We understand if the idea of grown-up women in school uniforms makes you think of Britney Spears (at best) and icky websites (at worst), but the students across the U.S. heading back to school this week have us thinking about all the style potential of the school uniform. We’ve picked three celeb looks where schoolboy blazers, oxfords, and skirts with fluted hems pulled from the classic prep school uniform are reworked and refreshed to suit more adult tastes. Prepare to get schooled by Poppy Delevigne, Kristen Stewart, and Jessica Alba.
Tip #1: Feminize a schoolboy blazer with a statement necklace.
Photo: Maniul Yamalyan/WENN.com
While exiting The Arts Club in London earlier this year, tastemaker Poppy Delevigne posed in an outfit worthy of an A+. She borrowed a black fitted blazer from the boys and made it feminine by adding an unexpected statement-making collar necklace in cobalt stones. Her combination of the Breton stripes and red pants was classic , while the studded boots added an edgy note. Delevigne’s lemon yellow bucket bag rounded out the primary tones.
1. J. Crew Tortoise-Button Sweatshirt – $69.50; 2. Kate Spade Give it a Swirl Statement Necklace – $148; 3. Topshop Structured Blazer – $130; 4. Christopher Kane Mid-Rise Skinny Jeans – $275; 5. Ash Nevada Studded Booties – $295; 6. Asos Leather Bucket Tote Bag – $173
Tip #2: Try a fluted hem as an update to the pleated skirt.
We get it, the pleated mini just has too many connotations—do it in tartan and you’re bound to look costumey. But the Stella McCartney ensemble that Kristen Stewart wore while promoting Snow White and the Huntsman is a refreshing take on the school uniform staple. The fluted hem is a shape you’re sure to see a lot of this fall, and it’s as flattering as it is flirty. Stewart wore hers with a buttoned-up blouse and double-breasted jacket—a look that could easily translate to the office.
1. French Connection Twinkle Crepe Flared Skirt – $118; 2. Forever 21 Double-Breasted Blazer – $32.80; 3. Forever 21 Accordion Pleated Shirt – $17.80; 4. Lanvin Short Flared Skirt – $1,635; 5. Alice + Olivia Madison Suede and Leather Loafers – $295
Tip #3: Cap toes are a fresh take on the classic oxford.
Sometimes it seems like oxfords are the perfect shoe—wearable in all seasons with anything from cuffed trousers to a sundress—and that’s probably why they’ve been the footwear of choice for prep school students for decades. Jessica Alba wore them herself while on her way to school—to pick up her daughter Honor, that is. The actress wore a pair of The Office of Angela Scott oxfords with painted cap toes, a fresh take on the timeless shoe. Pick a bold color for your feet, then keep the rest of your outfit monochrome like Alba did.