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Prep School Dressing for Those Who've Already Attended Their Reunions

November 28, 2007 by SheFindsJessica
shefinds |

Credit the Japanese Harajuko girls, Britney Spears' "Hit Me Again" music video, and the general youth obsession of both American and Japanese cultures with the new boarding school inspired styles that are emerging this season.

Last year school girl blazers began leaking out (Rebecca Taylor made one that sold out almost immediately), and the style has now trickled down to mass-appeal stores like J.Crew (also a jacket that sold out in several colors). In the meantime, designers like Chloe, Vanessa Barrantes, and Jean d'Arc have begun to pick up the uniform-inspired dress.

I'd always thought that people would be eager to escape the sturm and drang of high school. But I went to a public school without a dress code…so maybe I don't understand the nostalgia of a tweed pinafore and knee-socks. However, although age may play an important factor in determining whether this trend will find a place in your closet, those with a Peter Pan complex can rejoice in its girlishness. I'd recommend avoiding mary-jane shoes and overly feminine or childish accessories with a dress bearing adolescent inspiration. Instead go for urban and masculine inspiration – flirty oxford heels, spectator pumps, ankle boots, or perhaps a pair of round toe platform heels. Chunky, modern jewelry (maybe indulging the new stud and pyramid trend) will also keep you from answering whatever happened to Baby Jane.

Here are my favorites schoolgirl dresses:

1. Vanessa Barrantes ($385; use code "lucky4" for 25% off):  A blue jewel tone will highlight almost any complexion, and the length will allow some sex appeal to shine though.

2. Vanessa Barrantes ($374; use code "lucky4" for 25% off):  It's a little bit Von Trapp, but a lot of flawless construction and innocent playfulness.

3. See by Chloe (originally $370 ; on sale for $219):  The puff sleeve balances out wider hips and the tweed, combined with a contrasting Peter Pan collar, provides a lovely vintage feel.

4. See by Chloe ($470)  This dress is a little bit more military school than prep school, but when paired with a pair of black opaque tights and studded ankle boots, it'll take you everywhere from work to the bar.

5. Corey Lynn Calter ($242; use code "apologies" for 25% off)  The empire waistline of this dress will flatter any figure.  And by pairing it with a cardigan or leather cropped jacket you can wear it cross seasonally.

6. Rag and Bone Pinafore Jumper ($320)  Rag and Bone is famous for their innovative cuts and stylish renovations of classic garments.  This pinafore is undeniably fashionable and not something you'll see walking in and out the doors of your local Sacred Heart high school.

7. Generra ($295; on sale for $177; use code "AUTUMN" for free shipping)  With its adorable large buttons and easy shape, this shift will become a staple in your wardrobe's rotation.

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