I’m not going back to school, but that doesn’t mean I can’t go back-to-school shopping. As summer winds down, I can’t help but pine for crisp, new back-to-school clothes, cool new notebooks, and maybe even a new desk.
Get in Uniform.
I only went to private school for a handful of years, but somehow the fall still leaves me wishing for the preppy back-to-school cardigan with a school crest, paired with knee-high woolen socks. One thing I remember about wearing a uniform is that you always had to trick it out, to make it your own. Sure, every girl would wear the same navy, pleated skirt—but yours had the waistband rolled up an extra inch and plastic buttons with Madonna’s face on them. (Okay, maybe that was just me.) The point was to take something routine and make it fabulous. But this sweater by Free People has done all the work for me. It’s a staple with a twist. The cardigan says “I’m on my way to class,” but the buttons say, “I’m cutting Biology to sit under the bleachers.”
Meet You After 4th Period English.
One of the things I miss the most about school is passing notes. The whole social network that existed on 8 1/2 X 11 ruled paper was something that I slaved over. I remember how important it was to craft the perfect note, to learn how to fold the paper into a perfect, self-tucking envelope that would make any origami guru proud; the hours I spent writing in tiny cursive scrawl a note that spiraled around, changing in rainbow colors, alternating through the entire collection of my felt tip markers. So I feel sad that now email correspondence is so fleeting, and despite the use of emoticons, a little uncreative. That’s why I’m happy to see Kate Spade has come out with a line of correspondence cards with Crane & Co. It’s a touch more sophisticated than writing L.Y.L.A.S. (love you like a sister) at the end of a note, but it shows the same kind of warmth and effort.
Take Your Seat.
My mother and I can share shoes and lipstick, but we really don’t have the same taste when it comes to interior design. She loves Victorian, I love mid-century, and never the twain shall meet. I’ve tried showing her interior design magazines with top-notch furniture designers like Eames, but she just sniffs, “that stuff looks like the plastic chairs in your old high school.” I take that as a compliment. After all, she’s right; Eames chairs do look a bit like “high school” furniture, which is fine by me. Especially if I get them from the source most schools do. SchoolOutfitters.com offers a whole range of desks and chairs that have a collegiate, mid-century feel, for hundreds less than most modern designers. Victorian can be cool but this furniture makes me too cool for school!