This time of year always brings up nostalgia of our back-to-school shopping days — from geeking out on the coolest new supplies to stocking our closets with the latest fall pieces. While we may no longer have homework to finish or buses to catch, we can at least add some of that classroom flair to our nine-to-five. And what better way than in the form of a backpack? For the last few seasons, the classic carryall has taken the fashion world by storm with new grown-up styles (think: not your cartoon-covered knapsack from sixth grade). Here, 12 updated versions from polished and sophisticated to sporty and cool.
1. Rebecca Minkoff Medium Julian Backpack ($245): This cool cognac-colored number is sleek enough for work and, when slung over one shoulder, can see you through happy hour. Plus, who doesn’t love some gold hardware?
2. ASOS Ring Flap Backpack ($45): No matter how you define your style, a no-frills structured black bag will fit right into your wardrobe.
3. Kendall + Kylie Koenji Leather Backpack ($295): If you ever wondered what fall in accessory form looked like, it’s this. Deep forest green is pretty much synonymous with the season and acts as a neutral to pair with just about anything.
4. Forever 21 Structured Mini Backpack ($23): A mini metallic satchel may not be the most practical for every day, but it sure is fun. This affordable version is big enough to stow the essentials while edging up even the most basic nine-to-five outfit.
5. Henri Bendel Rivington Convertible Flap Backpack ($398): Want some serious bang for your buck? Consider this chic piece, which can not only be worn on your back but carried like a tote and slung over as a crossbody. Yep, that’s three easy styles all for the price of one.
6. Gunas Cougar Backpack ($125): Do a little good for the environment with this color-block bag. Made from vegan leather and recycled plastic, you can make a fashion — and eco — statement.
7. ZAC Zac Posen Eartha Top Handle Convertible Backpack ($395): On first glance, this might be reminiscent of those primary colors a la your elementary school days, but look again. The designer tote (another convertible option!) comes in the prettiest marigold hue and features a detachable pearl-encrusted charm for a ladylike feel.
8. Dagne Dover Dakota Backpack ($175): A sleek, all-black carryall in super-soft neoprene is the perfect way to infuse some athleisure into your look. It also includes a matching pouch for your makeup, pencils, or whathaveyou.
9. Vince Camuto Tina Leather Backpack ($248): So you want to try your hand at animal prints, but perhaps something a little less bold than a full-on dress or sweater. Stick to accessories, like this structured fold-over flap bag in a snakeskin print.
10. BP. Mini Velvet Backpack ($49): It’s no secret velvet is everywhere these days, but red is also big for fall. Kill two trends in one with this mini number for an added pop of color and texture.
12. Zara Studded Leather Backpack ($70): Looking for something a little out-of-the-box? Try a non-traditional backpack that hits all the marks — circular shape, studs, and chains.
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