Style / Fashion / School-Inspired Fashion for Adults

School-Inspired Fashion for Adults

See chic back-to-school clothing designed for a grown-up you

By Amanda Greene Posted August 21, 2009 from womantalks.com

  • Class Act
  • Class Act

    You may not be heading back to the classroom this fall, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy one of the best parts of the season: back-to-school shopping! We did the homework and found the best school-related trends—plaid, corduroy, oxford shoes and more—in grownup shapes and sizes.

    Photo: © Getty Images

  • Plaid: Side-Cinch Shirt
  • Plaid: Side-Cinch Shirt

    This crisp and classic print makes us want to sharpen up some No.2 pencils, and this button-down version is long enough to give a little coverage around the hips—perfect for pairing with leggings or slim-cut jeans. Decree Side-Cinch Plaid Shirt, $19.99; JCPenney.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of JCPenney.com

  • Plaid: Ruffle Top
  • Plaid: Ruffle Top

    If this preppy pattern feels too boyish to wear with skirts, consider this ruffle-front version; it’s a feminine take on the trend. Route 66 Women’s Ruffle Placket Plaid Print Top, $14.99; Kmart.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of Kmart.com

  • Plaid: Pencil Skirt
  • Plaid: Pencil Skirt

    Try a pop of plaid in sophisticated cream and black. A close-fitting pencil skirt looks streamlined and totally chic. Belted Pencil Skirt, $79; Talbots.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of Talbots.com

  • Plaid: Top-Zip Bag
  • Plaid: Top-Zip Bag

    A hint of plaid, like the blue print on this small handbag, is the perfect way to inject the pattern into your wardrobe in an understated way. Heritage Tartan Flannel Top Zip Bag, $70; LizClaiborne.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of LizClaiborne.com

  • Plaid: Wide Belt
  • Plaid: Wide Belt

    Cinch your middle with this red plaid belt—just be sure to pair it with a neutral outfit to avoid pattern overload. Wide Plaid Belt, $24; Newport-News.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of Newport-News.com

  • Corduroy: Blazer
  • Corduroy: Blazer

    Because you just can’t wear this cozy fabric in spring or summer, corduroy is a fashionable way to usher in the season. Available in purple or olive, this blazer is a stylish way to beat brisk weather when the temperature drops. Charter Club Corduroy Blazer, $60; Macys.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of Macys.com

  • Corduroy: Boot-Cut Pants
  • Corduroy: Boot-Cut Pants

    These boot-cut cords come with built-in fabric panels that flatten the tummy and lift the rear. Not Your Daughter’s Jeans Tummy Tuck Bootcut Corduroy Stretch Pants, $98; Nordstrom.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of Nordstrom.com

  • Corduroy: Shirtdress
  • Corduroy: Shirtdress

    An A-line dress in fine-wale corduroy is the perfect layering piece: Pair it with a fitted turtleneck and chunky tights for a great weekend outfit. Women’s Fine-Wale Cord Shirtdress, $29.50; OldNavy.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of OldNavy.com

  • Oxford Shoes: Loafer
  • Oxford Shoes: Loafer

    New shoes and a new school year are practically synonymous; nothing says back-to-school like a pair of leather loafers. Bonus: They look better the more you wear them. Women’s Bass Wayfarer, $88.95; Shoebuy.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of Shoebuy.com

  • Oxford Shoes: Stiletto High Heel
  • Oxford Shoes: Stiletto High Heel

    Slip into a pair of smart-looking oxfords with a twist, like these classic lace-ups with a sexy heel. Steve Madden Vulture Brown Leather High Heel Oxford, $69.50; LuLus.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of LuLus.com

  • Oxford Shoes: Chunky High Heel
  • Oxford Shoes: Chunky High Heel

    A two-tone pair of oxford heels is a fresh way to wear the trend, and thin rope laces keep them looking feminine. Bibliophile Heels, $69.99; ModCloth.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of ModCloth.com

  • Oxford Shoes: Platform Wedge
  • Oxford Shoes: Platform Wedge

    This aptly named pair of shoes conjures up memories of lazing around the campus quad on crisp autumn days. The platform wedge gives them a little lift with enough comfort to run around town. Groove Procrastinator, $55; Piperlime.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of Piperlime.com

  • Blazer: Tweed
  • Blazer: Tweed

    A fitted blazer offers a chic way to cover up both day and night. This tweed number has come a long way from your professor’s closet: A fitted silhouette, faux leather tab buckles and epaulettes make it a stylish wardrobe staple. Together Tweed Blazer, prices start at $69; Spiegel.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of Spiegel.com

  • Blazer: Suit-Style
  • Blazer: Suit-Style

    Sleek and slim-cut, this black blazer looks crisp with pinstripe lining. Suit Up Blazer in Black, $80; LuLus.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of LuLus.com

  • Blazer: Knit
  • Blazer: Knit

    With a shorter cut and ruched sleeves, this knit blazer is cute enough to wear out to dinner or out on the town. Oxford & Regent Knit Blazer, $39.99; JCPenney.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of JCPenney.com

  • Brown Bag: Side Zipper
  • Brown Bag: Side Zipper

    Though a backpack won’t do anymore, a brown leather (or leather-look) bag will comfortably tote around all your essentials. This one is fully lined with plenty of zipper pockets to hold all of your belongings. Brown Side Zipper Handbag, $19; BellaDawn.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of BellaDawn.com

  • Brown Bag: Studded
  • Brown Bag: Studded

    Gold studs give this roomy faux leather bag a bit of sparkle. Cincinnati Handbag in Tan, $39; LuLus.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of LuLus.com

  • Brown Bag: Convertible Satchel
  • Brown Bag: Convertible Satchel

    Wear this versatile leather satchel two ways: across your chest or over your shoulder. The Sak “Iris” Gen Convertible Satchel, $69; Dillards.com

    Photo: © Courtesy of Dillards.com

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Posted by Me

Cute idea but so much leather

I enjoyed this because lately I've been reminiscing about what it used to be like to shop for back-to-school clothes and how exciting it was getting clothes and school supplies. I like your take on it for adults a lot! The only thing I don't like...so many of the items featured are leather. For someone like me who doesn't eat meat or wear animal products either, it was kinda horrifying seeing slide after slide of leather stuff. At least you featured one faux product. I wish there were more shoe/accessory lines out there that made good quality but *affordable* stuff out of faux leather.

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