Step It Up with Back to School Style for 2018

It may still be the season of sunny blue skies and balmy summer weather but you know what else it is? Back to school time! Not to bring you down or anything, but that means a whole new season of ‘What do I wear’ moments. Unless you go to a school where uniforms are required (and honestly, even though I love fashion, sometimes I think that would actually make my life so much easier!), there is always the question of what to buy for back to school clothing. You may have some cash saved up from a summer job, or if you’re lucky, a parent might take you on a back to school shopping spree! Either way, you want to get the biggest bang for your buck and pick out as many cute outfits you can get for your budget. You also want to make sure you don’t waste your money on things that are- well, sooooo last year! ☺

To help you out, I’ve come up with some cute options for back to school 2018. All of these options are on-trend this year and won’t break the bank. These outfit ideas are perfect whether you’re heading back to high school or if you’re off the college. Let’s take the stress out of back to school fashion and infuse it with the fun and excitement it deserves. So without further ado, here are some of my top picks for fun, fabulous, and affordable back to school fashion:

 

Her Stylecode recently showcased some cute back to school options and one of my top picks was this green jacket/striped tee combo. This is the perfect cute and casual layering look that can be worn now and then into the Fall and Winter as well. You can wear the striped top by itself with jeans or shorts. Then as the weather gets cooler, toss on a green anorak jacket. This is one of those perfect jackets to have in your closet because it’s super flattering and stylish, but has that casual vibe we all look for when it comes to school style.

 

This green jacket retails for just $34 right now and is a dead-ringer for the one in the photo. You can pair it with any jeans in your closet- and you’ll certainly want to pick up some great fitting jeans for back-to-school. They are a wardrobe staple you won’t be able to live without!

Proenza Schouler makes a black and white striped tee similar to the one above, but you can easily find a similar style online or at the mall for less. For shoes, nothing beats a pair of classic Converse tennis shoes like the ones pictured above. In fact, you’ll probably want several colors of basic tennis shoes to pair with all your back to school outfits.

But what if you want to create a look that is a little more chic instead of sporty. When it comes to 90s teen fashion icons, are you an Angela Chase or a Cher Horowitz? If you’re a Cher, you won’t be caught dead wearing tennis shoes outside of gym class.  A great option if you’re wanting to look a little more chic and sophisticated this year is to substitute tennis shoes for black flats:

These quilted black flats have a Chanel-inspired feel to them that will instantly class up any outfit in your closet- and the best part is that they are just $10 right now! Also available in Beige.

While we’re on the topic of outerwear, Seventeen magazine recently did a back to school fashion feature and outerwear was one of the main focuses. From bomber jackets to leather to peacoats, outerwear is always going to be one of the top things on our back-to-school shopping list. Let’s face it- many of us are on a tight budget and what better way to stretch your Summer wardrobe into the cooler months than by picking up a few cute jackets you can toss on over your favorite tees and tops that are already in your closet.

For example, this grey leather jacket is a great Fall-Winter wardrobe staple that can be paired with jeans or black skinnies and nearly any t-shirt or top in your closet to create a cool, cohesive look. Leather has been a staple for several years and it is definitely a fashion-forward style for the city girl. This one is actually animal-friendly vegan leather and retails for just $29 right now. For Fall 2018 I’ve been seeing bomber jackets EVERYWHERE and truth be told, I am not crazy about the trend. The bomber jacket is a style I wore as a child and happily grew out of, so it’s hard for me to not associate it with the little kid looks of the 90s. However, this jacket looks like a mix between a bomber style and a moto, which I love. This is a great way to get the look without going over the top/out of my comfort zone. I particularly love the look of the lighter grey leather as opposed to the dark black leather we normally associate with bomber jackets. To me, black can be a bit too harsh, but this grey shade is a lighter more flattering option.

Prep School Pretty

So if you’re more of a Cher Horowitz, this next look is right up your alley. When we think of classic back-to-school looks plaid schoolgirl styles always come to mind and this one does not disappoint:

This black and white houndstooth pattern outfit is to die for! It’s the epitome of Clueless style- we can see Cher or Di rocking this combo. It consists of a fitted black and white patterned top with a matching houndstooth A-line skirt. Pair it with above-the-knee socks to get that perfect prep school style.

Just Jean-ious

Above we talked about how jeans are always the classic back-to-school must have, and there are so many different cuts and styles to choose from. For Fall 2018, high waisted denim is a good bet. Have you tried a pair of high-waisted jeans yet? The past few years have been overrun with skinny jeans and hipster styles. This year though? We’re feeling like a change – and the fashion insiders agree. The latest leaning is towards a high-waisted, more femininely flattering cut. Fashion Gum recently did a write-up about high-waisted denim for Fall and I’m loving every single look, especially this one:

 

Keen to try the trend? One of the cutest ways to style high-waisted denim is to pair it with a cropped top that is a bit shorter. You always want to balance your look, so if you go higher on the bottom, you can go shorter on the top. This is also a great way to wear those shorter cropped tops we’re seeing everywhere! By pairing a shorter top with a higher waistline, you won’t be too overexposed or show too much skin. Instead, the look is classy, chic and sophisticated.

