Friday Facts About Back to School Shopping Tradition

 Ironically, the back to school tradition of shopping for school supplies and new clothes began with the college crowd in the 1930's.

(1) As young women began to attend colleges in greater numbers, they began to affect higher education and the fashion world. Like today's generation of young women, they wanted to wear the latest trends. 

(2) Large department stores were the main retailers for clothing then, and they began marketing to college women with what was actually a pop-up store within the larger department store. This in-house college shop appeared in the early fall and went away after college started.

(3) The clothing offered in these impromptu shops were the latest trends, influenced by college students who actually worked in the college shops.

(4)  Clothing manufacturers tried to create their own line for college women as well as tried to enforce their own traditional values on fashion such as a disdain of "men's clothing for women" i.e. trousers, but women rejected the manufacturers' ideas of what was trendy and fashionable.

(5) Young college women had their own ideas about fashion, and it was mostly based on comfort such as the Sloppy Joe cardigan which parents and young men hated. The Sloppy Joe was an extremely oversized cardigan sweather, and stores couldn't keep them in stock.

(6) Shopping for back to school supplies is a more recent addition to the Back to School Shopping Tradition. Even though writing tablets containing sheets of newsprint with widely spaced lines for young children to practice printing have been manufactured since the late 1800s, most children could not afford them until about mid-century. By the 1950s, those writing tablets were commonly purchased.

(7) By the 1960s, the spiral notebook with lined paper that's still used today made its debut.

Takeaway Truth

In this digital age, school supplies and fashion trends still rule the back to school sale market.

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