Back-to-School Must-haves: What I Wish I Had While in School

Back-to-school season is always a long and tiring process. As we grow older, our style evolves, and we right our wrongs when it comes to poor makeup, clothing, and beauty choices. It’s an ongoing evolution and it’s fun! If we drown out that little voice in the back of our heads that tells us there is no ethical form of consumption under capitalism, there is much joy to be found while shopping for back-to-school essentials.

I learned a lot during my four years of University, and I don’t mean in terms of expanding my knowledge of a specific area of study, but I learned a lot about myself and what I could and couldn’t get away with. (Every six months I try to convince myself to get bangs, and every six months I have to have an inner argument. So far I’ve always talked myself out of it.)

As I come freshly into September with my undergrad collecting dust on my wall, I bring a list of things that I would love to share with you that I wish I had while I was attending school. With hopes that these items will bring you some help down the road (like I wish I had), keep scrolling to get the full list.

BEAUTY

Glossier – Boy Brow

I have a love/hate relationship with my eyebrows. As a kid, they were untamed and unruly, and I really didn’t know how to take care of them. Eventually, it became fashion-forward to have thin eyebrows, and in order to fit in with those in my class, I followed suit. It was not a good look. Now that I’m older, I’ve realized the importance of eyebrows and how they shape your face. Boy Brow by Glossier is perfect as it gives great definition to my brows for a standout look while keeping everything in place.

Becca – First Light Filter Face Primer

If you’re like me, you often turn off your alarm clock by hitting snooze every five minutes. When you make this decision you are often making an unconscious decision to give something up in the morning: your make-up routine, breakfast, or your ability to grab some coffee before class without being late. We can’t have it all. On the days I’m especially lazy, I opt out of my full makeup routine and leave the house just wearing Becca’s First Light Filter Face Primer. It gets rid of any puffiness I have, allowing my skin to look more energized and hydrated for the day.

CLOSET

Fenty x Puma – Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear

Rihanna has always reigned supreme and it was only a matter of time until she blessed us with her very own clothing line. Who wouldn’t want to dress like Rihanna? During my time in school, I was blessed with her albums, her amazing street style, and even saw her in a concert in my first year of University. The Fenty x Puma Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear collection is the ultimate inspiration for students lounging at the library and getting dressed for a night out with friends.

Dolce & Gabbana – Polar Bear Backpack

In school, you’re always on the go and need a reliable bag to get you from point A to B. The best part about this bag is that you are never going to want to put it down. I mean, look how cute it is. This little guy can hold all your essentials (notebooks, pens, pencils, etc.), and/or be a great source of comfort after spending a long day studying in isolation when you just need a hug.

BEDROOM 

Terrarium

If you have trouble keeping something alive (like a pet or yourself), a terrarium is the perfect household object to liven up your bedroom and show people that there is life under your stacks of books and cobwebs. Seriously, it’s nearly impossible to kill these things (even though I’ve done it), as they hardly require any care to stay alive and add an earthy quality to any bedroom.

Bed Canopy

Have you ever wanted to feel like a princess? I can’t think of anything more Queen-like than accessorizing your bedroom with a bed canopy. It’s a great alternative if you want minimal accessorizing to your bedroom, but want to add a little colour and design to make it pop. Who wouldn’t want to be relaxing under this?

ELECTRONICS

Wireless Speakers

If you take away anything from this list, remember this: wireless speakers are a must. There’s no worse feeling than realizing, the night of your big housewarming party, that your friends have all flaked and forgot their speakers at home. It’s definitely an investment, but it will make all the difference.

Amazon

Fitbit Alta HR

It’s really hard to get to the gym during exam season. Scratch that. It’s really hard to get to the gym, ever. We spend a large part of our days getting from home to work without realizing how much activity we actually do, and the Fitbit Alta is a great way to monitor that. You can set little goals for yourself and follow them through with its easy to use interface.

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Paris Street Style 101: A Masterclass

One can argue that Paris truly is the birthplace of modern fashion. It’s stars, both in fashion and entertainment, have inspired droves of people around the world to adopt a way of life and a way of dressing that is distinctly Parisian. And with countless style muses to chose from (Bridgitte, Jane, Lea, Carla, Carmen, Soko et al.) one really can’t go wrong when looking to the streets of Paris for style inspiration.

Simplicity

PHOTO: JONATHAN DANIEL PRYCE

One of the most striking things you’ll see on the streets of Paris isn’t the flashing lights or beautiful architecture because Parisian dressing really isn’t about the flash or glitz, or all the bells and whistles that some other cities may require a person to wear to get noticed. Paris is about an organic style that comes from one’s environment, from their childhood, and from what feels right in the here and now. So it isn’t rare to see simple looks that incorporate small details that nod to the wearer’s personality. Whether that be a print or a family heirloom necklace, the French know that keeping the outfit simple and fresh always allows the details to come to life.

Chanel, Chanel, Chanel!

PHOTO: SANDRA SEMBURG

Now Chanel may be out of most people’s price ranges, but nothing says Paris like Chanel. Ever since Gabrielle set out to change the face of women’s fashion in France decades ago, Chanel has been the most recognisable symbol of French fashion. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that wearing Chanel around town could possibly be the most Parisian thing one can do besides visiting Paris itself.

Très Chic, Très Féminine

PHOTO: CHRISTIAN VIERIG

While most of the time Paris can be the land of sharp Mugler suits, and pristine Dior dresses, it’s also the city that brought us candy coloured pastries and Pompadour gowns. The old courts of Versailles can still be felt in Paris to this day in the ultra feminine clothing seen around the city. Ruffles, pastels, and sequins are all fair game on the streets of Paris, just as long as the outfit is tres chic. Because the Parisian fashionista doesn’t dress feminine to look childish, they dress feminine to exude a softness and delicate strength that comes with feminine clothing.

 

The Higher the Heels, The Closer to Dieu

PHOTO: JONATHAN DANIEL PRYCE

Paris is the city of A. the classic Chanel flat or B. the most daring (and likely uncomfortable) of heels. Apart from Russia, France seems to be a safe haven for heel lovers and nowhere is that more visible than in the city of lights. Every time fashion weeks rolls around, it’d be surprising to see women walk around down with anything but the most pencil-thin stilettos. The beauty of super high heels is the boost in confidence it can give a person and the fashionistas of Paris are never one’s to walk the world on their shoulders.

 Neo-Romanticism

PHOTO: CHRISTIAN VIERIG

Paris is a city built on romance and with that romance comes romantic dressing. Now you don’t have to run around dressed as if a Harlequin novel threw up on way, but a little throwback frill can go a long way. One way to make sure Parisian romanticism works when putting an outfit together. Instead of going full on Edwardian high-neck glamour. One should opt for something vintage yet sexy. Think Moulin Rouge in 2017. One of the greatest pros to dressing with romantic flair is the versatility of it. Victorian and Edwardian can easily be paired with lingerie or athletic wear, which adds a modern flair to any outfit.

Joie De Vivre

PHOTO: MELODIE JENG

The “Joy of Life” is a concept that is distinctly French. It represents living life in a way that allows one to be who they are and live how they want. It’s about striving for self-love and happiness. The colourful Joie De Vivre of native Parisian’s can easily translate into everyday outfits with cheerful and thoughtful pops of colour. Stripes, patterns, polka dots, and florals can all add an effervescence to anyone’s wardrobe. Just be sure to always wear colours in a very chic way. The Parisian fashionista wears colour and pattern as an extension of their own cheerfulness, not for the sake of getting attention or attracting the cameras of photographers.

Instagram Feature: Kids More Fashionable Than You

Even as a crazed fashion lover (is there really such a thing?) I have humbly accepted the fact that I cannot reach a healthy and plentiful “blogger status”, mostly because I don’t have the funds, a round the clock photographer, or a Gucci belt to do so. Because of this, I worshipfully scroll through the feeds of some of my favourite style bloggers simply admitting a modest defeat from their standards of fashion looks. However, upon my scrolling, a new breed of fashion Instagrammer’s have come about, one that is just as fashionable, just as sassy but is about 20 years younger than their OG counterparts. Yes— we are talking about tiny humans setting the fashion standards high for us Zara lovers and thrift store chasers. Here are some kids who will have you questioning your current wardrobe and will inspire you to think out of the box. Even though they are true fashion lovers, kids remind us not to take fashion so seriously, and to have fun with it.

@hails_world

photos from @hails_world

Eight year old, Haileigh is a fashion designer, model, and actor. With such a busy repertoire of activities it’s hard to believe she has time to fit in some inspirational fashion looks on her Instagram page. What is unique about this Instagram blogger is her take on a classic look. Haileigh blends her fun and childish flare with some very classic looking pieces. She almost has a mini Michelle Obama thing going for her in her pattern choices, and classy necklines and tailoring. There are some “street style” looks’s that show off her edge as well but her elegant, girly flare is what stands out on Haileigh’s page.

@babyellestyle

photos from @babyellestyle

Adorable, Elle has an Instagram account run by her mom but her fashion choices seem to be made all by herself. Elle has the blogger pose down and has a very unique collection of fun bags and sunglasses! What sets this account apart from others is that many of the outfits are made for the reality of being a kid. Take this first look, this is what Elle wears to play baseball—both stylish and practical.

@ministylehacker

photos from @ministylehacker

Another account run by a modern mommy (realistically SOMEONE has to take these photos). These brothers and their matching hair cuts have a great flare that embodies current men’s street style. There is definitely no hand-me-downs worn by these fashionable little lads. Their poses suggest that they truly love to be photographed (which, from what I hear is very rare to come by for most kids). With their sleek accessories, their wide denim collection, and their intricate detailing (just look at those skull knee covers!) there is no doubt that these brothers are totally worthy of being fashion inspo on Instagram!

@txunamy

photos from @txunamy

This eight year old is definitely inspired by modern Americana fashion! In fact, in many of her posts, she does a side by side recreation of a celebrity outfit (she’s cop’ed Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner and more) and NEVER fails to impress. This account puts together outfits that are not only appreciated by older fashion lovers, but can actually be used as real fashion inspiration as she truly has the wardrobe of a classic 20-somethings dream! Follow @txuamy if you’re interested in how to utilize your own wardrobe to the max!

@coco_pinkprincess

photos from @coco_pinkprincess

There is no competition when is comes to @Coco_pinkprincess. This 6-year old from Tokyo is a true fashion icon with the sass to match. Her Burberry, Chanel, and Supreme collection is on point but brands aside, this account is a true inspiration for how to mix and match pieces and patterns to create outfit’s that are art-worthy. With Coco’s aesthetic, fashionable flare and attitude, it will be exciting to see where this growing platform will take her!

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Instagram Feature: Forever Young Fashion

I learned early in life (around 13) that style is ageless. This realization didn’t come to me from wiseness, or respect for my elders or anything attributed to sincerity.  It was simply because the more I came to appreciate my mom’s, grandmother’s, great aunt’s or any other woman who was my senior’s sense of style, the more hand-me-down’s I acquired (and let’s be real, vintage is ALWAYS better than my older cousins’ tossed down GAP). Really though, young people are absolutely oblivious if they believe that we are superior in terms of fashion sense. Mature people have historical knowledge, experience in developing their style, and just a general sense of class that most young people have not yet acquired (sorry). This is why I am starting to listen when my mom tells me to pull up my shirt or my grandmother asks me, “Did you pay extra for those holes in your pants?” — HA HA. Not saying I am changing my wardrobe because of these comments, but I really am taking it in because with more time on this earth comes more experience with presentation, interpretation, and fashion.

Yes, I understand that not every senior lady is modernly fashionable. Some are still stuck in the 60’s (bless them) and some live in their track suits, while they reminisce of the days when they’d dress up and go out on the town. However, we cannot excuse the senior ladies who are still going out on the town AND with a developed style that continues to evolve. In 2014, director Lina Plioplyte released a documentary on Netflix titled Advanced Style,which features the lives of seven New York ladies whose sense of style is unique and open-minded to ideas. Of course, we cannot forget my personal favourite of the mature fashionistas, Iris, who has inspired every generation with her unique sense of artistry that reflects in her daily fashions. While these women are influencing their styles through films, others are taking a more modern approach in gracing us with inspiration by way of social media. One of the most well-known for her online fame is 88 year-old Baddiewinkle, who rapidly gained followers for posting her bold and positively wild looks via Instagram, @baddiewinkle. Even though her looks are not for everybody, there is no questioning that this Instagram star does not let her age get in the way of expressing her truly fun and inspirational character.

Photo from Baddiewinkle’s Instagram: @Baddiewinkle

Like Baddiewinkle, others are turning to Instagram to share their mix of classic and modern tastes. Here are some other inspiring mature models to follow on Instagram.

Photo from The Accidental Icon’s Instagram: @iconaccidental

Accidental Icon

Already featured on Novella, but this account is just too good not to mention twice. Accidental Icon began her blog to provide a representation of fashionable women apart from celebrity. What I love about her is her true fusion between classic and modern (just look at that bomber jacket). Nothing is too “young” or modern for this model whose Instagram page, @iconaccidental has over 87K followers.

Photo from Jenny Kee’s Instagram: @jennykeeoz

Jenny Kee

Jenny Kee does not shy away, as we can see. Her whole Instagram page, @jennykeeoz, features looks just like this from her own collection. What is great about this account, and Jenny as a designer, is her use of both young and mature models — embracing the fact that style and “certain style” does not have to be age-specific.

From the blog page of Tziporah Salamon

Tziporah Salamon

Tziporah Salamon was one of the stars in the Netflix series Advanced Style, but with jaw-dropping style and an Instagram page, @tziporahsalamon, she truly belongs in this list and must be followed ASAP!  Her style is unique in that it bonds 1920’s inspiration, with her head pieces and hair and makeup, 1960’s, sometimes Victorian patterns, and modern layering — she is fluidly inspirational to every time era! In her description above her page it states, “TEACHER /Model/Fashion Consultant/Actress/Bill Cunningham’s Muse” — she is basically doing everything and while draped in magnificence.

Photo from Patti’s Instagram: @notdeadyetstyle

Not Dead Yet Style

I have followed Patti‘s Instagram page, @notdeadyetstyle, for a while now. She is silly, blunt and very real. She represents the women who do not necessarily live for couture or “street style” per-say, but are interested in fashion and having a voice in the fashion world. The name of Patti’s blog says it all — just because someone has matured does not mean they are leaving behind a youthful and fun sense of style.

With these examples and more, there is absolutely no reason to assume that once someone is above the age of belonging to a trendy brand’s target market, their love of fashion goes out the widow. I aspire to keep my passion for trends and clothing long after my age-group stops being represented on runways. These accounts inspire not only my future self’s sense of fashion, but also the current one.