Back to School

In Accessories, Shoes, Work Wear on August 26, 2010 at 5:04 pm

As I drove back from the gym after a (way too) early workout this morning (thanks to Elle’s fall fashion issue, I managed to stay on the elliptical for 40 minutes — quite a victory for the early hour), I made the mistake of trying to “take a shortcut” by going down some side roads in NW D.C. and instead got stuck behind a school bus unloading children for five minutes, found myself forced to drive at a reduced speed of 15 MPH around multiple school zones, and anxiously dodged children running into the street.  School is definitely back in session.  Despite the petty nuisances endured this morning, I was overwhelmed by an upsurge of nostalgia: I used to love those crisp first few weeks of school, where everything seemed fresh and new.  And, for the most part, everything was: new crayons, new pencils, a new lunchbox, new school clothes, new books, new faces in the classroom.  As I got ready for work, I found myself daydreaming about preppy fall school looks, adapted to my new “adult” life.  You know — nothing costumey (though I like plaid, I don’t think I’ll ever wear a kilt again since I wore a uniform for 12 years of my life) — just some classics for fall.  To begin with: I reallyreally want this navy schoolboy blazer ($188, J. Crew):

I imagine wearing it with an unexpected billowy tie-front blouse ($55, PiperLime), skinny jeans, and — my favorite fall footwear — mocs (these House of Harlows are unbelievable, and also come in an unexpected burnt orange color — on sale for $124, Bloomingdale’s):

Complete the look with a slouchy brown leather bag.  I’ve already highlighted J. Crew’s Brompton multiple times, and I still stand by that choice, but Alexander Wang is BIG this season (I’ve seen lots of “It” girls wearing his pieces — you can tell they are Wang’s because of the studs on the bottom — $850, Barney’s):

Though you know I’m usually all about heavy jewelry, this look needs to maintain a I-just-threw-this-on look, so I’d probably only add a few “I-live-in-these” pieces — maybe a gold signet ring (this CCSkye bauble isn’t quite a signet ring, but it’s a cool take on a classic — $125, CCSkye), a leather wrap watch (I snagged this little gem last year and get compliments on it constantly– and it only looks expensive! — $90, La Mer Collections), and either a couple of lockets or this jingling Tory Burch coin necklace ($395, Tory Burch):

Side note on the mocs: I pretty much adore how they never go with anything.  I mean, what does one wear with suede, soft-sided shoes?!  They are totally impractical and always make an outfit slightly left of center.  Love.  I snapped up a metallic pair from J. Crew at the outset of the summer but they killed my feet — they were maybe a touch too small, and the leather was too stiff to ever really loosen.  I keep wearing them in the hopes of “breaking them in” (what are they, horses?), but they are a nuisance.  I’m already on to the next: I’m now thinking I may just snag a pair of classic Minnetonkas.  They’re inexpensive and delightfully kitschy ($34.95, Amazon):

Other musts for the back-to-school look?  Woolen sweaters.  I’m in love with this nubby little thing from Eddie Bauer, of all places ($69, Eddie Bauer):

I just want to curl up in it.  I’d wear it unbuttoned in the front over a long v-neck tee, some skinnies, and either some mocs or some live-in-’em brown leather boots.  A few years ago, I picked up the Steve Madden Intyce boot — a knockoff of Loeffler Randall’s sick mini-wedge Mathilde — and have been back for multiple new pairs since.  They are comfy and in the perfect cognac shade.  But this year I think I might switch things up a tad — I’m thinking of going with these slightly-more-equestrian-inspired everyday boots from Madewell ($298, Madewell):

I like the little side tabs at the top.  I’d like to tuck wear them with a long oxford stripe tunic ($88, Madewell) and leggings for an easy Saturday:

Perfect with my dream bag — the Chloe Marcie ($1,790, Net-A-Porter):

Of course, for those of my readers who are still in school (woo!  I’m jealous.), any of the above looks would be stellar for comfy note-taking gear.  When I was in grad school, I would most likely be seen in some variation of the above offerings — lots of layers to make up for the vast variations in classroom temperatures I withstood.  Some classrooms were boiling, others had no heat at all.  A typical getup would include a cotton top or blouse, like this little Steven Alan number (on sale for $89, Steven Alan), layered beneath a nubby cardigan (on sale for $175, Tory Burch)

Then I’d slip on some skinny jeans (I was really into cuffing straight-leg jeans for awhile, too) and either boots or some tidy flats (Pour La Victoire, on sale for $117, Bluefly):

I’m pretty much the queen of outerwear — I’m embarrassed to admit how many jackets, blazers, coats, and other forms of outerwear are currently cluttering my closets with Mr. Magpie — so I always do it up with a cute little coordinating topper.  This season I just gotta have this Lauren Moffat bomber ($390, Lauren Moffat):

I die over it.  The big gold stud buttons!  The cropped sleeves!  The plaid wool fabric!  NEED.  This Tory Burch Dafina ($495, Tory Burch) would be a nice, roomy addition, and I’d probably throw on a clinky charm bracelet for good measure ($145, Max and Chloe):

Now, if fall could just hurry up and get on over here…

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