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think thrifted ~ back to school cool, classic outfits

011 cool back to school outfits red tanIt’s been awhile since I’ve done a Think Thrifted post, so let me refresh your memory on what exactly these posts are. I like love to find cute clothes at thrift stores and style lovely ladies in outfits and post them here as style inspiration. It’s just a nice creative outlet for me without any of the pressures of shooting and editing portrait sessions for clients. These shoots are just for fun, just for me {well, also for anyone who follows my blog}.

For this post, I styled two outfits: one for a college student and one for a high school student. The college student look was modeled by Grace, and the high school one by Kamryn. They are both stunners, clearly.

We’re going to chat a little about classic style and such, so if that interests you, keep scrolling. :)

009 cool back to school outfits red tan

002 cool back to school outfits red tanOne of the reasons I love thrifting so much is because you can find high quality clothing for cheap. I know, that sounds obvious. But think about it: you can also find low quality clothing for cheap, and not just at the thrift stores. I’m talking about that fast fashion – think mall stores and places where they sell ultra-trendy items for dirt cheap. You know, the stuff that stretches/shrinks/tears/etc after just a few wearings? Or those cheaply made bags whose straps break? Or the shoes whose heels fall apart? 012 cool back to school outfits red tan015 cool back to school outfits red tanI wish when I was younger that someone would have explained to me that just because something might be cheap to buy, that doesn’t always mean it’s a good deal. Necessary note here: when I talk about some thing being cheaply made or well made, I am not talking about “good name brands”. I’ve had expensive brand items fall apart on me, and I’ve had no-name brands last forever. In my experience, one of the benefits of thrifting is that I’m constantly touching and closely examining pieces before I buy them, and it’s pretty easy to tell by the weight of the fabric and other details of a garment whether it will hold up well or not.

001 cool back to school outfits red tanSo, as I’ve gotten older and a little wiser, I go for quality all the time. It’s hard to walk away from that cute, trendy piece, but I’ve gotten much better at talking myself out of purchasing flimsy items. All of the things pictured here, including the bags and shoes, are ones that seem like they have and will hold up for many seasons and wearings.004 cool back to school outfits red tanSo how do you spot high quality items? Look for things like a heavier fabric, sturdily attached buttons, even hems, seams that line up, darts for a better fit, real leather straps/handles on bags, etc. Once you’ve established the quality of an item, keep an eye out for things that stand the test of time {such as classic stripes} and have fun/extra details so they’re not boring {such as cute pockets/buttons/zipper pulls}.007 cool back to school outfits red tan019 cool back to school outfits red tanNow that we’ve veered over into talking style as opposed to just sustainability, let’s discuss these bags. I think you’d be the coolest girl in high school if you found some fun vintage bags to tote your books in, instead of the typical backpack or book bag. The one Kamryn is rocking here is definitely big enough to hold all your school day essentials.013 cool back to school outfits red tan014 cool back to school outfits red tan008 cool back to school outfits red tanAnd if you’re a college student, you might want a backpack for hiking around on campus. All of the details on this one take it beyond just function and bring in some classic fashion elements. We tied on a silky scarf for that extra bit of panache.006 cool back to school outfits red tan017 cool back to school outfits red tan018 cool back to school outfits red tan005 cool back to school outfits red tan003 cool back to school outfits red tanNow, as the title suggests, I think these are both looks that won’t go out of style quickly, hence the us of “classic” in the title. Red and tan are colors we see season after season, year after year. Stripes and solids are always “in”. Of course, you can update with pieces like shoes or jewelry to keep it modern and cool.010 cool back to school outfits red tan016 cool back to school outfits red tan020 cool back to school outfits red tanHere’s to all the young fashionistas who are about to go back to school! Why not try out a few thrift stores for your school clothes shopping? It’s so fun finding the treasures out there! :)

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