Rose Print Crop Top, Cute Red and White Juniors Top

Rose To The Top Floral Print Crop Top

 

This floral design is bedecked with romantic red roses – perfectly primed for a back-to-school look. I would toss a fitted ivory cardigan or jacket over this top to complete the look.

 

Swingy Shoulder Chic

Cream Off Shoulder Ruffle Dress Online, Cute Summer Dress

Sweet Senorita Cream Ruffle Dress

Remember the bell-sleeved trend from last year? This dress captures some of that boho flavor with a little extra thrown in. You’ve got the traditional shape of a fit-and-flare A-line dress which is so complementary to curvier body types. The real highlight however is the extended ruffled neckline. Thin spaghetti straps keep the dress in shape while you get to play with the season’s latest summery style.

Cranberry Cool

Cheerful Cranberries Teal Printed Fit and Flare Dress

Cheerful Cranberries Teal Printed Fit and Flare Dress

What could be more cheerful and light-hearted than a dress covered in fresh summer fruit? Cranberries, to be exact! This teal dress has all the makings of a summertime winner – a fitted bust with solid shoulder straps and a nipped-in high waistline. The skirt flares out beautifully into a shape reminiscent of cheeky 50s-style dresses. Audrey Hepburn, we’ve just found your perfect dress!

Frilly Finesse

Blush Pink Summer Dress, Blush Party Dress, Cute Pink Dress

Bohemian Dreams Flutter Top Dress in Blush

Frills, swirls and twirls… it’s what laidback summer living should be all about. This pretty blush pink summer dress ticks all the boxes to carry you stylishly into the new school year. The color is light and flattering on just about every skin tone. The fit meanwhile is generous and relaxed for all-day comfort. Plus, instead of being a simply A-line fit and flare design, it comes with a little extra dose of drama up above. A drawstring on the waistline accentuates the fitted design while soft ruffles drape gently over the bust area. Cool, classic and bang on trend – yes please!

Easy Breezy Beauty

Blue and White Printed Maxi Dress, Cute Maxi Dress, Cute Summer Dress

Delft Blue Pottery Strapless Maxi Dress in Off White/Blue

Why give up the beachy lifestyle just because you’ll be spending your time at school? This strapless maxi dress lets you prolong your vacation vibe with easy carefree finesse, The fit is elegant and oh-so flattering. The bustier shape means that only the breast area is tight-fitting, keeping you cool and comfortable. Oh and as a bonus, this shape is perfectly suited to curvier body types looking to minimize any figure flaws. Then comes the design. The length of this maxi dress comes adorned in classic Delft blue design – a throwback to an older, more traditional time. Wear it with a pair of neutral-colored wedge heels and you’re all set. Worried about bare shoulders indoors all day long? Simply cover up with a chic white cardigan for A+ back to school style.

Comfort is King

Black and Grey Casual Scrunch Sweatpants, Cute Casual Pants

Marbled Black Drawstring Joggers

We know – back to school means saying “so long” to your comfortable at-home lounge wear. Quite frankly, we don’t think you have to give up one for the other. This pair of drawstring joggers combines the best of both worlds – the ease and comfort of everyday tracksuit pants with the chic modern trend of athleisure luxe. You’ve got the cozy comfort of soft fabric bottoms along with the modern, urban edge of sporty luxury style. Our model styles her joggers with a pair of strappy flat sandals for a cool summery effect. Why not switch things up with a pair of trendy trainers? If they have a touch of metallic sparkle, all the better!

Collegiate Cool

Black and Ivory Striped Sweater Cardigan, Cute Black and Ivory Top

Emory Black and Ivory Striped Pocket Cardigan

I can totally picture the cool kids from 13 Reasons Why or Riverdale choosing a similar back to school fashion look. Best of all, the ensemble is as simple as they come. Wear your favorite pair of slim-fit denim jeans, a navy blue tank top and cover it all up with the pièce de résistance – this Emory pocket cardigan with trendy black and white stripes.

Winning in White

Purple Peek Ivory Lace Sundress

Purple Peek Ivory Lace Sundress

How do you make a head-turning first impression on your first day back at school? You’re looking at it! This lace sundress comes in brilliant white ivory. The design itself is all the style statement you need really. Wear it with a pair of basic neutral colored flat sandals for an easy daytime look to rival all others. And if you have a golden sun-kissed tan to go along with it – even  better!

A Flurry of Flowers

Pink and White Floral Print A-Line Sundress, Cute Summer Dress

Preppy Perfection Floral Print A-Line Dress

Thought that back to school fashion couldn’t be sweet and girly? Think again! This floral A-line design holds all the charm of a classic ladylike design plus the bold, bright flowers add a touch of summery magic. In fact, its name is Preppy Perfection, and we couldn’t agree more! Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girls would certainly approve!