Back-to-school basics don’t have to be bland. Margaret Harney offers simple style tips to p(r)imp your uniform.
Does the thought of back-to-school shopping for the customary khakis and solid polos sounds as inspiring as creamed corn on the school menu? These fashion-forward students unlock the after-school potential with accents of color, accessories, layers, and a little heavy metal. Photography by Michelle L. Morris. Styling by Brooke Atwood and Ikeda Feingold.
iFit: Don’t be afraid to showcase a little personality in the uniform dress-up; what you wear says as much about you as what you say. By adding a signature “you” piece like Jace Morris’s printed suspenders or Trevor Buss’s classic Chuck Taylor’s, you’ll get a chance to wear that uniform instead of the uniform wearing you.
Metallica: Nothing transforms the monotone like a little magna chrome, so kick up the basic with some sparkle and shine too bright to ignore. Make a big statement with footwear, like Jackson Schroder’s silver Nikes, for a look that’s got the corner market on shocking.
Smart Fibers: Cotton twill and polyester blend is the name of the game when it comes to the basic dress code, but play with texture a little and see if there aren’t a few feathers to ruffle. Try a smooth and silky scarf to break up the flat and provide some depth to the outfit.
Costume Party: Movie fans, it’s time to showcase your favorites with color palette mash-ups and inspiration pieces that scream silver screen. The leather jacket worn by Haisten Harden hails back to the 1950’s and Rebel Without A Cause, and Betelehem Tule Lowe’s colors of pink and lily green put her on par with the fairy tale princess who kissed her frog back into a prince. So turn on your favorite, or your latest Red Box pick-up, and get inspired for a look that’s nothing but fun.
Out of the Attic Box: Grandma chic is so popular nowadays that it should be second nature to head to the attic (or a vintage store) for a little dig to spice up your wardrobe. Pop in vintage accessories like suspenders or a straw fedora and you’ve completely taken that uniform from drab to on-trend chic.
Belt It Out: Nothing is easier than adding a belt to change things up, and choosing from a patent leather wide waist or a cream and black polka dot is a great way to make a statement with little effort. Keep it simple, like Katie Shea’s purple floral appliqué belt, or go a little crazier like Kate Englemaier’s bright floral extravaganza and break up the one-toned monotony.
Print Media: It’s not always about going against the grain, sometimes it’s just as easy to work with what you’ve got. If you’re tied down with a set pattern, it’s almost too easy to spice things up by pulling accessories that accent. Try striped socks in the same color theme like Duke Cowart and replace the boring old white ones with something a little more eye-catching.
Treasure Chest: Add pops of color pizzazz the easiest way possible: jewelry. Whether you’re of the one color kind, and want to go pink all the way like Kate Engelmaier, or prefer to change it up with diamonds and braids like Haisten Harden, bracelets, necklaces, and rings are the perfect way to catch the eye. This isn’t just for ladies either, gents, leather cuffs and hemp braids are hot for the guys with the added bonus of some indie cred cool.
Build It Up: When the last bell sounds (or 5 o’clock hits), the first thought is probably “when can I take this off?” But instead of stripping down, try adding on by layering detachable pieces like cardigans, blazers – or even a tutu – that will disguise you so well, the teacher won’t recognize you.
Break It Down: If there’s a lack of at-the-ready accessories and you’re still dying for a chance to change it up, try updating the silhouette of the outfit you’re already wearing. Roll some pant legs, scrunch down some socks, or undo a few of those top buttons for an off-duty take that doesn’t require you stuff your closet in your bag.
For more looks and information on where to find cool threads, pick up a copy of Savannah magazine’s July/August issue.