August 13, 2012
Most students seem to be in denial — not ready to admit that theback-to-schoolcountdown has begun. Pretty soon — too soon for kids and not soon enough for parents — summer will be over and it's back to the classroom grind.
With that in mind, I took to the street, stopping students and asking them to address reality for a moment and tell me theirback-to-schoolmust-haves. Not surprisingly, it was shopping-loving college women who had given this topic the most thought with extensive lists of clothes they'd like to own, preferably at fabulously discounted prices. Young men, by contrast, were either bored with the question or task oriented — or both.
MARIANNE OVIATT, 35, homemaker, with sons Carter, 7, left, and Connor, 8
What's on the "gotta get" list for back to school?
Marianne: "I'm procrastinating. … They don't really care about name brands, thankfully. This is what they like to wear (shorts) until it snows. They don't wear (long) pants unless they have to."
Connor: "A teacher."
JOEL GUILLEN, 16, high school junior (who was shopping with his sister Maria Guillen, 25, a recent graduate and job seeker)
What will you shop for when you go looking for back-to-school stuff?
Maria: "We already started."
Joel: Displaying a plain blue $5.90 Forever 21 T-shirt that his sister paid for, "I need shirts. Just simple" without logos, graphics or designs.
COURTNEY JORDAN, 18, left, and Delaney Morgan, 17
Tell me your back-to-school list.
Delaney: "New jeans, sweaters, shoes, Toms and Vans. Those are my staples. Earrings. I love earrings. That's my thing. I don't care about shirts, but jeans are like a big thing, and I like a new backpack every year because they get ripped."
Courtney: "Boots, like Uggs and stuff."
What jeans do you like?
Delaney: "Hollister is the best, but they're so expensive. Forever 21 are $10, and Hollister are $50."
Courtney: "Forever 21. They're just as cute."
MARINA MILUTINOVIC, 20, left, and Carly Mayer, 20, college juniors
What's on your back-to-school shopping list?
Carly: "A good pair of shoes. You're walking everywhere. I used to wear Toms a lot. I want to do something similar."
Marina: "Cardigan sweaters, boots, skinny jeans."
Carly: "I'm going to go with leggings and loose blouses, and you've got the boots going on."
Marina: On the topic of wearing leggings: "You've got to cover your butt!" On boots she yearns for: "Riding boots are in style. Brown leather ones."
JOEL SEDLACKO, 22, graduate student
Your shopping priorities for back-to-school?
"Ink for a printer first and foremost. I usually go to Sam's Club because I buy it in bulk. And a good set of pens. (Pilot) G2 because I'm left-handed, and I discovered they don't smear. And a good coffee mug — especially if you're a grad student working part time to get you going in the morning."
JENNIFER BOTTIGLIER, 27, graduate student
Do you have a back-to-school shopping list?
"I just got accepted to graduate school, so I need new clothes — more professional because I have internships. The whole city life is new to me. Probably a suit. Business casual, whatever that is. I'll have to Google it."
Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC