It might be over a decade since we left our uniforms behind, but come autumn we still feel the back-to-school vibes. And what better way to embrace them than by channelling our inner Blair Waldorf?
If you think the preppy look is best left in the '00s, think again. Here's how to bring it up to speed and take the style straight through Autumn/Winter 2017 with a little help from Ivy League go-to, GANT.
1. Suit up
It's hard not to feel like a total girl boss when you're wearing a suit, so it's been a welcome addition to the runway for the last few seasons. Make a simple check number a staple in your wardrobe, as they're more versatile than you might think. We love this ultra-flattering two-piece.
"Suiting is a key trend right now," says fashion stylist Jessica Tabard. "Don't be afraid to add a pop of colour with a bright roll neck or blouse." For an androgynous look, go oversized à la Marc Jacobs Spring Summer 2018, or turn heads with a striking head-to-toe single hue. We recommend a red colourway, the hottest shade of the season.
2. Add some athleisure
If your usual outfit for the office grind is a - perfectly acceptable, albeit boring - structured shift dress, try mixing tailored items with streetwear instead. You want a look that says sports luxe rather than I-just-finished-a-sweaty-gym-sesh, so pair a simple white shirt with high-waisted, tailored joggers. "Think Sandro style joggers with the stripe down the side," says stylist Kitty Cowell. "Add smart trainers and either a blazer or a leather jacket."
3. Get playful with shirts
Exaggerated and asymmetric shirts are going nowhere fast, so modernise your preppy style with sharp silhouettes. You can also try adding a corset to a simple cut. This pinstripe shirt, as seen on Megan in Couple Thinkers, already stands out for all of the right reasons, but make it a little edgy by lacing-up. "Wear a corset or a shirt over your shoulders for an event or a night out," says Kitty. "You can do both together for ultimate overkill."
4. Sock it to 'em
If your socks are usually an afterthought, you're missing out on one of the easiest ways to make a statement. Think Fendi's coloured checks, Burberry's diamond prints or Marco De Vincenzo's fishnets. Miuccia Prada is the queen of the transformative sock, and while a geometric printed pair may seem a little extra, matched with this GANT utility shirt dress you'll hit the sweet spot between classy and cool.
5. Go for grunge
So, you think your plaid skirt feels a little too Clueless? Although we're all for that, try swapping your blazer for a bomber and teaming the look with Chelsea boots. "Choose a pleated skirt," says Kitty. "Then pair it with a cropped logo sweat or a patent rain coat. Topshop have some great ones for AW17." Vinyl is big news right now, so grab yourself a shiny mac to add instant edge to any outfit.
GANT champions a never stop learning philosophy. Whether you're learning about roughing up your preppy style or pondering bigger questions, tune into their new show Couple Thinkers to see both clothes and thought in action.