You know how people grunt and grumble as soon as they see the first signs of back-to-school ads? I’m not one of those people. Sure, it might be because I don’t actually go to school anymore, but I think it has more to do with being raised in a house where both my parents were teachers. September always felt like January (which might explain why I’m not big on NYE parties), and back-to-school shopping is forever a favorite. Today it’s arguably even more exciting than it was when my priority was finding the perfect Trapper Keeper.
As proof, I asked a few fellow New Yorkers to share what’s in their own back-to-school carts. As professionals who don’t exactly get an official summer break, theirs are filled with pieces that get us all back to reality, back on our A-game, and inspired to shift seasons. Plus, the 17 hand-selected pieces ahead hit on tons of F/W 18 trends that we’re expecting will be all over the streets of New York in no time.
"Skinny jeans are comfy, yes, but have you ever put yourself in a pair of straight-leg jeans? This cut is the ultimate key to comfort. Get yours on Redone or Reformation. Perfect for sitting all day at the office or in school."
Available in sizes 23 to 31.
"There are many levels to the fanny-pack game, you can go super high or you can go super low. Buy yours in Chinatown or at the Chanel store, either way, you can't go back to school without this cute after-class essential."
"I totally believe in dressing up an outfit with jewelry. This being said, in my eyes, a big pair of gold earrings can add some pizzaz to anything. I came together with Jelwery brand Alta Ora to design my one perfect pair of gold earrings, and without being bias, they really ARE the perfect pair."
"I'm having a bit of a burry-me-in-animal-prints moment. This is the perfect post-summer dress because it ain't over until we melt through a few 90-degree September days."
"I. Want. To. Be. A. Cowboy. Not really sure what else to say about that, tbh. It's just a trend I can get behind, have fun with, and annoy everyone around me with accompanying saloon talk."
Available in sizes 12 to 24.
"I'm not usually a brown-shoe kind of gal, but this croc-effect pattern is really a game changer for me. This fall, I will wear the heck out of these smart, sleek, and comfortable heels."
"At the first sign of chilly fall weather, I'm slipping into this slightly oversize but still polished cardigan. It's perfect with easy dresses, high-waist trousers for work, and packing for every autumn weekend getaway."
Available in sizes XS to L.
"Some things never change, such as my need to get a new hair accessory for every upcoming school year. This one feels grown up, but it has a hint of sparkle, too."
"My back-to-school essential would be the neon Prada nylon tote. I've been on the hunt for a new bag that would be perfect to fit my laptop and everyday essentials and think this one is current and on trend with the neon color and unique padded texture. It's different than your classic logo tote. A must-have."
"Also, you can never go wrong with some Muji stationary (especially gel pens)."
"My go-to summer sandals have definitely reached their limit. As we approach fall, I'm quickly realizing I need a new go-to. These Tibi low-heel pumps will do just the trick."
"Last fall I wore a thin mesh leopard-print turtleneck all the time—on its own, underneath dresses, etc. This season, I figure why fix what wasn't broken? This Acne Studios floral iteration has me excited for more inventive layering days to come."
Available in sizes XXS to L.
"Fall is my favorite season, and I'm super excited to start wearing blazers again. I was so stoked when they came back on trend last fall even though they're a good classic staple to always have in your closet regardless. Blazers are so versatile, but I love pairing them with a tee, jeans, and some booties. With glen plaid and houndstooth making a huge comeback this season, I definitely need to buy this blazer from Zara ASAP."
Available in sizes XS to XL.
"As much as I love florals, leopard print definitely gets me really excited for fall! Animal print is basically the new neutral and can be styled numerous ways. This Who What Wear collection skirt will definitely be on repeat this season. The asymmetrical hem definitely makes this piece. I love how versatile it is, and I can’t wait to wear it with booties and sneakers, jean jackets and knits."
"Booties and over-the-knee boots have been my go-tos for the past few autumns and winters. but I've been really digging the knee-high boot trend. They pair so well with dresses and skinny jeans and definitely dress up an outfit. I am really loving this nude leather pair from Zara. I think they are so sexy, and the perfect summer-to-fall transitional color."
"The end of summer means it's time to put away your floral and flowy dresses and bring out (or buy) an LBD for parties and nights out to come. I may or may not have already ordered this lace one from Les Reveries because I just couldn't wait."
Available in sizes 0 to 12.
"I have my eye on this Ganni jacket for the transitional weather that's to come. Since the majority of my wardrobe is pretty neutral and simple, I think it'll go with almost everything I own, and it's just the right weight for early fall."
Available in sizes DK 34 to DK 42.
Up next, check out this pro tips on how to shop fashion editors' favorite affordable site.