Fashion Corner

Kelly Skahan

The return to Villanova after a summer away means the return of school clothes – wearing a T-shirt over your bikini at the shore (or for the guys, no T-shirt at all) won’t cut it while you’re on campus. You’re going to need a closet upgrade before classes really get started.

But, do not fear. Upping the ante when you get dressed doesn’t require you to delve too deeply into those hard-earned summer funds if you know where to go. A trip to KoP to pick up some essentials needn’t bankrupt you.

If you’re hopping on the weekend shuttle to the mall, it’s best to enter with a plan; the dizzying array of stores can confuse even the most experienced shopper. Visit without a specific goal and you could end up dropping major dime on something you really don’t need. (“But Mom, a Brookstone foot massager is totally important! Everyone has one!”) Decide what you want to get and do a little research into the mall itself – if you just need to stop at Borders, parking by T. G. I. Friday’s is a recipe for disaster.

Some of the most important campus staples are available in a ton of places, so do your homework. It’s important to know what kind of quality you want and how much you’re willing to spend on it. If you’re looking for love-em-and-leave-em skinny jeans, then Wet Seal will fit the bill. But, if you want a pair that you can wear for a while, then you might want to spend a bit more.

If you’re searching for jeans, know how much you want to spend. Nordstrom has the high-end labels and the high-end prices (but an amazing return policy) but Madewell stocks great jeans for about $100 and the Gap just re-launched their denim collection for men and women in premium fabrics for $69.95 and under. If you’re just not willing to part with that much cash for a pair of jeans, then American Eagle usually offers some deal, and their stretch denim fits like a glove, without breaking the bank.

Hurting for other college essentials?

The go-to place for Rainbows is Journeys (but a few fraternities and sororities have discount sales on campus for charity later in the semester).

If you just realized the walk to class is usually blindingly bright, the sunglass kiosks throughout the mall (but often concentrated in the Court) sell designer knockoffs for $25 each.

When bookstore sweatshirts aren’t cutting it anymore, aerie has soft, feminine pullovers for the ladies and Buckle has edgier hoodies for both genders. Bookstore sweats also lose their appeal quickly, so females ought to head to either Victoria’s Secret in the mall (yes, there are two) for yoga pants from Pink, and guys should check out Zumiez or J. Crew for some surprisingly classy-looking lounge pants.

Finally, this is about the point in the semester where the freshmen ladies realize their go-to bras aren’t agreeing with their going-out tops. Again, Victoria’s Secret has got your back. They just revamped their return policy to be more Nordstrom-esque, so you can try stuff on at home and take it back when it isn’t right.