Back to Campus Style

Maya McDonald looks at a few new looks for back to school season that won't break the bank.

By - Sep 1st, 2012 12:57 pm
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Returning to school brings about a wealth of feelings: eagerness for upcoming adventures, nervousness about new classes, and excitement for back to school shopping. Since most of us are on a limited budget, it’s important to choose a few key pieces that are perfect for fall and versatile for your wardrobe. I’ve put together a fun first day on campus outfit with a few classic pieces for back to school and beyond.

Chambray is my go-to autumn shirt during the fall semester. Besides being incredibly comfortable, it’s perfect to style with a pair of corduroys for class or tucked into a flirty skirt for a casual party. It’s the perfect weight for the cooling weather, and it’s good to wear on an outing to the orchard or strolling around campus. I usually wear mine (from Madewell) with a pair of corduroys and flats for a more causal everyday look.

I love a beautiful pair of soft, colorful flats in the fall. Although black and tan flats are great (I have a few pairs…), color can add a pop of fun to any look, giving your outfit a little more personality. Target always has a great selection of simple, colorful flats, and these magenta “Madge flats” go great with blue jeans or a solid-colored dress. This suede style is surprisingly comfortable and durable for only being $19.99, so it’s not too much of an investment for your back to school shopping. If pink isn’t your style, the flats also come in supple green, blue, yellow or purple that are equally fun and functional.

Back to school fashion is all about the little details that bring an outfit together. Following the trend, “arm parties,” or layered bracelets, add sparkle to any outfit. Arm parties don’t have to be too matchy, so putting together some of your favorite bracelets that you already own can bring about fabulous color and style combinations. I like to keep it classic and simple with rhinestone bracelets from J.Crew.

An elegant statement necklace also adds a new dimension to classic pieces and outfits. This rhinestone “Rainey” necklace from Spike The Punch is one of my favorite pieces, and adds sparkle to any outfit. I love the mix of pastel pink and clear rhinestone for a funkier feel. I always get a few compliments when I wear my Rainey necklace, so it’s sure to be a conversation starter while waiting in line at your campus café.

Kate Spade Essex Purse

A bright purse can make your back to school style more versatile. Most of us have a classic black or brown purse, so adding a cool colored purse to the mix of your everyday style will give you even more options and looks. I love Kate Spade, so I snagged this beautiful turquoise “Essex” satchel. Any colorful bag will do, but make sure it’s a shade you’ll love and wear with anything–mismatched can be fashionable too!

These back to school pieces are fabulous enough to both stand alone and look cohesive paired together. The pairing is perfectly preppy for that first day back, but they can easily be paired with other pieces in your closet for a different feel. Add the Rainey Necklace, bracelets and Essex bag with a pair of dark denim and a leather jacket for a night on the town, and you have a whole new off campus look. The chambray shirt paired with a flirty lace skirt and nude heels transforms your look from preppy to polished, perfect for a meeting or more formal event. Whatever you wear, if you feel confident and beautiful, you’ll have a marvelous first day back on campus!

Photos by Brian Acker

For a look at men’s back to school fashion, take a look at Tamara Leigh’s Threads column from last Saturday!

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