Fashion sense

Get the lowdown on what styles Sacto co-eds are wearing

Crossroads Trading Company is located at 2935 Arden Way; (916) 972-9900;

If you’re going to work at Crossroads Trading Company, you’ve got to know what college-aged shoppers are going to buy. Unlike consignment shops, Crossroads pays cash for used clothes and sells them later, meaning the staff needs to be pretty confident that the clothes they purchase reflect current styles.

As a result, Crossroads buyers are well-versed in current fashion trends and popular labels. About 65 percent of Crossroads clientele is 18-to-24 years old, so we asked the staff to help us discern what is hot among fashion-conscious college-aged people these days.

Erica Setness, a buyer and recent graduate of California State University, Sacramento, says that jeans clearly are the most popular item among people in her demographic. “People want jeans, lots and lots of jeans,” she says.

One of the hottest brands in denim is Seven because their jeans fit a lot of body types well. Seven jeans retail for $130 or more, but can be found for $70 at Crossroads. The most sought-after jeans have fancy embellishments on the back pockets, low waists and flared hems. Setness says the “‘80s pop thing”—brightly colored jeans like teal and bright blue—are still popular, too.

Von Dutch jeans, made popular by Britney Spears, are still in demand, however because they are 100-percent cotton, they do not fit as well as stretch jeans. Miss Sixty is another popular brand that disappears from the racks pretty quickly.

Jeans currently are a popular commodity———especially if they have low waists, flared legs and fancy back pockets.

For those willing to stray from jeans, cropped pants with wide legs are in. In terms of skirts, hemlines are dropping to about knee length. “Micro-minis are over,” Setness exclaims, pointing to a flowered dress with a flouncy skirt and a dropped waist.

“Color is in,” she says. Many of the shirts hanging from the walls at Crossroads are made with brightly patterned material or adorned with sequins and other trimmings. “Sequins are really, really popular now,” Setness says. “If you stick sequins on something, people will buy it.”

Blazers have enjoyed a long period of popularity, and some designers are coming out with short-sleeved versions, with capped sleeves, so we can “wear blazers year round,” she says.

The most fashionable clothes are shrunken and small-fitted, not baggy. T-shirt layering continues to be popular, with a trend toward longer T-shirts. Setness attributes this to the continued popularity of low-rise jeans. “Everyone is tired of seeing everybody’s butt crack,” she explains.

Wearing three or four shirts is not uncommon. Two T-shirts layered with a blazer over them is a very current look, as is mixing patterns—like stripes and polka dots.

It might sound like a fashion faux pas, but people are doing it. According to Gigi Guerra, an editor at Lucky magazine, the secret to successfully mixing patterns is to “stick to one color scheme—blues and browns, shades of green—anchored with a neutral tone … you’ll look coordinated, not clashing.”

Setness says certain trends already are obvious for fall back-to-school clothes. She expects a lot of variation of the same ’80s themes, like mixing prints, lots of cropped pants and short, patterned tights and leggings. She expects bright colors to remain popular, but suspects muted colors could surface, too.

When the buyers at Crossroads look to take in new clothes, they also look at the designer labels. Ben Sherman, a popular label currently carried in local boutique 23 Lounge, is a line Setness describes as, “Very mod and British, with patterns that look almost out of place.”

She points to a short-sleeved Ben Sherman shirt covered with large, red poppies. “That would look really good with a pair of black-and-white striped pants.”

Other popular labels among the college crowd are Abercrombie & Fitch, Free People and mall brands like bebe, Old Navy and Banana Republic. Many women also are wearing skateboard brands like Hurley, Dickie and Volcom.

What’s in

Wedge heels
Layered T-shirts
Jeans (low-waisted and flared)
Bold patterns
Flouncy, knee-length skirts
T-shirts with kitchy sayings
Skater wear
Cropped pants with wide legs

Fashion 101 at Sac State

The Student Fashion Association promotes professional development for students interested in careers in apparel design or marketing. Activities include presentations by area professionals, “buying trips,” and a fashion show each April (

The Family and Consumer Sciences Department offers a concentration in Apparel Marketing and Design (

For footwear, sneakers are still hugely popular, as are wedge heels and ballet slippers. Setness points out a pair of flat ballerina-style shoes with lavender sequins. “A shoe like this will sell fast,” she says. “We’ve been wearing pointed-toe heels for so long, and our feet are tired.”

For men, jeans and T-shirts remain popular, especially brands like American Eagle Outfitters and Abercrombie & Fitch. “Fun, worded T-shirts with kitchy sayings” are in, as are button-down shirts with bold colors, stripes and other graphic embellishments. Setness says that some men come into Crossroads to buy women’s jeans because men’s jeans typically are fitted around the waist but baggy through the legs.

In terms of keeping up with fashion trends, Setness and Gina Kaufmann, Crossroads’ manager, advocate lots of shopping, people watching, and reading fashion magazines. Kaufmann recommends Lucky and Setness likes Teen Vogue, which she says has styles that appeal to more than just teens, and are actually affordable.

“We’re lucky because following fashion was our hobby, but now we do it for a living,” Kaufmann says.