Plaid button downs; Comfy tees; Pullover sweaters; Army/utility jackets
Boots: Sam Edelman, Frye; Watch: Marc Jacobs
As a teenager and then college-age back-to-school shopper, I was never sure what the "uniform" was. During high school I paraded any number of atrocious and off-trend ensembles like riveted, cinch-side black pants, pink and black skate shoes (I didn't skate), and tees with words like "Model" plastered across the chest. To be fair, I was in Hawaii, the fashion desert due to the heat and an apparent 10 year shipping delay on stylish clothes. But, still, I rocked a unique blend of clothing. College swung around and I guessed at what the majority of college kids would be wearing on the mainland. I settled on some combo of skirts that never lay quite right and wide-leg jeans that the freshman fifteen left in the dust. I don't think I actually caught on to skinny jeans until post-grad. A day late and a dollar short.
I feel that now the uniforms for college and high school are obvious and easy to emulate with high and low budget options. Shopbop's current back-to-school line-up, in particular, is killing me. It's so obvious that what you want to buy is: comfy, laid-back, but put together. Try skinny jeans in a muted wash paired with some flat boots (brown or black), neutral accessories and plaid, dainty jewelry, loose button downs, topped with utility jackets or classic-comfy pullover sweaters.
I could literally forge an entire wardrobe out of these staples alone and go on my merry way not going back to school but making up for four years of regrettable fashion.