Going back to school means two things: saying goodbye to summer, and saying hello to fall clothes.
And it all starts with the perfect bag.
“It’s back to the backpack,” says Teen Vogue senior fashion market editor Mary Kate Steinmiller, who says that the kind with “old-school zippers” is the one to get.
After picking out the backpack, it’s time to layer on rings and choose a rockin’ pair of sneakers.
“We’ve outgrown the bracelets,” says Steinmiller. “For all the young girls, it’s really about rings.”
Taking inspiration from the Chanel runways, the Teen Vogue team is also loving sneakers with flair. Girls can add some pop to white sneakers with neon laces, or slip on a lace-free option.
For Steinmiller, part of the thrill of pinpointing this fall’s trends lies in her painful memories of having to wear a uniform — collared shirt, plaid skirt — all the way through high school.
“I would always put on a cardigan or a non-uniform jacket because I wanted to be cool and style myself,” says Steinmiller, who went to Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee. “I got so many uniform demerits that I got detention, which I think is absurd.”
Steinmiller, 29, said she used to lust after Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s cardigan-friendly esthetic. And it’s still TV stars that tween and teens look to for style inspiration.
“When we talk to a lot of girls,” says Steinmiller, “it’s Selena Gomez, Bella Thorne, and they really love the Jenner girls.”
Kendall Jenner, in particular, isn’t just influencing the millions of fans who follow her on Instagram. She’s making huge waves in the fashion world for walking in Chanel and Marc Jacobs runway shows and appearing in the ad campaign for Givenchy’s fall 2014 collection.
Which is why Jenner, 18, is the cover girl for Teen Vogue’s September issue. Luckily for Jenner, she doesn’t have to stick to a uniform.
And luckier still for Daily News readers, Teen Vogue styled a back-to-school shoot for News readers only. Here and on the previous page are the top five looks for hitting the books with style.
The same slouchy quality seen in the new shorts should carry over into jeans for fall, which Steinmiller describes as a “baggier, boyfriend type” of style. The jeans can be distressed, with some minimal tears in the knees, and can be paired with a graphic jersey on top. This is the perfect way to complement the season’s sneakers, which are “not the sneaker you’re wearing to work out in.” Instead, try a white-on-white sneaker with neon laces.
Abercrombie & Fitch leather jacket, $140 at abercrombie.com; Abercrombie & Fitch jeans, $88 at abercrombie.com; Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirt, $34 at abercrombie.com; H&M bag, $39.95 at hm.com; Vans hat, $16.50 at vans.com
INTO THE WOODS
Inspired by the Tommy Hilfiger fall 2014 show, which featured loads of clever layering, Steinmiller calls this look “classic Americana.” The key is to start with one cold-weather staple, like a chunky sweater, and add more in the form of a shearling jacket or a plaid button-down. And yes, sweatpants are totally fine for school, as long as they’re fashion-forward and have some extra-special element like a funky drawstring or clever cut. Finish everything off with classic Sorel duck boots.
Abercrombie chambray, $68 at abercrombie.com; Abercrombie sweatpants, $50 at abercrombie.com; Aeropostale jacket, $66 at aeropostale.com; Aeropostale vest, $36 at aeropostale.com; H&M bag, $29.95 at hm.com; Sorel boots, $110 at sorel.com
THE NEW SHORT
It might seem like girls can’t get enough of those diaper-like short shorts this summer, but thankfully, fall will bring new proportions. Steinmiller says her team was inspired by streetwear, where a slouchier and looser short reigns. Keeping the denim shorts low on the hips means girls can add a more tailored and fitted top, like a little varsity jacket or a button-down shirt. “Girls should feel that they can wear a longer short and still look very cool,” says Steinmiller.
Abercrombie & Fitch plaid shirt, $58 at abercrombie.com; Aeropostale jacket, $90 at aeropostale.com; Bar III tee, $39 at macys.com; Miss Me denim shorts, $39.50 at macys.com; Vans sneakers, $47 at vans.com
For the girl who likes dressing up, this is the perfect look. It’s all about wearing a short, mod dress with opaque black tights, and then adding an oversized sweater or faux-fur jacket. It’s “very mod and ’60s London,” says Steinmiller, adding that the short hemline is kept wholesome by the tights. As for the shoe, the Chelsea Girl looks best with a flat black boot. Steinmiller likes an ankle boot, but a knee-high one works fine, too.
Bar III skirt, $49 at macys.com; Bar III boots, $129 at macys.com; H&M jacket, $59.95 at hm.com; H&M top, $34.95 at hm.com; H&M bag, $99 at hm.com; Hue tights, $13.50 at macys.com
The basis for this look is the Miu Miu fall 2014 show — pastels and surprising fabrics abound. Start with classic pieces, like a raincoat or miniskirt, and try them out in pastel colors like pink and purple. Then choose unexpected fabrics, like suede or brocade. Steinmiller recommends mixing the pastels together and having fun with typical uniform pieces. For example, instead of just wearing a black blazer, try a mint-green quilted jacket.
Aeropostale polo, $10 at aeropostale.com; BCBGeneration sweater, $78 at macys.com; H&M skirt, $129 at hm.com;Tommy Hilfiger rain Jacket, $129.60 at macys.com; Tommy Hilfiger cotton Jacket, $119.50 at macys.com; Vans sneakers, $47 at vans.com. 1-inch Better binder, $8.49; clipboard, $3; composition book, $2, all at staples.com
MAKING BACK-TO-SCHOOL A BIG DEAL
What started as a one-day-only dream come true has turned into three weeks of discounts.
Teen Vogue launched Back-to-School Saturday two years ago as a day of sales geared toward teens needing major wardrobe updates before the school year started.
This year, the deals will run from Saturday through Aug. 30.
More than 130 malls all across the country will hold Teen Vogue fashion presentations and concerts to coincide with the deals, which include:
20% off at Kate Spade Saturday, plus a free tote
15% off at H&M
All jeans $35 at Abercrombie & Fitch
25% off mystylelab at Macy’s
20% off at Hudson Jeans
25% off at Claire’s Accessories
Free cosmetics case from Maybelline
$10 off $50 purchases at Aeropostale
Visit Roosevelt Field Mall in Garden City, L.I., on Aug. 16, Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, L.I., on Aug. 17 and the Oxford Valley Mall in Langhorn, Pa., on Aug. 23 for special Teen Vogue events. There’s more, too. Visit teenvogue.com/insider/deals for all the info.