It’s that time of year again – we are headed back from the beach, our kids are headed back to school, and everyone is headed back to the stores to get this fall’s latest trends. As a kid, I remember looking forward to this time of year because it was the only time of year that we would shop – and I mean really shop. We would spend the whole day shopping for back to school clothes and I would revel in the ambiance of the stores, the immaculately styled mannequins, and the smell of new shoe leather.

I remember one year in particular as the greatest shopping excursion of all time. There I was, little 3rd grade Amy, shopping for back to school clothes at the Tyler Texas Mall just like every year. My mom took me to this fancy store called Craddick’s and there they were, the holy grail of back to school must-haves: a dazzling pair of lavender Luv-It brand jeans complete with lavender fringe. They were so fabulous I thought I was going to die. My mom bought me the jeans and even got me a matching lavender top (complete with fringe, of course) and I finished off the perfect back to school outfit with my trusty Dingo boots. I must have worn those pants a thousand times.

Fast forward to today and although I may not be rocking lavender fringe jeans anymore, I still get the same excitement out of the back to school season. I’m really digging the trends this year: vintage furs, sparkly boots, vintage plaids, high collars, fishnets, wide belts, camo, and red!

I’m a big believer that trends should be observed, but not necessarily followed to a tee. As a designer this is always a balancing act – looking and planning a year ahead, seeing what’s hot, adding your own flair, and trying to come up with something that is equally current and original. At the end of the day, though, I believe it’s always best to wear what makes you feel empowered. Take risks, live life, and be a fashionista!

The following pieces from my collections were designed with that exact philosophy in mind, and are a great addition to any back to school closet makeover. I tend to think the smart way to shop is to find versatile pieces that can work in a variety of settings and ensembles – get more bang for your buck! That’s why I have designed every day pieces that are all-at-once versatile, on trend, and unique.

Without further ado, I present to you my favorite back to school Harry Rex picks of 2017:

 

YANKEE CAMO DRESS
I love this piece – you can dress it up with fun jewelry and fancy shoes or leave it just dressed down casual. As schedules get busier this time of year, it’s nice to have easy pieces on hand that you can throw on without too much thought. Did I mention it’s super comfy?

On trend: Camo
Pro tip: Add a bright lip to make this piece pop!

 

DORCHESTER FEATHER DRESS
Dress it up or dress it down, this fun dress adds a dose of whimsy! The feathers add a playful touch and feel right at home in the fall weather. Works great with some fabulous leggings when the weather cools down, too!

On trend: High Collar
Pro tip: Pair it with some sparkly boots for extra trend points!

 

GIRL BOSS SLIP DRESS
Remember what I said about taking risks? Well, let me introduce you to this fierce little piece. Add this dress to your arsenal of Friday night out-on-the-town outfits. Hell, wear it to your kid’s Friday night football game. Girl power looks good everywhere, sister.

On trend: Feminism
Pro tip: Pair with a badass attitude and some combat boots.

 

I ♥ CAMO JACKET
Turn up your outerwear game a notch with these fabulous jackets. Camo jackets are timeless, and the embellishments add an extra dose of effortless cool. Utilize as an easy statement piece that can be added in the evening when it cools down!

On trend: Accessories! Pops of red, fishnets, wide belts.
Pro tip: Wear with a plain white tee for a classic-but-edgy look.