Whether you recently finished college or have considered yourself a working woman for quite some time, we all can agree a little back-to-school shopping does the body good. We’re still filling that B-T-S retail void — except these days, we’re on the hunt for polished pieces that no longer read too adolescent. Look for a fresh spin on the classics — items with an elevated touch, deeming them appropriate for your post-homework life. In time for the season ahead, we rounded up 14 essentials that will not only give you those nostalgic feels, but keep your wardrobe looking completely chic.
1. Soludos Platform Tennis Sneakers ($89): Technically speaking, summer isn’t over yet. Keep those beach days alive in espadrille sneakers — a sweet update from your white Keds a la grade school.
2. Forever 21 Ruffled Floral Top ($18): In an autumnal shade, a floral ruffled blouse is spot on for fall. Pair with a moto jacket or a leather mini and booties to toughen things up.
3. Zara Convertible Split Suede Backpack ($70): An adult backpack is basically a gorgeous purse in disguise. Oh, and when it comes in an unexpected shade? Well, that’s just perfection.
4. Parker Vera Wool Blend-Jacket ($350): We’re getting major Saved by the Bell vibes, and we’re not mad about it. The pastel color combo on this varsity jacket makes it contemporary-cool, but a white tee and ripped skinnies will really bring it into this century.
5. Second Skin Vegan Leather Overalls ($318): #TBT to your oversized and not-so-cute dungarees. This leather-like version is obviously the grown-up way to wear the one-piece wonder, and between the slim fit and exposed hardware, this pair has cool girl written all over them.
6. Society6 Laptop Sleeve ($36): Working from home? A cheeky sleeve for your computer that not only looks cute, but (most importantly) protects is a necessity when you’re schlepping to and from coffee shop workstations.
7. Rag & Bone Leah Skirt ($395): Nothing says back-to-school quite like plaid. The exposed zippers on this Rag & Bone mini makes the preppy piece a bit more punk.
8. Ultracor Ultra High Lux Feline Leggings ($195): Gone are the days of wearing sweats to class every. Single. Day. These matte black leggings are at the top of our list. Save them for your weekend bagel run or, you know, your actual workout.
9. Stoney Clover Lane Varsity Letter Patch ($12): Pins and patches have been one of the biggest ’90s revival trends. Keep it going by sticking your initials onto your favorite jean jacket for a vintage vibe.
10. Liberty for Anthropologie Journal ($26): Just because you’ve graduated from Lisa Frank, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your desk supplies. These journals from a must-have collaboration might actually excite you for note-taking at work!
11. Reformation Tennis Dress ($145): Leave it to the LA label to make us miss school uniforms. Their take? Way more stylish. A shortened hem, fitted silhouette, and ruffled collar suddenly take a “first day of school” polo dress from simple to sexy.
12. Madewell Medium Transport Tote ($158): Busy mornings are pretty much unavoidable. Make things a little easier with a holds-all cross-body in soft, supple leather for a hands-free commute.
13. Joe’s Jeans The Charlie Skinny ($179): Once the chillier temps set in, you’ll be begging for a new pair of denim. Scoop up this go-to style ASAP so you’ll be prepared! There’s something about the gray wash and asymmetric hem that feels so right-now.
14. Stuart Weitzman Mocpearl Embellished Loafers ($455): What feels more appropriate for fall and the back-to-school season than a new pair of shoes? Not just any shoes, but loafers, Oxfords, or anything of the menswear-inspired sort. These Stuart Weitzmans lend a ladylike touch with the pearl-embellished detail, so we suggest showing them off with cropped jeans.
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