20th Century and Contemporary, Design, Fashion, Impossible Outfit

Impossible Outfit: Back to School Edition

Dear Paper Doll,

I just started my second year of grad school in a New England town, and I feel the need to broaden my sartorial horizon beyond the hoodies, leggings and Uggs that I wore almost daily last year. How should I shake things up with a radical new sense of style that’s also appropriate for an institution of higher education?


Sick of Sweatshirts

Dear Sick of Sweatshirts,

Ah, back to school! Fall is, hands down, my favorite time of year, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that fall fashion is an exciting change of pace from summer’s dresses and sandals. I have turned to the YUP fashion closet for the ideal back-to-school ensemble – get ready to knock your classmates’ socks off!

1. Hussein Chalayan, Echoform, memory dress, Autumn-Winter 199-2000. Photograph courtesy Marcus Tomlinson. From Fashion at the Edge by Caroline Evans (2003). 2. Isabel Toledo, Ribbon Front coat, Fall-Winter 2008-2009. Oatmeal double-faced cashmere. Photograph courtesy William Palmer. From Isabel Toledo: Fashion from the Inside Out by Valerie Steele and Patricia Mears (2009). 3. Thomas of London, Oxfords, leather c. 1927. Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift f Rodman A. Heeren, 1960. From 100 Shoes by The Costume Institute at Metropolitan Museum of Art (2011). 4. Cristóbal Balenciaga, Hat of black satin trimmed with black feathers and a fabric bow, c. 1962. Gift of Claudia de Osborne. From Balenciaga and His Legacy by Myra Walker (2006). 5. Vanners Silks and Akira Minagawa, silk bag. From Silk by Mary Schoeser (2007).

1. Welcome the transition to the cooler seasons by going for a dress of a sturdier fabric, like this asymmetrical jean dress by Hussein Chalayan.

2. As the days turn crisp but not quite chilly, throw on this structured, short-sleeved Isabel Toledo coat.

3. These fabulous 1920s Oxfords are perfectly preppy.

4. Hats are underrated —as your mind expands with newfound knowledge, keep it warm with this satin Balenciaga topper.  Nicely quirky, not a bit stuffy.
5. Tote your e-reader and your smartphone in this chic silk handbag—a nod to the classic school uniform plaid, without being overkill.

Tie it all together with a pair of funky, patterned tights, and you’ve got yourself a back-to-school outfit that’ll make you forget all about those sweatshirts and Uggs!

Scholastically yours,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *