Your Favorite Summer Trends Re-Worked For Back To School

Can you believe it’s already late July? It feels like just yesterday that we were longingly dreaming of sundresses and sandals, but still bundling up against the chill of winter. Nowadays we’ve gotten pretty attached to our uniform of maxi skirts, sandals and shorts, and as much as we’re sick of the hot and sweaty city, we’re also not looking forward to turning in our bare legs come fall. If you’re headed back to school in addition to being headed back to cooler climes, you might have the additional worry of a dress code looming, which is why we wanted to look at some of our fave summer trends and show you how to make them backpack-ready come September!

You can work your sandals into fall with the right layers.
Photo: Madewell/Urban Outfitters/Swedish Hasbeens

We’re literally dreading the day it gets too cold for us to wear our sandals anymore. We’ve fallen completely in lurve with clogs, particularly these natural leather numbers from Swedish Hasbeens, and the comfy and durable heels are going to stay on our feet until we get frost bite, just you wait (or we’ll just get the boot version, heh). We’re huge fans of layering, though, and with a pair of opaque tights like these from Urban Outfitters, which come in a variety of colors, you can extend the life of your favorite summer shoes, within reason. Sandals and socks is a much maligned sartorial move for a reason, so use your good judgment. Of course you can just add tights to your fave dress and sandals pairing and make it a little more fall-friendly (with a varsity jacket perhaps?) but why just do that when we can also back to school-ify another of the pieces we’ll miss most come fall–shorts. We know tights and shorts is in no way breaking new ground, but there’s a way to do this well and a way to, you know, just put some tights under your shorts (basic). We think the key here is to look outside of the denim shorts box. For this look we love a pair of not-too-tight-not-too-baggy tap shorts in an interesting, unique fabric, like this Pendleton-esque pair from Urban Outfitters ($39.00). Topped with a fitted, crisp white button down, like the True Love Shrunken Oxford from Madewell ($59.50), this is a look that could take you straight through homeroom into the weekend.

For a distinctive, cozy take on monochrome, stick to jewel tones in a variety of textures.
Photo: Urban Outfitters/The Jeweler’s Daughter/Pamela Love/Steve Madden

We like to think those ’no wearing white after labor day’ kind of rules are relics of the Emily Post past, but we have to say, sometimes we find it hard to wear things we know our grandmother’s wouldn’t approve of. So what does that mean the fate of our brightly colored denim is going to be when the leaves turn? While we might retire the lighter colors, we think the more vibrant, jewel hues will prove to be a much needed respite from the inevitable sea of grey, black, and brown that dominates the fall and winter. Our favorite way to really make our colored denim pop, while also taking on one of our other favorite trends, monochrome, was actually inspired by Lana Del Rey’s fall H&M campaign image. In the photo, Del Rey pairs a peach angora crew neck with a pair of matching peach pants, and the monochrome combined with the varying textures just makes us swoon with cozy cold weather pleasure. Since H&M has yet to open up their e-retail, we came up with an equally awesome version of the look, pairing golden rod colored highrise skinnies ($58.00) with a textured yellow sweater ($49.00) that is equal parts drapey and prim. We love this look with bold silver accessories, like the Chrysler pendant ($100.00) from The Jeweler’s Daughter and this Day of the Dead Double Finger Ring from Pamela Love, and with the it-flat of the season, a pair of studded loafers ($139.95) like these Steve Maddens that are simultaneously playful and tailored.

Maxi dresses aren’t just for summertime anymore.
Photo: Asos/Forever 21/Urban Outfitters

Once it gets wet and nasty out, it’s probably the better part of valor to retire our street-skimming maxi sillhouettes, at least temporarily. The summery staple can last at least a little ways into the colder months, however, with just a few tweaks to our current, maxi skirt and gauzy blouse look. We love to play with texture and shape, and so with a long skirt, one of the best things to pair it with is a shrunken, cropped sweater. We’re feeling playful, so we combined the ditzy, Blossom-like charm of this floral maxi skirt ($46.40) from ASOS with a playful cropped multi colored sweater ($24.90) from Forever 21. When wearing this look we would wear the skirt high up on the waist, so no skin is showing between the sweater and the skirt (your principal probably wouldn’t approve of that). Paired with an almost collar-like necklace, like the French Connection Three Row Necklace ($36.45) from ASOS, a pair of kick-around ankle boots ($69.00) with a little heel like these from Urban, and a too cool for school studded satchel ($69.00), your breezy maxi will look just as ready to kick through some fall leaves as it was to run around on the sand.

What are your favorite summer trends, and how are you going to keep wearing them into the fall?

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