Wish you were headed back to school? Look the part with our 14 green academia-inspired looks and score an A+ in Sustainable Fashion 101. For more eco-friendly takes on classroom chic, revisit our 2010 back-to-school guide.
With its thigh-skimming plaid skirt, double-breasted anchor buttons, and prim (but not prissy) collar-and-ascot combo, this bookish yet playful 1960s minidress gets our vote for “Most Likely to Succeed.:
REBEL FOR A CAUSE
Tennis, anyone? Work that on-the-court swagger with a classic V-neck, cabled pullover. Try People Tree’s fair-trade, hand-knit Birkbeck jumper on for size or pick from the vintage options that abound online.
If traditional wool blazers leave you underwhelmed, this cropped vintage number from the 1980s is an A-grade alternative. It’s also cruelty-free, which means you won’t draw the ire of the PETA club when you stroll past the lockers.
Place your nondescript button-downs on probation. People Tree’s jazzed-up take, made from 100 percent organic cotton, features a Peter Pan collar, puffed sleeves, and a ruffled peplum to light up the dreariest detention halls.
Cardigans may be standard boarding-school issue, but we’d much rather trade scratchy acrylic for sumptuous 100 percent cashmere. Chinti and Parker’s curve-skimming, boyfriend-style version has a pair of contrast pockets for stashing mash notes.
COLOR YOUR WORLD
Too old for crayons? Never! Show off your smarts with a slim, tapered jean from IOU Project, which uses smartphone technology to connect you to everyone involved in its production. The Crayola-esque hues are a bonus.
Derived from 100 percent recycled cotton, BAGGU’s backpack makes the grade with its interior drawstring closure, snap-and-buckle flap, handy front pocket, and burst of fall-ready coral.
KEEP A LID ON IT
Do your best impression of a ’50s schoolgirl with a traditional felt hat, complete with an elastic strap around the chin. Go Parisian with a Madeline-esque vintage topper ($15) or be poised and properly British with a handmade bowler (£34.99).
KEEP CALM AND CARRYALL
If authenticity is your bag, you can’t go wrong with the Cambridge Satchel Company, which hand-tools its vintage reproductions in the U.K. with quality English leather. Cowhide verboten? You can also opt for a smaller, cruelty-free version made from polyurethane.
WHAT A SPECTACLE
No geek-chic look is complete without a pair of tasteful glasses. Warby Parker goes above and beyond the call of duty with its “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program, which delivers the gift of sight to someone in need with every purchase.
ROCK ‘EM, SOCK ‘EM
Walk a mile or more in a pair of “pre-antiqued” wing-tip oxfords from Vegetarian Shoes. With their stitched-on soles and nailed-on heels, these cruelty-free brogues were made for traipsing all over campus.