Get Schooled by These Great TV-Inspired Fall Fashion Ideas

in Potpourri by

Fall is the best time of year for fashion: chunky knits, leather jackets, ankle boots, and, of course, schoolgirl-inspired outfits. Even if it’s been years since your studying days, there’s just something about autumn that screams back-to-school—and all of a sudden we’re craving knee-high socks and plaid skirts.

Luckily, there are plenty of television shows and movies to provide some examples of the best prep-uniform looks. So, inspired by our favorite schoolgirls on the screen, here are four scholarly outfits to wear this fall:

Gossip Girl

The ladies from Gossip Girl did schoolgirl uniforms right, with bright accessories, designer purses and enough attitude to pull off any look. Dress like Blair Waldorf in this pleated skirt, fitted blouse (with a black bow, of course!) and bright red accents. Plus, Blair is known for her adorable head wear, so try a pretty and feminine black floral headband.

Gilmore Girls

Poor Rory. She definitely lost in the Chilton uniform department, with a boxy jacket and a plain blue skirt that made her look like, well, a schoolgirl. She did jazz it up as best she could with saddle shoes and knee-highs. Here we took her retro-styling one step farther with a trendier sweater vest, a more flared and flattering plaid skirt, and a few simple accessories. It’s still the quintessential schoolgirl, but with a retro-modern twist.


might be 20 years old this year (!!!), but the fashion is still on point. Dress like Cher in this plaid skirt, cropped shirt and over-the-knee socks. The shoes and black headband perfectly capture the spirit of the ’90s, while the chic backpack and stud earrings keep the whole thing current.

Mean Girls

OK, so the high school in Mean Girls doesn’t technically have a uniform. Unless you count all the rules, that is:

Regina George
is the queen of seemingly-sweet-meets-tough-as-nails, which is why we know she’d approve of this outfit. A black leather skirt brings in the tough side, while a fitted pink cardigan is feminine and flattering. High pastel heels pull the whole look together, giving it just enough of a throwback to the early 2000s.

Recommended Reading:

Style Forever: The Grown-Up Guide to Looking Fabulous by Alyson Walsh (Hardie Grant Books; September 8, 2015)

style-forever-alyson-walshFashion doesn’t belong to just the younger generations—or to the schoolgirls. In this new guide, Walsh has discovered the secrets of timeless fashion. Find out how to dress amazingly on a budget, the best beauty products for any age, and those hidden places to find the best clothes in New York and London. This book is the ultimate guide for any fashionista.


Rachel Carter grew up surrounded by trees and snow and mountains. She graduated from the University of Vermont and Columbia University, where she received her MFA in nonfiction writing. She is the author of the So Close to You series with Harperteen. These days you can find her working on her next novel in the woods of Vermont.

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