Hope Wissel

Campus style: College fashion bag trends

I know High schoolers and younger are not thinking about going back to school BUT I am sure the college students are gearing up for their new life.  The summer Belinda went off to college was a whirlwind of craziness….

Of course, changing colleges just two weeks before heading off for the first extended trip away from home did help either.  She went from attending Johnson & Wales in Charlotte to Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.  I wasn’t sure how it would work out but it was the best decision she ever made.  I miss her like crazy since she is 12 hours away but I am so proud of the woman she has become.

From backpack purses and messenger bags to slouchy totes and crossbody wallets, this year’s hand-picked campus trends will take you back to college in style. Read on to discover the hottest bag fashions designed to be super-functional, keeping you organized semester after semester.

Trend-right mini backpack purses

A small backpack purse is the perfect combination of hands-free and on-trend. Choose one with sturdy hardware and plenty of pockets – the one you pick will need to hold a ton and stand up to your busy daily routine. Don’t go too bold with this one: choose a solid color in an elevated finish to maintain wearability and lend a timeless air to an of-the-moment style. Thirty-One Gifts’ own Boutique Backpack comes in a luxe, faux-pebble fabrication in your choice of four colors with contrasting striped handles for a pop of fun!

Brand new for Fall 2018, our version of this fashionable, hands-free bag is available early (and at a great price!) to Customers who invite their friends to shop Thirty-One Gifts together this July! Connect with me to learn more about shopping and sharing this great style when you host a party. And as always, personalization is free on Hostess Specials – so make your backpack really stand out with an embroidered monogram or initial in color-coordinating thread.

Campus fashion tip: Wear it over a flowy floral top or dress, and tie a light cardigan or denim button-up shirt around your waist for those college lecture halls that seem to perpetually blast the AC.

Hands-free crossbody wallets

Whether you’re biking to class in the morning or hitting the town at night, hands-free is where it’s at. Choose a sleek and slim crossbody wallet to keep your phone, credit cards, ID and other essentials close at hand. And if you find one with a removable strap like our chic Tons of Funds, snag it – these styles easily transform into an everyday wallet for your larger bag, or clip on a Wristlet Strap for a cute clutch. Three great uses – all without unpacking your things!

Campus fashion tip: Skip the jewelry and sling a brightly colored crossbody wallet across a simple striped tunic and leggings to add a trendy visual pop.

Versatility is key when you’re selecting an everyday tote for class. Our slouchy and stylish Retro Metro Collection features a few stand-out pieces perfect for campus life: Try the Retro Metro Hobo Crossbody in black-and-white, vintage-inspired Twill Stripe. The long, flexible handle means it can be worn as a crossbody, or knot the strap to shorten the handle drop for a relaxed shoulder bag.

Need something with more room and a bit more structure? Our Retro Metro Fold-Overshares the same comfortable styling and durable construction, but features a shaped base and reinforced square corners for more of a messenger bag look. It’s available in cotton or canvas, perfect for toting textbooks, tech and more.

Campus fashion tip: Pair a slouchy bag with a fitted blazer or jean jacket to balance the casual vibe.

What better way to achieve exactly the campus style you’re looking for than by designing it yourself? For a true messenger bag in a chic, upgraded finish, check out our Studio Thirty-One Modern purse. The large magnetic flap is removable so you can switch up your look from semester to semester…or even day to day!

We love the classic sophistication of a monochromatic Caramel Charm Body and Flapwith a stylish pop of black-and-white webbing in the crossbody strap. And be sure to check out our Studio Thirty-One flaps from the Global Inspired Collection featuring bright, graphic prints.

Check out even more hot Studio Thirty-One combinations, or jump right in and start designing your own! Bonus: Each one of these purses is polished enough to take you from class straight to your internship. (Grown-up points!)

Campus fashion tip: Wear it with an olive green military-style jacket and cute ballet flats to punch up your favorite jeans-and-tee combo.

Bonus accessory trend: Lightweight scarves

Want another great college-friendly fashion tip? Think beyond the bag! A square, rectangular or infinity scarf is a key element in your back-to-school wardrobe. Tie it on your bag to add stylish flair and a shot of color, or wrap one loosely around your neck to make a fashion statement in any season.

There are as many ways to wear a simple scarf as there are prints available in our long and lightweight Avenue Scarf: a quick search on Pinterest turns up tons of creative tying methods, from simple knots to fancy braids, head wraps and even belts!

Campus fashion tip: It’s easier than you think to turn a rectangular scarf into a stylish kerchief: you’re just seconds away with this four-step tutorial we love!

Thank you ThirtyOne for today’s blog post.
Business Tips and Tricks, Hope Wissel

Why She Buys

Talking about statistics usually puts me in a fog!  I am a creative thinker and all of the numbers usually boggle my mind so when Bridget Brennan took the stage at National Conference to talk about “Why She Buys”, I thought I would be LOST!

Bridget shared ALOT of information that made me re-think some of the ways that I do things.  The first rule of SUCCESS – women we are selling to are Females FIRST and Customers SECOND.  I know, that should have been a no brainer right?  I just think that sometimes we get so wrapped up in selling that we forget about the “female factor”.  Did you know that our economy is driven by women?  Women make up 70-80% of the consumer economy.  Why?  Because they are not only buying for themselves but they are buying for everyone else – friends, family, co-workers, boss, etc.

Here are 6 of the most important trends that will help us in today’s market:

  1. Women in the labor force.  Over 70% of them are Moms and moms who need to shop for everyone.
  2. Ponytail Power.  I thought this fact was really interesting…Ponytail power are those women born between 1980-2000 who are entering their purchasing power price. In addition, more than 1/2 of these women want to start and own their own business.
  3. Smaller Families.  The average family now has 2 children as compared to years past when it was 3 or 4.
  4. Divorce and Singlehood.  Despite all of the statistics (and what I thought), the divorce rate in this country is down by 40%.  Does that mean that more people are staying married?  Not necessarily, there are a lot more single women who are heading up households as single moms – never getting married.
  5. Women Dominate Social Media.  This almost seemed like a no-brainer.  I mean really, how many men do you really see posting daily.  This is how we, as women, share are lives through mass documentation.  The only thing is that when we do this for our business, we need to be intentional and not saturate the new feeds with sales pitches.
  6. 60 is the new 40.  I LOVED hearing this since I am getting close to the 60 mark (a mere 3 years away).  Women are continually reinventing themselves – new clothes, change in hobbies, business, etc.

Will knowing about these trends change your business?  I am not guaranteeing increased sales but if you know about some of these trends, it may help you connect better with your customers, hostesses and recruits.

My last tidbit of information from Bridget….

  • Men are transactional.  Think about the last time you went shopping with your hubby (or another male).  They shop for 1 item of the one item that they need.  If it is a large purchase, they evaluate the product and their options BEFORE making a purchase. They are information seekers.
  • Women are holistic.  We want to know what else goes with it – especially when clothes shopping.  How often do you just buy a skirt or a pair of pants without buying a shirt or shoes to go with it?  This is why “solution sets” are a great way to share Thirty One.  We tend to base our decisions on the salesperson – do we like them, are they helpful, right?  We are information AND inspiration seekers.

So as you look to plan your next party or talk to you next recruit… think about some of these things.  Don’t overshare facts and figures when recruiting but share in a way that will appeal to her with a few facts and some inspirational insights.  Sharing products with a customer, why not show one core product and two add-ons or accessories that will make a complete set.

Would love to hear how you are going to transform YOUR business this year?  Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!