Fashion – Style – Trends

10 Things You Need to Go Back to School in Style!

10 Trends for Back to School 2021 - Blog Header with photos of 7 Back to School style photos
After a year-long hiatus, back to school season is, well, back! To make up for the time we all spent behind screens instead of showing off outfits IRL, you’re probably searching the web for stylish pieces to up your fall-semester fashion game. Look no further than Buffalo Exchange! To expedite your back to school shopping, we’ve compiled a list of must-have trends. Scroll through for a crash course in the pieces you’ll need in your closet this fall.

Bright Sweaters

Make yourself stand out from the crowd (and make it easier for your friends to spot you in the library!) in colorful pullovers.

Two people wearing trendy spring clothing, one in a black leather jacket and polka dot pants, the other in a green sweater with white tennis skirt.
Two sweaters are shown. One is a vintage yellow 'Peanuts Charlie Brown' and the other is bright orange cable knit.
Two people posed holding hands wearing sweaters with intarsia stitching that reads "BRUTAL" and "DREAM"
Person wearing face mask, argyle sweater vest styled with turtleneck underneath and pleated skirt with a Kate Spade crossbody bag on her shoulder

Sweater Vests

Speaking of sweaters, their sleeveless cousins are so nice, we had to write about them twice. Wear them alone with your favorite pair of bermuda shorts while the weather’s still warm and then layer up with a long-sleeve tee or button up and jeans as the temps begin to cool.

Two employees standing in front of Buffalo Exchange Nashville wearing trendy clothing.
Argyle sweater vest styled with navy blue shorts and black sneakers

Vintage Tees

Nothing says “effortlessly cool” like a vintage band or pop-culture tee. Get the conversation started with your new classmates in a unique T-shirt. When they ask where you found it, you can say “Buffalo Exchange!”

Person standing by NYC street wearing vintage Stone Cold Steve Austin graphic tee, blue cargo pants, and Nike sneakers
Person wearing an oversized Jimi Hendrix t-shirt, leopard print bag, and fuzzy leg warmers over black platform shoes.
Vintage Nirvana 'Heart Shaped Box' orchid t shirt
Person in front of a buffalo mural wearing Carhartt tan overalls, a plaid button down tied around their waist, and Timberland boots

Jumpsuits and Overalls

Nothing says “running late to class” like a chic one piece — dress it up or down depending on the day’s itinerary!

Person in middle of NYC street wearing navy blue jumpsuit with silver star embroidery
Two people stand posed in front of teal wall wearing denim overalls styled with white t-shirts and sneakers

Printed Pants

Who says that “going-out” tops get to have all the fun? Bring the party with fun patterned and printed pants.

Person poses in front of painted wall mural wearing checkered pants styled with cropped brown polo, black sunglasses, belt and boots
green and beige swirl-patterned pants styled with mesh top and platform sneakers
Two people holding up peace signs, one wearing an 80s-printed jumpsuit and the other primary-colored checkered pants and a grey tank top.

Pleated Skirts

This preppy trend is surprisingly versatile. Play it cool with a solid color or go all out with a punk-inspired take on traditional plaid!

person poses in front of benches wearing lavender pleated skirt and matching top, holding 5 crossbody bags
white pleated skirt styled with green paisley blouse, white Reebok sneakers, mustard handbag and tiny black sunglasses
Smiling person with purple hair stands in front of shop window wearing an orange pleated skirt and black vinyl moto jacket
Two people stand on sidewalk in front of black wall wearing plaid skirts styled with vintage Harley Davidson t-shirts
Person standing in front of brick wall wearing leopard print midi dress styled over lightwash jeans and mules

Midi Dresses

Hemlines rise and fall, but the midi dress is forever (and they’re just as easy to wear as those jumpsuits and overalls we mentioned earlier!)

Floral midi dress and blue suede heels on mannequin hanging in front of wall-mounted mirror above wooden bench.
Person standing in park wearing House of Sunny green dress styled with white Buffalo London platform sneakers


No back to school list is complete without denim! We’ve seen an explosion of denim trends this year, from the return of low rise to a rekindled love of 90s flares. Experiment with different cuts and washes to find your signature style!

person wearing bleached denim paired with platform sneakers and cropped tank top
Classic jeans paired with plain white t-shirt and brown chelsea boots
Loose-fit denim styled with oversized layered t-shirts

Cool Sneakers

When your lecture starts in 10 minutes and you’re all the way across campus, comfy sneakers in current silhouettes and colorways will go the distance all semester long.

Gucci sneakers styled with olive cargo pants and camo jacket
Silver Golf Le Fleur x Converse sneakers
Two pairs of converse Run Star Hike platform Sneakers
Samurai Rising Vans slip-on sneakers
Black platform boots and loafers styled with 90s grunge-inspired pieces

Platform Boots

If you haven’t already, consider these a closet staple. Platform boots work with pretty much everything, and they’re perfect for elevating even the most casual looks!

Two people outside Buffalo Exchange Pacific Beach wearing platform boots and colorful summer clothes.
Brown leather platform boots
Ready to press ‘purchase’ on that online shopping wishlist? Not so fast: instead of overspending online for pieces you’re not sure you’ll love, shop sustainably at Buffalo Exchange! As a secondhand shop, you can find the same styles you’re drawn to online at Buffalo without withdrawing your entire savings account — that’s better for your wallet and the environment. Plus, Buffalo Exchange has Student Discount Day on August 28th, where you can get 10% off of your entire purchase when you show your student ID!

Need another reason to shop at Buffalo Exchange? Now through September 30th, sell your closet cleanout for your chance to win a $100 Buffalo Exchange gift card. Look at you, being such a savvy college student — your parents would be so proud!