2021 Back to School Fashion Forecast

Posted on August 12, 2021 by Stephanie Triplett

Back-to-school clothes aren't just for the kids; they can be for adults too, whether you’re in the classroom or the office (even if either of those is currently in your home). It’s a time to freshen up the wardrobe and prepare for a new chapter, whatever that may look like for you. BTS looks like an extension of the rest of 2021 fashion: a mix of fashion and comfort dressing.


Tees: whether the style you dig is plain, printed, crew neck, or collared, there’s a tee for you. Graphic tees never really leave our closets, but it’s easy to push them to the side. Pair a tee with a blazer, or throw on a tee to let the fun retro pants you just made be the center of attention.


Retro Bottoms: A must for the school year, offering ultimate chicness and comfort, unlike the skin-tight pants of recent years past. A high waist completes any of the retro styles of the moment for a perfect finish. Whether your preferred style is wide-leg, flared, or cropped, comfort-geared pants are in. Don’t forget to complete the look with a fun print for an unforgettable outfit.

Denim: Jeans are a closet staple, but this year they look a lot comfier. Reach for basic washes in relaxed fits and comfortable denim. Denim is essential in a wardrobe and especially in a BTS one, so keep your eyes peeled for the styles that speak most to you.


Prairie Dress: The cottage-style dress from spring continues with its signature boxy and baggy fit. When prairie dresses originally came to be, they were made in muted colors to best disguise dirt, and they're popular in similar colors now. I love the fit of prairie dresses with their ruffled details and flowy fit, but if you prefer a more fitted style, then add a belt to accentuate the figure. 

Oversized Summer Dresses: While some oversized summer dresses take on the shape of a prairie dress, there are a few variations between the two. Those that reach for the oversized summer dress for the school season go for dresses with puffy sleeves and looser fitting bodices. Try an oversized dress in a bold plaid colorway, or keep it soft with a muted tone.


Dressed Down Suiting: Suiting is a major 2021 fashion trend that works for schools, too. Conquer the day in a dress complete with a blazer for a look that’s casually elevated. Go for an oversized pantsuit, and dress it down by pairing it with a shirt, tank top, and casual shoes like sneakers.

blazer sewing pattern


Oversized Jackets: While the first few weeks of school are still warm—The seasons quickly change, and transitional pieces become a must. When a single layer stops being enough to get you through your day, reach for an oversized coat. Denim and leather are popular fabric options that are versatile and dependable.

free denim jacket sewing pattern

Cardigans: Undeniably, the preppy ivy league school look has now evolved to sports of high prestige like golf and tennis. There’s no better way to complete the tennis skirt look and collared shirt than a cardigan for cool mornings or chilly indoor AC temps.


Pastel Colors: The major color palette from 2021 stems from pastels. Pastels are typically popular in spring, but this year they’ve stayed in the spotlight and will continue to do so right into the BTS season. In recent years neutrals have been popular so pastels are a fun way to bring color into any wardrobe without making any bold moves. Pastels are especially popular in tie-dye pieces at the moment.


Tie-dye: From jumpsuits to dresses, tie-dye is in. This popular print is taking on a more watercolor pastel effect for a softer result. Try tie-dye by mixing it with other prints like floral or animal prints (my favorites are zebra and leopard print).

Other popular patterns for the season include swirls and the ever-popular plaid print. While plaid and floral prints aren’t revolutionary, there is something special about the swirled print. It offers a very retro feel and nods to tie-dye while being unique all on its own.

Back to School season is upon us, and so many of the styles are functional and stylish. Wear the clothes that match your style and prepare to rock this school year, no matter what it might look like.

2021 Back to School Fashion Forecast - Mood Sewciety
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