If grown ups got to choose back-to-school outfits….




I think it's truly sad that when you grow up you no longer get to pick a back-to-school outfit each year. I loved doing this growing up, so this outfit I wore to work today is my pretend choice. I was one of those kids who liked to lay out my outfits with matching accessories. Fun memories! What are some of your early Autumn childhood memories?

PS- My outfit is all either thrifted or ancient except for my tights (c/o American Apparel) and shoes/Jeffrey Campbell.

  • I remember one day–my day before my first day of first grade, I got up in the middle of the night to get ready–brushed my hair, put on my clothes, brushed my teeth, then went back to bed. I just couldn’t wait to go to school! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I loved picking out my back to school outfits! And school supplies.. I actually found myself oogling the school supply isle before the back-to-school shopping commenced at Target. Fun memories. Fun topic and first day outfit ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Aww such a good memory. I was the same way. Back to school clothes shopping and picking out my special “First Day of School” outfit was my favorite part!
    I love your outfit. Those Jeffrey Campbells are the cutest, and look pretty snazzy paired with those tights. <3

  • my favorite time of year! i pick out “back to work when it feels like fall” outfits instead!

    love your tights lady!


  • I’m twenty-three and in graduate school so I still get to do this. However, it’s not as exciting when you have to buy things with your own money. I also wish my mom still made me matching hair bows for all of my school outfits.

  • I wore uniforms here in Australia so I didn’t get to do that ๐Ÿ™ This is probably not a bad thing, as we didn’t have much money when I was younger, but definately make up for it now.

    Kelly @
    Elegantly Academic

  • Back to school outfits!! Yes! … I gotta say though, my favorite thing about September is probably that it is now socially acceptable to start planning for Halloween =).

  • I’ve been saying the same thing for weeks! My mom always made me a pretty dress for the first day of school. I love thinking back on the photo shoots my parents would do with me and my brother in our new outfits with our new backpacks. I miss school!


  • ah! I was JUST thinking that I need that exact color of tights! Your always one step ahead of the rest of us ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • That’s what I’ve been fretting about the last few days! I ordered some new clothes for school but none of them will make it in time for my first day outfit! I live in a small town where wearing quirky or vintage clothing is not exactly a thing that most people do, so I love the looks I get! You never quite know if people are wowed, jealous, or just simply confused ๐Ÿ˜›

    The only thing is, that now I’ve got that pressure… I need to be able to WOW all of my classmates!

    Wish me luck!

  • My Little Mermaid backpack in 1st grade is my favourite memory, and I also definitely used to lay out all my clothes and accessories, with all my school supplies and make my mom take a picture. With my teddy bear in it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I am absolutely IN LOVE with your sweater. It is truly the perfect burnt fall orange. It’s also amazing that it’s 100% thirfted!

    I think my earliest autumn memory is decorating with my momma. When I was little I would seriously beg for us to get the autumn storage bins out of the attic. Just the smell, and the colours, and having it be something between just me and my momma. I’ll never forget that feeling.

    – Laura Shane


  • My first day of school in sixth grade was an Andy Gibb t shirt and tight dittos jeans. I had a massive sunburn from spending the day before at the beach. Ahh, the seventies!

  • Love the tights and the contrasting red shoes. Perhaps I could start a trend with Monday back to work style instead….
    xx Fran

  • Loving your back to school style Elsie, very sweet idea! My earliest autumn memory is starting school, as I started on my 5th birthday! (september 8th) I was really excited and a bit scared and felt very grown up! I think it all went smoothly! Katie. xxx

  • I love September for the new fashion- it’s my favourite time of year.

    As I went to school in the UK we have uniforms, so I never got to choose a back to school outfit! Only new shoes which for me, were always red ๐Ÿ™‚

    I do choose new going out outfits though- does that count?!

  • I’m a secondary school teacher in the uk and this week I had a new ‘back to school’ outfit, shoes, bag and pencil case for going back after the summer. At 27 it still happens! X

  • I always love having an excuse to plan my outfit for the next day. I used to lay my clothes out on the floor in full body shape to see how they might look together when I was in high school. So silly to see a flat “clothes person” when I would wake up in the morning.

  • I feel I’ve missed out on this “back-to-school-outfit” thing, coming from the UK

    But at least I was one of the lucky few who got a nice uniform, pink gingham and navy blue!

