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The M Dash

Live with purpose.

6 Grown-Up Outfits with Big Back-to-School Energy

Tweed suiting, cinched blazers, and cozy knits that will give you that ‘anything is possible’ feeling.

By Madeleine Kim

Do you hear that? It’s the sound of composition notebooks being cracked open, tags being ripped off brand-new clothes, and pep talks being given to reflections in bathroom mirrors. It’s the sound of a fresh gel pen gliding across the page, and a premature fall leaf whooshing to the ground.

It’s the sound of back-to-school season—and it’s music to my ears. I haven’t been a student in years, but every September, without fail, I start to feel that tingle of anticipation for what’s to come. Back-to-school season is a chance for reinvention, goal-setting, showing up with purpose, and—of course—amazing new outfits. And the good news is, you don’t actually need to be in school to make the most of it. Here are six grown-up outfits that will give you all the back-to-school feelings (with none of the homework).

The Academic-Chic Outfit

Maybe it’s the fact that I just watched the first two episodes of The Chair, or maybe it’s this heat in my new state of Texas, but something has me fantasizing about walking across a blustery New England campus adorned in cozy knits and tweed. Luckily, the new O’Hara blazer and Shiloh pant in plaid knit combine the stretch and snuggliness of a sweater with the old-school-academia look of classic tweed. I’ll pair these pieces with the pima-cotton Paige tank in cranberry, the knit Lana boots in burgundy, and the shiny Claressa hoops in gold for a modern take on a classic look.

The Killer First-Impression Outfit

There’s something about a belted blazer that just feels powerful. Show up in the Yiyan jacket and Sedgwick belt, and you’ll be making amazing first impressions left and right. For underneath your blazer, try the elegant Elsa dress, designed with versatility at top of mind (read: you can also wear it with a sweatshirt and sneakers). The new Rowan flats in leopard print and delicate Fini earrings in cherry blossom give your look that extra punch of personality.

The Comfort-Zone-Expanding Outfit

Habanero is the type of red that will convert even the staunchest of non-red-wearers (“Wow, normally I avoid reds…the new habanero has me thinking,” said one customer at our virtual collection-launch event.) Balance out the bold color of the Antoinette top with the Cobble Hill skirt in camel, the Lillian pumps in brown croc, and the pearl Dorothea earring jackets, which can be hooked onto any pair of studs. If you typically dress in neutrals, this outfit is just the thing to start expanding your comfort zone—and isn’t that what a new school year is all about?

The Sunny-Day Suit

Speaking of fresh, have you seen the washable-silk Lisey cami in dijon? At the moment, my favorite pairing for this happy hue is haze, a deep gray with purplish undertones. Pair the Lisey with the Yiyan blazer and Steinway pants for a room-commanding, mood-boosting suit. The Grace loafers in leopard print will complement the color palette and give your look some texture, and the on-trend Hugo necklace set will keep your outfit on the modern side of business formal.

The Picture-Day-Worthy Outfit

Of all the outfits I can’t wait to wear from the new collection (and trust me, there are many), this one might be at the top of my list. All the fall-style heavy hitters came to play: Short-sleeved mock-neck sweater? Check. Vegan-leather miniskirt? Check. Oversized blazer? Check. Head-turning boots and geometric statement earrings? Check and check. This look is memorable, sexy without being revealing, and quintessentially fall. If M.M. had Picture Day, this is what I would wear.

The “Where’d You Get That??” Outfit

Showing up to work in one of our Interweave jackets is like the grown-up version of showing up to school with a new pencil case: Everyone is going to be asking where you got it. Newly available in red, the Porter jacket is one of those rare items that are both timeless and statement-making. Pair it with the Soyoung T-shirt in cranberry and Curie pants in bone to bring the color palette full circle, then pull on some M.M.LaFleur x KOIO collaboration sneakers to complete your Power Casual™ ensemble.

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is the Senior Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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