books_apple2DALLAS, Jul 20, 2009 / FW/ — According to the National Retail Federation, the rules of back-to-school shopping have officially changed: buy only what you need and check for coupons and sales before hitting the stores.

Conducted by BIGresearch, the NRF’s 2009 Back to School Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, revealed this year’s Back-to-School spending is expected to decline 7.7%, with an average family spending only $548.72 compared to $594.24 in 2008.

The same survey says that from the $548.72 budget, $204.67 will be spent on clothing and accessories and $93.59 on shoes.

Trying to help families stretch their back-to-school dollar, Cotton Incorporated has created a fashion trend forecast and also giving tips on how parents can dress their children for the head of the class without breaking the bank.

“With just a few key pieces, like zippered hoodies, leggings, and denim jackets, parents can prepare their child’s summer wardrobe for fall while still keeping a careful eye on their household budgets,” says Linda DeFranco, Director, Product Trend Analysis, Cotton Incorporated.

The great news for consumers is that extending the life of their children’s summer wardrobes for the school year doesn’t have to be costly or time consuming. Supplementing what children have worn all summer with just a few heavier-weight items that can transition into the fall will ensure kids are always comfortably and appropriately dressed for the changing weather.

View the accompanying webisode at for tips on how to layer your child’s wardrobe for a cost-efficient way to bring summer clothes into the fall.

With just a few key pieces like cotton leggings and hoodies, parents can equip their children for the school year without emptying their wallets.

The following is Cotton Incorporated’s overall back-to-school fashion trend forecast:

Overall color
-mineral shades punctuated with loud pinks and warm oranges
-jewel tones grounded by earthy grays
-mustard yellow adds a pop of color


Boys – brushed cotton flannel, asphalt finishes for denim, and flocked corduroy
Girls – casual jersey, sheer knits

-gray denim in skinny or fitted silhouettes and classic hoodies
-chameleon fabrics
-charcoal rubbed stripes on woven shirting
-layering different patterns and textures for an individual look

-heavier weight cotton chambray with iridescent quality
-leggings and hoodies
-heathered yarns create speckled appearances
-winter weight crepes

Elementary School
-cuffed and distressed denim
-corded blistered jersey on shirts
-herringbone pants

-distressed cuffed denim
-small scale Victorian patterns in outerwear
-accordion textured knits
-compact textures with rich sueded hand