As the markets emerge from the summer slowdown and the school year gets underway, are consumers hitting the stores in force, or being extra cautious with their spending?
Neely Tamminga, a retail analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co., thinks consumers are actively showing up to the mall and buying back-to-school clothes and merchandise.
"We've been in stores, and our checks point to traffic trends back up and fashions selling through," said Tamminga. "September is a critical time for women's and missy retailers, with game-changing weeks yet ahead."
The key driver, according to Tamminga, is denim, which is seeing its broadest resurgence in popularity since 2005.
Read MoreRetail trends: Denim is hot
"With denim innovation in fabrics, including more stretch and comfort, as well as different styles and washes, this is the real retail category that seems to be winning this season.
According to Sidney Morgan-Petro, retail editor at trend forecasting firm WGSN, retailers are updating the trend with marketing campaigns featuring jeans that kids can move around and dance in.
"That's really in response to the leisure trend having been so massive over the past couple of seasons," Morgan-Petro said.
Piper Jaffray makes a market in Abercombie & Fitch and Nordstrom, and will buy and sell the securities of these companies on a principal basis
Neither Tamminga nor a member of her household have a financial interest in any securities mentioned.