it. Or if you really resonate with a trend, I think the key word is ‘resonate’, then play with it,” Zoe Gemoets, style coach and President of Chica Chat, tells KTSM.

The pandemic changed the way many of us express ourselves, sartorial aesthetics included. Now, most have grown used to (and perhaps favor) casual comfort that accommodate work-from-home and in-person lifestyles. 

 “I think it just blew up as we self-isolated as long as we did. And then, I also noticed that during the pandemic, the Y2k trend became a really big thing,” say Gemoets.

As Tax Free Weekend approaches, consumers can shop on-trend styles at big box stores and also explore nearby local boutiques.

A spokesperson from Walmart tells KTSM that the company is carrying tween and teen fashion staples this season that include athleisure, tie dye and swirl prints, matching sets, deconstructed denim, and more. 

“With more students and teachers returning to in-person learning, we expect a renewed interest in fashion from trend-right brands like Wonder Nation and Champion, and our recently launched collection with Justice,” says Walmart. 

On Next Sunday, a woman’s boutique at the Fountains of Farah in East El Paso, is helping local shoppers find back-to-school basics that come with boutique beauty.

“Bodysuits are super popular. Black, white, and nude are the top three, obviously that;s kind of the trendy colors,” Erika Williams, owner of On Next Sunday, tells KTSM.

Many students are struggling with anxiety prior to returning to in-person learning, while stress over what to wear can add to the burden.

“Look on Instagram, see what people are wearing — and honestly, see what you’re comfortable with. And I feel like right now, people are wearing the craziest things. And you see it on Hailey Bieber, she wears sweats with some crazy shoes and a blazer — and then you see people replicating that look,” says Williams. 

Tax Free Weekend in Texas takes place August 6 -8, 2021 and will give shoppers an opportunity to invest in the local economy.

“Try and spend that money within the community — in small businesses because we had a tough year too,” says Williams.

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