Over the last year, I’ve become a big fan of schoolgirl style and there’s also been a huge resurgence of the look on the runways in the last few seasons. Cute and intellectual, the look is appealing for both its accessibility and whimsical nature. The prevailing style of today is not a direct take on the standard schoolgirl look of yesteryear. It is much more refined and ironic; more Luella and YSL than private school standard-issue uniforms.
To pull the look off with ease, there are a few staples that every schoolgirl-to-be should have handy:
The accessory du jour for any self-respecting schoolgirl is a pair of heart-shaped glasses
and Cutler + Gross
have done designer versions, but if your budget is a little tight, the once elusive frames can now be found at most novelty stores and sunglass stands. Mine are by Dr. Peepers
. Or, stake out Ebay for a vintage pair.
Schoolgirls have a knack for searching out vintage books of only the highest quality! Anything you consider aesthetically pleasing will do. I’m a big fan of picture books like the Marilyn Monroe one you see above but if you prefer to actually read, vintage Penguin paperbacks have some of the best covers around.
Timeless, indulgent and totally self-serving, nameplate necklaces add that finishing touch to a prim little outfit. The most common are those of the precious metal variety, but I prefer to riff on the staid classic and go with an acrylic version instead. Mine is by Helpless Romantic
Super popular right now, heeled oxfords are being offered by almost every major designer and there are versions for every budget. Much more prim than standard heels, the adjustability makes them decidedly more accommodating to different sized feet (more common than you might imagine)! Kris Atomic has a nice Chloe pair
and Gala Darling has a stylish spectator style version
A lolita staple, knee-highs have an innocent air about them coupled with old school appeal. For reasons unknown to me, they drive guys crazy! Sock Dreams has the most comprehensive selection of legwear I have ever seen and their customer service is impeccable.
The schoolgirl’s bible, Lula has established a cult following in a very short period of time and Fashion Verbratim
sums up its appeal best:
It’s hard to miss. There’s something distinctly different about Lula. The pleasant mystification begins with the title. Off center, relatively small compared to industry standards. In bright pink – no, fuchsia – the kind of shade you’d expect to find smothered across the face of a young girl as she bravely experiments with the world of lady lipwear.
Lula Magazine was started by ex-Voguettes Leith Clark and Becky Smith. Published bi-annually, it amalgamates fashion, art, film, and culture in a refreshingly unarmored manner.
A true schoolgirl does her best to be punctual and organized and there’s no better way to do this than with a daily planner! Paper planners are so much more timeless than the digital options floating around these days. Nothing beats a Moleskine (with its secret pocket to store love letters and favorite photos) and a special marker to check off your to-do list! The red version
above is a limited edition.
A favorite of 40s pinups, the peep toe has a subversive feel when paired with schoolgirl basics. Personally, I skip the bare legs and pair peep toes with knee-highs or opaque tights (more schoolgirl looking in my book).
What are your must-have schoolgirl necessities?