Need A Back To School Outfit? Here’s What Our Staff Members Recommend

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September is just around the corner which means the head-scratching while standing in front of the mirror has already begun. That is, of course, because it’s time to start thinking about which outfit best convey’s your post-summer break glow-up.

Whether or not you spend the rest of the school year in the same faded sweatpants and ketchup-stained T-shirt, the first week back is the time to break out the new pieces you got and start the year on the right foot.

Giving their expertise on what you should be shopping to ensure you start the year right, we’ve assembled some Highsnobiety staffers to select the essentials that they believe will make your school outfits a hell of a lot easier to create. Of course, some of these are on the slightly pricier side, but even if the selections are way out of budget, the types of pieces are timeless.

Considering everything from the all-important school bag to the best T-shirts to hide stains, check out their recommendations below. And if you want some inspiration to pull everything together, you can check out out full outfits for the school year.

Scroll down to find our back-to-school checklist, as picked by Highsnobiety staff members.

The best back-to-school bags

Beginning with the all-important backpack, the item that you will be using every day. There’s a lot to consider when buying a school bag, is it sturdy enough to last the year? Is there enough space for everything? Will it get dirty easily?

Our staff members have done the deliberation for you, and these are the ones that they’re picking.

“Choosing a tote bag over a backpack is the definition of style over substance but with the size of this XL one (16.5 x 22.4 x 6.3 inches), you’ll struggle to find a backpack with more carrying space.”  – Tom Barker, Style Writer

90370 Dyed Backpack

“There’s nothing wrong with a little back-to-school backpack flex, especially if you’ve been working all summer and want to treat yourself to something nice. Stone Island’s large Dyed Backpack has enough room (35 x 38 x 12 cm) to fit all your books, goodies, and anything else you need to stay focused during the school year.”  – Denzel Blake, Associate Style Writer

Oilcloth Tote Bag

“When you use the same bag every day at school, you want something that isn’t going to get boring quickly. This shiny design from Acne Studios should do the trick.”  – Lia McGarrigle, Style Editor

Utility Ripstop Tote Bag

“If you abide by the mantra of less-is-more when packing your bag for the day, this Gramicci bag has you covered for a couple of pens and notebooks — plus the ripstop material is highly durable.” – Dasha Kolomiiets, Content Merchandising Assistant

The best back-to-school sneakers

The shoes you pick to be your daily companion for the year ahead is a big choice. They need to be comfy, long-lasting and, of course, adhere to the dress code. That means that sneakers are normally your best bet, but there’s a lot to choose from.

For day-to-day footwear that is going to feel as good as it looks, we think these will do the job the best. But we haven’t forgotten about those who prefer a pair of shoes.

M2002RG

“It’s never been easier to get a pair of fly sneakers at a decent price with all the options New Balance has been rolling out lately. Regardless of the season, the 2002R is a proper choice.” – Denzel Blake, Associate Style Writer

XT-6 Clear Sneakers

“If you’re looking for a shoe to last you the school year, Salomon’s hiking sneakers are known for their durability. And you can wear them to sports class without anyone batting an eye.” – Tom Barker, Style Writer

Leopard Mule Sabot

“The jury is out on whether these can be described as sneakers, but I can bet that these fluffy mules are cozier than any pair of runners.”  – Lia McGarrigle, Style Editor

The best back-to-school outerwear

Don’t be that person who walks into class completely drenched from head to toe or shivering cold because they haven’t brought their jacket in. Not having the right choice of outerwear can be a painful mistake — we’ve all been there.

This selection of coats and jackets will keep you covered from the elements, are easy to carry around and, in our opinion, they look great too.

