Turtleneck Top, Brown Cape Cardigan: Stradivarius | Skirt: F&F | Heels: Zara | Bag: Chanel | Watch: Panerai | Necklace: H&M | Ring: Tiffany
When I concoct preppy outfits that are reminiscent of American private school garb, I always draw inspiration from High School themed classics like Clueless, Cruel Intentions, Gossip Girl, Clique, Mean Girls, Heathers, so on and forth. For a while, High School-centric movies were my trope and I devoured them like chocolates. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of those types of movies anymore and so I’ll have to make-do with the materials I grew up with (Pretty in Pink, ring a bell?).
Granted, it’s been a decade since I left High School so to an extent, borrowing notable sartorial choices from said movies was the only way I could relive my glory days. I’ve come a long way from being a wide-eyed sixteen-year-old… and as much as I wish that I had the same style intelligence back then as I do now, I think it would be largely inappropriate (seriously, what teenager would lug around a huge Chanel on top of a History tome?). Maybe when I have children of my own, I can impart some wisdom about school couture and support them religiously in cultivating their own style but for now, I think I’ll sit back and allow my senior year self to school everyone on certain fashion cues from 2005 that is still relevant for 2015.
- Modest skirts are not passe. Yes, they may seem awkward because they’re short by school standards, resting just above the knee, but still far from being considered “vixen short” by society. Thankfully, midi-skirts are all the range right now, coming in different awkward lengths and classic cuts. If there’s anything I’ve learned recently, lengths don’t matter as much as balancing layers (read all about it in my L is for Layers post).
- Shades of white still make the best canvas for any outfit and no, it’s not because I’m biased to the said color (or non-color). Granted, black is also a great alternative neutral color but I gravitate more towards white as it looks cleaner and fresher. Sure, it might not be as dramatic, I guess, but I’ll take clean over drama any day. It must be years of experience, wearing the same white linen blouse to school for the longest time.
- Plaid is versatile, as evidenced last year during the height of the grunge-y plaid streetwear. What’s usually thought of as preppy, can also appeal the opposite end of the spectrum. Then again, I didn’t exactly have plaid as a print for my school uniform so there might be a general distaste for those who grew up wearing plaid over and over again.
- It’s okay not to color-coordinate–I’m guilty of not being able to adhere to this rule. I’m very OC in a sense where I require myself to coordinate my outfit in the same color family (max of 3 colors) as well as all the metal hardware I’m donning (so if my bag’s hardware is gold, my jewelry should automatically be gold). It’s a very strange compulsion! I wish I could unlearn such. In High School, the dominant color of our uniforms were moss green and in essence, we were only allowed to wear black, white, or green accents for hair clips and such. Maybe as I was growing up, I had this preconceived notion that you can’t have that much fun with colors. It’s not true, of course, and you shouldn’t allow your creativity to be stunted in such a way.
- Cultivate the habit of wearing a watch so you can also cultivate the habit of being on time. I’m hardly ever a stickler for time and I don’t always have a watch on but if you imbibe it at a young age (or well, any age for that matter), you’ll always have a better grasp and appreciation of it.
So there, here are some of my photos, taking in the 5 things I’ve re-learned from my sixteen-year-old self!