New school year, new style

Courtney Charbonneau

Thu August 28, 2014 10:11am

Summer is ending and back-to-school advertisements haunt you. For high school, new bags, supplies and gym sneakers can be exciting, and for college, it’s the ghost of textbooks reminding you how much they cost.
Nerves, sighs and financial scares aside, being stylish will make it fun!
In Southern California, fall doesn’t necessary exist, so your transition from summer beach-wear to school-wear is much easier than say, for somebody from New York. 
Options, options, options; what should be in your closet for the school year?
Skirts  Maxi skirts are huge this year. Black or neutral should be your best friend, especially after dropping big bucks on back-to-school stuff. This way, you can match almost any color tops with it.
Jeans Dark straight-leg or skinny jeans are my favorite go-to denim. Want to make them into capris? Go for it. Roll them up once or twice and you have a contrasted pair of capris that nobody has to know you wore as pants last week.
Leggings follow the same rules as skirts — for the most part. Solids are the safe choice. Feeling risky? Choose patterns to make your personality shine; tribal, floral and even cartoon characters from Comic Con.
Shorts Flared should only be in your closet if you plan to be in a ’90s music video or cut them into frayed Daisy Dukes. High-waist shorts are OK as long as they don’t make you look like the female Urkel. Add a skinny belt and loose top and you’re good to go. Light material shorts with prints are great for solid tops and simple to go from day to night with.
Tops  Lightweight chaotic prints will be a time-saver. With bold-print tops, choosing an outfit for class or school becomes easier. Go solid on the bottom, grab a floral blouse and solid flip-flops. One rule of thumb for bold prints though is to not go overboard. Go bold on top or bold on bottom, not both!
Dresses are a must. Go as crazy with prints and colors as you want! Talk about fashion freedom. Slip on a knee-length strapless dress over your bathing suit and you’re ready for the beach. No worries. That dress doesn’t have to go away just yet. Put a jacket over it and there’s your casual back-to-school wear.
Top off your look
We’re lucky in Southern California when it comes to hair. Simple and the “messy look” are forgiven. Moroccan oil and leave-in conditioner is only a couple dollars and your hair will thank you afterward for using it. Hey, our hair gets dehydrated too!
Keeping it natural and simple with makeup is perfect. Less is more. Mascara, blush, concealer and lip gloss is really all you need. Want to play it up and go bold? All the power to you!
Back-to-school fashion shouldn’t be a nightmare. Keep in mind staple pieces are the key and your bank account will be happy. Use prints wisely and stay simple and natural. Make it work, as Tim Gunn would say.