Let me preface this story by telling you that I graduated from school over a decade ago. Yet I still go back-to-school shopping. And I'm not just talking about a cute term for fall shopping. Back-to-school shopping is different. It occurs when just the pre-fall collections and the first of the fall stock is making its way into stores. And given that it pretty much starts in July, it's a better time to shop for those essential transitional pieces than it is to buy sweaters and coats (those can wait until September).
So why do I, as an adult, feel the need to go back-to-school shopping as soon as I see the displays of notebooks and pencil cases appear at Target each year? I admittedly don't have the reason for every one of my shopping habits all figured out, but in this case, I'm pretty sure I do. Unlike any other season, there's something about the drastic contrast of the end of summer and the start of fall that makes me want to refresh my wardrobe immediately. It's a fresh start, just as the new school year was for the first two decades of our lives.
While I may not be filling my shopping cart with canvas backpacks to carry my books around and school dress code–approved skirts anymore, much of what I purchase at this time of year is admittedly similar, e.g., a new pair of jeans, sneakers, T-shirts, and a new bag (but a decidedly more grown-up one). Want to see what I'm shopping for (or at least wishing for) this year, as a 30-something-year-old?