  • apples. tones of apples that we had to (and wanted to at some point) to collect from an old orchard that was on a countryside land that my father bought years ago. with dogs running around. uuuuuh, love this memory!

    ps. your shoes totally rock you pretty lady!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Here is the UK my back to school outfit was just a dull white shirt and grey skirt – pesky school uniform.

    I’m looking forward to going to the park and running through some fallen leaves. You are never too old for that

  • I never got to pick out a back to school outfit =/
    I had to wear hideous uniforms the whole time I was in school. They were really strict about it and even told us what kinds of shoes to wear. I would have loved some freedom!

    โ™ฅ Gina Michele

  • Shopping for back to school is definitely part of the reason I’m going for a PhD and planning to teach at a University for the rest of my life, and I’m not ashamed to admit it! I love reading these comments about everyone’s favorite back to school traditions.

  • Oh my gosh, those JC shoes are so beautiful! I might have to get me a pair if they’re available in the UK! Your cardi looks super cute on you too =)

  • I love the outfit! I was always the kid that forgot school was that day and woke five minutes before I needed to leave. Needless to say lots of jeans and t-shirts were worn.

  • I did that too! I would put everything to wear the next day in my chair starting with the shoes on the bottom all the way to matching underwear on top. I’d put the jewelry inside the shoes and lay my bag down next to the chair. I started doing that in middle school and I still do it sometimes when I have a big thing I need to plan an outfit for!! lol!

  • This is secretly one of the reasons I want to become a professor… I will ALWAYS get to pick a back-to-school outfit!

  • One of my favourite things about being a teacher is that I can totally still justify back to school shopping ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m having a Back to School BBQ this weekend actually, where everyone has to wear a ‘first day of school’ outfit ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Awh! Such a pretty fall outfit! I loved/love picking out my back-to-school. It was always so exciting planning out that first week of outfits. I remember wearing my outfit choice around the house a few days prior to the first day because I loved it so much. Picking out a back-to-school outfit for college was a little different, but still fun! Amazing choice! <3

  • Aw, I loved picking out first day of school outfits, too! I have so many childhood Fall memories: going to a local farm for the apple festival, picking out little gourds to decorate the house, walking home from the bus stop kicking leaves… Fun!

  • The last photo makes me smile, because yesterday I was wearing a blue gingham dress with red flats, and I took a photo of my feet very similar to that as well ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’m pretty stoked because I’m 25 and I’m finally going to college this year, so I’m going to get to pick my back to school outfit! YAY! I love yours, those shoes make my heart happy.

  • Being only 16 still I get to choose a back to school outfit for just a couple more years and I think I am as excited as ever, if not more!

  • Oh I love the yellow tights with your pretty red shoes! So gorgeous. We had a school uniform so I never got to pick a back to school outfit. These days as a teacher I make up for it, especially on Mondays and always try to find a special outfit to wear.
    Sophie x

  • I want to order lots of tights in pretty colors but I want to make sure they are thick and high quality. What is the best site/brand, in your opinion?

  • Love those shoes, especially the bows on them. I’ll be picking my back to university outfit in a few weeks time, eeep. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  • ohh, back to school is my favorite time to shop!! When I was little my mom dress me up in an oversized sweatshirt, black stirrup leggings, frilly ankle socks, and mary-janes. How 90s of her.

  • Oh my God, thank you for blogging this post! I am so sad because tomorrow will be the first day that I will NOT be back to school and I am pretty depressed and sad about it. (Yes, I love to learn, I miss going to graphic design school, even if it was chaotic and all… I miss having classmates…) Thanks for lifting my mood right back up!!! <3

  • my friend was telling me last week about how she never got a school uniform at primary school so when she got to secondary school she was so excited to have to wear one. And then how sad she was when she didn’t get one at college.I personally thought she was crazy!

  • love it! Elsie what is the name of the model of those JC shoes, have been searching for them everywhere with no luck for months! PLEASE help!

  • My sewing mahince keeps calling to me thank you for inspiration to start sewing for my granddaughters. I read your comment on Jen’s blog and that’s how I found your blog. I love the Harry dog with seaweed you made for Hank. I’ve been reading that book to children for 40 years and he’s never looked cuter.

  • Susan Posted on As soon as I saw that picture, I burst out lanuhigg so hard it was several minutes before I could collect myself enough to read the entry that went with it. That is one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time. Between what she has on and the look on her face, too hilarious!! So glad you shared that.

  • Your images and dseerss are really very amazing. The last one dress is very stunning after watching this dress I also want to buy this amazing dress. Please tell me from where I can buy these pretty girl costumes.