Plenty of fashion conscience back-to-school shopping going on during School Dayz Mall Bash

August 17, 2013|By DON AINES |
  • DJ Cox of Mercersburg models an outfit from J.C. Penney in the Back to School Fashion Show at the Valley Mall in Hagerstown Saturday.
By Colleen McGrath / Staff Photographer

HALFWAY, Md. — There was plenty of back-to-school shopping going on Saturday at Valley Mall and, for any parents or children who were stumped on what the latest student fashions are, there was a fashion show to offer some tips.

J.C. Penney, The Bon-Ton, Macy’s, Aeropostale, P.S. from Aeropostale, Hot Topic and Deb Shops were showing off their fall lines, with student models strutting their stuff on the runway in the mall’s concourse.

Saturday’s conclusion of the two-day School Dayz Mall Bash was sponsored by Valley Mall in partnership with Verstandig Broadcasting, said Michele Wills, the mall’s marketing director.

“This is the last day of Maryland tax-free shopping for clothing and shoes, so the mall and the stores are very busy,” Wills said.

Along with the tax holiday, many stores were running sales, she said.

Brian Paulsen had a dual interest in the fashion show. His daughter, Morgan, 5, was among the models, and he is the manager of J.C. Penney at the mall.

“She’ll be wearing our new line of Joe Fresh,” Paulsen said.

“It’s probably one of the biggest weeks until we get to Thanksgiving week,” Paulsen said of Maryland’s tax-free shopping week that ended Saturday.

Parents can expect to pay up to several hundred dollars for each child as they head back to class, Paulsen said. The savings from not having to pay the 6 percent sales tax can mean another outfit or a pair of shoes, he said.

Public schools in Washington County open Wednesday.

“It feels like it’s earlier every year,” Dave Walls, the manager of Aeropostale at the mall, said of the upcoming first day of school. Customer traffic has been good, and Walls said the store is ready with new fashions.

“We have the looks that people want,” Walls said.

From fashion tank tops and printed jeans to cardigans, jackets and shoes, “we have the different pieces to match everyone’s look,” he said.

The break on the sales tax attracted Kristy Thompson of Falling Waters, W.Va., to the mall, along with what she felt is a wider selection of stores.

Skye Murray of Falling Waters said he was stocking up on shorts, jeans and T-shirts.

Larry and Sandi Crowell of Inwood, W.Va., brought their granddaughter, Chloe Williams of Martinsburg, W.Va., for a shopping expedition.

“I’m a big fan of Hot Topic,” said Chloe, who selected jeans from J.C. Penney and a dress at Macy’s.

The Crowells said they did not have any fashion advice for their grandchildren.

“We just turn them loose,” Sandi Crowell said.

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