Stonewashed Nylon Coach Jacket

“Coach jackets are the undisputed kings of the transitional season’s Spring and Autumn. Along with olive being a perfect color for fall, the stonewashed texture on this lightweight jacket should fit easily with your new gear.” – Denzel Blake, Associate Style Writer

Nylon Metal Down Jacket

“If you’re looking for a jacket to keep you warm and dry, then Stone Island is an expert in all things outerwear that’s got you covered. There’s too many practical details to mention in this design”  – Lia McGarrigle, Style Editor

Double Pocket Cotton Jacket

“A classic shape crafted with a pop of color — you can’t go wrong with this jacket.” Dasha Kolomiiets, Content Merchandising Assistant

“When the winter really kicks in you’ll want something more substantial, but most of the time you need a jacket that is lightweight and easy to carry around school. This waterproof design from K-Way folds into its pocket to make carrying it around hassle-free.”  – Tom Barker, Style Writer

The best back-to-school sweats

Sweats are an essential part of the school uniform for one big reason: they’re comfy. Throwing on a big fluffy hoodie or sweatshirt makes a day sitting in uncomfortable plastic chairs all the more bearable.

From preppy sweater vests to oversized hoodies, you can get cozy in these.

Wool Vest

“Whether it’s a layering tool for the winter or a statement piece in the summer, you can wear a sweater vest nearly all year round. Just make sure your professor doesn’t have the same one.”- Tom Barker, Style Writer

“Having a rough day at school? I can’t think of many things better than cozying up in a hairy cardigan.”  – Lia McGarrigle, Style Editor

Standardized Hoodie

“The key to choosing a durable hoodie that’s great for back to school, or anywhere really, is opting for quality materials and minimal graphics. This way you can be sure you’re not coming off too hard, but also shows how you effortlessly assemble your ‘fit.”  – Denzel Blake, Associate Style Writer

The best back-to-school tops

Everyone has their own way which they like their tops to fit, feel and look, but there are some rules when deciding which ones will join you in school. It goes without saying that wearing your most expensive white top is a recipe for a grease-stained disaster and that only wearing plain Uniqlo tees (as much as we love them) is going to get boring after a while.

Here are a few to choose from that have considered all of the factors that make a great top.

Poppy T-Shirt

“A white graphic is always a good choice, especially when it’s from Kenzo’s latest collection by legendary designer and musician Nigo.” – Denzel Blake, Associate Style Writer

“You can one-up all the people that spent their summer tie-dying t-shirts with this Dries design.” – Lia McGarrigle, Style Editor

Compass Tshirt

“If you’re anything like me, then your white t-shirts are constantly getting stained. The trick is to always have some solid black t-shirts to fall back on when that happens, like this Noon Goons one.” – Tom Barker, Style Writer

The best back-to-school trousers

Now that we’ve established the best things to wear on the top half of your body, it’s time to think about legwear.

Thankfully, gen-z has has killed circulation-cutting skintight jeans, so these options are a lot more roomy.

Cotton Cargo Pants

“I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: cargo pants were wasted on hiking dads. Thank God we collectively realized the power of extra pocket space.”  – Tom Barker, Style Writer

Cotton Overalls

“It doesn’t get much more practical than a pair of overalls, hence why they’ve been a workwear staple for countless years.”  – Lia McGarrigle, Style Editor

Asim Biker Trousers

“Biker gear is a serious fashion statement and typically looks great when paired tastefully. GmbH’s attention to detail from the symmetrical contrast stitching to the single cargo pocket is sure to set you apart from your classmates.”  – Denzel Blake, Associate Style Writer

The best back-to-school accessories

Accessories have two main roles: to offer a solution to a practical problem or to add the finishing touches to an outfit. Some even fulfill both of those requirements in equal measure, which makes them perfect for going back to school.

From keyrings to necklaces, once you have added these to your rotation you are officially prepared for the first day back.

Protection Necklace

“This necklace is giving me serious throwback vibes, I’m pretty sure I had this exact one on my first first day of school.”  – Lia McGarrigle, Style Editor

'Alice Coltrane' Cap

“If you need a break from sports teams or skate brands and are a fan of the greats, then this Alice Coltrane cap is a must-have. Consider the ‘Endless Wisdom’ embroidery as a good luck charm for the upcoming school season.”  – Denzel Blake, Associate Style Writer

“Who else in school has a bottle that changes color based on its temperature? I think it’s safe to say that nobody will.” – Dasha Kolomiiets, Content Merchandising Assistant

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