Top apparel items considered to be “must-haves” this summer for working high school and college students.

School may be out, but plenty of students have taken summer jobs for a little extra income. San Francisco-based Gap and Old Navy both wanted to find out the latest fashion trends at work for these teens and young adults, so the retailers went to Facebook, a leading social networking Internet site for more than 2,200 colleges and 22,000 high schools, with headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. In the informal poll, Facebook asked students across the country what was in their work wardrobe for summer. Below, summer’s “must-haves” for the high school and college students, and a glimpse at where these fashions can be found.


Number of college and high school females who said this was the “must-have” item for work this summer: 31 percent
These days, flip-flops can be found anywhere, from the beach to many offices (depending on the summer dress code, of course). Fashion-wise, it’s simple to find upscale flip-flops from designers like Stuart Weitzman (Geegaw slide: $298), Cole Haan (Air Auckland thong: $165) and Kenneth Cole (Jewel Thief sandal: $135), all available at Neiman Marcus. On the discount side, Target’s latest fashions, which include metallic, suede and plenty of beading, run from $9.99 to $19.99.

26 percent
A great item for any summer job — from an office to waitressing. Gap’s curvy low-rise flare black pants are available in petite and tall sizes, while Kohl’s offers both the dressy Charlotte pant by Joe Benbasset and Star City Clothing Miranda pants in black. The Miranda pants contain 3 percent spandex. “These versatile pants will look great with anything,” Kohl’s Web site boasts, making them appealing to teens and young adults of all different shapes and sizes. What’s better: They’re currently on sale for $21.

25 percent
Skirts are for students who want a dressed-up look without going tailored. This summer, Juicy Couture has a lineup of skirts for young women that includes both its ballerina skirt and trench and jeweled skirt. Elsewhere, Anthropologie offers a plethora of skirts, favoring wild prints and a wee bit of volume: Erin’s Rowboat style is embroidered with a ruffled elastic waist and a lace-trimmed petticoat. The Miranda Petticoat skirt is ramped up with heavy lace and voile, showing off colors of ivory, pink and brown.

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12 percent
The perfect match for black pants (see above) and equally versatile. Plenty of retailers are offering versions of the white shirt for summer. While Gap has its Dobby pintucked shirt and short-sleeved smock top, Ralph Lauren Blue Label offers the Harlow Eyelet Front-Tie blouse and its Polo Jeans Co.brand has the Naomi Embroidered Bib blouse — a cotton frock with embroidered paisley along the bib — and the Camille Linen Lace top, which is a Victorian-inspired linen short-sleeved top with a crocheted lace neckline.

5 percent
Not many offices insist women wear jackets these days, but some students are really out to impress. Urban Outfitters will have plenty of students suited up this summer with its playful spins on the standard blazer: The double-breasted jacket is a short-sleeved, cropped design that comes in a soft cotton sweatshirt-style material, with rounded collars and lapels, while the 3-Button Babydoll jacket is a cotton and spandex collared jacket containing three oversized buttons and flared 3/4-length sleeves. Wal-Mart’s trendy new Metro 7 line features a variety of blazers, including its pinstriped deconstructed jacket and the cropped studded jacket, which contains embellishments across the lapels and hems.


Number of college and high school males who said this product was the “must-have” item for work this summer: 38 percent
Perhaps this favorite item is an indication of where the boys will be working this summer — the beach, the pool or somewhere outdoors. They won’t be wearing them interning in an office. Selections of boardshorts abound from retailers such as Eddie Bauer, Urban Outfitters and American Eagle. Ventura, Calif.-based Patagonia, which recently opened its first surf shop in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, Calif., offers boardshorts in a multitude of colors and wild floral prints.

26 percent
For those who are interning or working in an office, a smart shirt is a definite requirement — even if most of the year all they wear are T-shirts. Abercrombie & Fitch’s Avalanche Pass Oxford is still a classic button-down, but it has a more worn, rugged edge than most dress shirts. A little more upscale is’s designer brands: Men’s dress shirts are available from fashion designers such as Prada, Gucci, Hermès and Armani — all at discount prices.

17 percent
Chinos are the perfect match for the dress shirt for students. One of the better selections around is, of course, from Freeport, Maine-based L.L. Bean. The outdoorsy retailer states on its Web site: “For years, our customers have complimented the superior comfort and workmanship of our chinos.” And J. Crew’s men’s chinos are on sale right now: The retailer’s broken-in, relaxed-fit zip fly chinos, made of cotton twill, are $19.99, while herringbone officer’s chinos with a zip fly and off-seam side pockets run the same sale price.

12 percent
Clearly these are students who will be out to impress the big bosses in the office this summer — and out pounding the pavement looking for a permanent job after graduation. Macy’s currently has lots of men’s suits on sale. Brands such as Alfani, Sean John, Claiborne and Michael Kors offer a variety of sharp-looking suits to men of all ages. Calvin Klein’s Grey Herringbone Suit Separates allows men to wear pieces together or separately. The suit is a modern style and features traditional tailoring details, like the flat-front pant and notched lapel.

6 percent
For those who don’t need to go the whole suit route, a blazer and chinos (see above) might suffice. Gap-owned Old Navy has blazers for men priced at $34.50 at The men’s vintage and twill blazers are available in various colors, including khaki, brown and black. Eddie Bauer’s cotton chino blazer, available in colors of bone and marine navy blue, is an ideal way to dress up any casual outfit. A nice perk on is a section that allows shoppers to complete their entire look; for example, the site provides suggestions for shoes, pants or jeans and a dress shirt to accompany the blazer. And what student doesn’t need sartorial tips?

Source: Facebook, a privately held online social directory, headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.; the survey was conducted for Old navy and gap

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