Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Lion, the Witch, and the High School Wardrobe

I recently recieved an email from a reader who is entering her freshman year of high school. She wanted to know which wardrobe staples would help her make a successful start in high school, at least in terms of her fashion choices. I told her I would help her out.

Before I list the wardrobe staples I have relied on throughout my high school career (I'm a senior now), I would like to stress that my wardrobe choices are based on the fact that a) My high school has an outdoor campus, b) I live in New England, so I have to be prepared for all kinds of weather, and c) My morning brain makes very different clothing choices than my afternoon/evening brain. To explain the last point, I give you A Typical Morning with Kori. Scene: Alarm goes off at 6:20 am. Girl hurls it against the wall before finally waking up. Girl looks groggily at the outfit she laid out the night, which consists of a cute skirt and tights, a t-shirt, and a sweater. Girl sighs and reaches for sweat pants. End scene. Basically, my point is that comfort is very important to me in the morning. Tights are usually out of the question, as are pinchy shoes or anything in which I would be too hot or cold. I have learned to lay out comfy and cute outfits so that I can avoid wearing sweats, but that's just me. A lot of girls can make themselves wear heels and short skirts. I'd also like to suggest that, when going back-to-school shopping before entering a new school, you try not to buy your entire wardrobe at once. Go to your school for a week, get the feel for what is acceptable (unless you don't care), and then buy what you need.

And now for my list of staples:

Jeans are a must. You don't need to buy expensive ones, but buy a couple pairs that fit you nicely. You will wear them a lot...I promise!

Sweatshirts/light jackets are another good thing to have. Because most high schools are quite large, the temperature tends to vary depending on which part of the school you are in. To deal with this, removable layers are a good idea. I like sweatshirts or jackets that button or zip in the front, because that way you can wear them open so that your shirt still shows. I have only three sweatshirts/light jackets that I wear on a regular basis, but my outfit always looks different because I have plenty of tops to wear underneath them. So make sure you have a good variety of tops. I personally favor vintage or vintage-look t-shirts for a typical day, because they are comfy and versatile, but really you should wear whatever you like.

Dresses are a great thing to have on hand, because it's the easiest thing to do to just slip on a dress, and you don't even have to worry about finding pants (although I would wear the dress over jeans, tights, or leggings in the winter). Also, you will always look like you made an effort when wearing a dress, even if you didn't (It will be our little secret). I'd suggest buying dresses that hit somewhere from just above your knees to your ankles, because wearing a short dress isn't so comfortable when you're spending hours sitting in class, and you don't want to be worrying about whether someone can see up your skirt while you're trying to learn. Or pass notes. Or sleep. Whatever floats your boat.

Make sure you have comfy shoes, because you'll be walking to and from classes all day. I live in my black Chuck Taylor All Stars during the school year because they are nice to my feet, go with everything, and can be worn in gym class. If you don't like Chucks, any cute pair of sneakers will do. Flats are another option for days when you want to look especially nice. And a great pair of leather boots will really get you through the winter. There's nothing worse than spending all day with wet feet and pant hems because you accidentally stepped in snow on the way to school, and boots will definitely help you avoid that discomfort. Boots are usually pretty expensive, but Delia*s and Alloy (and I think Urban Outfitters) currently have some on sale in their clearance sections. I would go for those. Actually, I did go for those, since I just bought a pair of motorcyle boots from Alloy, but that's beside the point.

If you have some money left over after buying your staples, it might be nice to buy some fun accessories and less practical clothing. The great thing about high school is that people are a lot more open to dressing differently than they were in middle school or junior high, so embrace it! Also, you should know that I tend to save my more unique/fun pieces of clothing for going out with my friends. It's fun to dress up for school every now and then, but I am just not enough of a morning person to deal with it on a regular basis. Oh, and I didn't include shorts or winter coats or backpacks in my list of staples, because I figured those were kind of a given.

I hope that helped! Good luck with high school!

P.S. If anyone else wants a long, rambling (but well thought out) response to their question, comment with it or email me.

P.P.S. Witty title, eh? I thought so. Oh, I am full of bad puns and tweaked book/movie titles. Just watch me go!


Meg said...

I agree 100% with the dresses. They are so easy and comfy. They are my alternative to sweats, too.

Anonymous said...

Thank You SO Much!

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