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7 Essentials for Great Back-to-School Style

From to-die-for and stunning to surprising and just flat-out outlandish—every August, fashion magazines highlight the newest back-to-school trends for fall that are often out of style nearly as soon as they’ve swept the runway. And anyway, who has time for runways when there are more important things—like studying, cool new clubs to join and lunch with the girls? Whether you’re hitting the campus, teaching the class or getting back to the normal grind at work, these back-to-school basics will get you through the day AND night with all the essentials you need for amazing style...from glowing skin to campus safety. 


Essential #1: Denim that Delivers

Skinny jeans haven’t budged an inch from the fall must-haves list (surprise, surprise) and Democracy is one of our most favorite brands for jeggings that actually do your figure some justice—including stretch denim, slimming panels, no-gap waists and super cool hidden elastic bands that keep your tummy flat and happy...even if it happens to be bloated from a study sesh induced pizza binge or good old Auntie Flo. If you’re wanting a new trend to add to your Fall 2017 jeans wardrobe, Democracy’s step hem skimmer ankle jeans pay homage to the fresh new high-low hemline trend that looks great styled with both sandals or booties. Speaking of back-to-school footwear, Democracy’s cropped hem collection will also show off your summer sandals and perfectly polished toes while it’s still warm outside, taking you right into cooler boot weather once fall hits with full force. #winning

Get the Style:

High-Low Hemline Denim 

Cropped Hem Denim

Ab-Flattening Skinny Jeans



Essential #2: Backpacks That Take You Back

With so many books to lug to class, a cool backpack is an absolute back-to-school essential, doubling as a cool accessory that perfectly embodies your style. This year is all about sporting the classic backpack in every sense of the term...including timeless prints that take you right back to hand clapping games and juice boxes...but in a cool Minnie Mouse-meets-Houndstooth kind of way. Our Jansport Disney Collection will have you wondering how you ever got along without the gang, in a fresh new spin that looks as cool as it does cute. But if Disney never was your thing and you really just need enough backpack to carry some tech gear and a book or two, check out the one-shoulder AmeriBags that look chic in a low-key way and take the pressure off your shoulders, too. 

Get the Style:

Jansport Disney Collection 

One-Shoulder AmeriBags 



Essential #3: Lunch Time Goodies

Who wants to fuss with brown bags that get wet, tear and take a whole month to disintegrate after you toss them when you can rock a cute, trendy lunch bag that keeps those healthier foods you’re trying to eat cold for hours? PackIts Freezable Traveler pops right into the freezer before bedtime, where the freezable gel works its magic so your lunch and snacks stay perfectly chilled for up to 10 hours the next day. The Lighten Up Lunch Cooler from Vera Bradley doesn’t require time in the freezer, but it will keep your lunch or snacks cool and collected with enough spare room for an ice pack...and you’ll find just about every trendy print and color in our collection. Want something with a more grown-up style to transport drinks, your chopped salad, or even wine? The Wild Eye Designs Hand Bag looks just like a designer purse but keeps your drinks and lunches cold and fresh. 

Get the Style:

PackIts Freezable Traveler 

Vera Bradley Lighten Up Lunch Cooler 

The Wild Eye Designs Hand Bag  



Essential #4: Wrap-In Style

What happens when you take a classy concept and design it with a luxurious wool known for its soft, lightweight feel? One timeless cashmere piece that can be worn as both a dressy accessory or a casual top. The Alashan Cashmere Company Dress Topper  is the ultimate back-to-school accessory that can be worn four different ways: a cascading poncho that pairs perfectly with jeans/leggings and boots, a body wrap that wears like a chic, three-quarter-sleeved sweater you can rock at the office with knit pants and ballet flats; a trendy one-shoulder top you can throw over a tank or tee with jeans; and a glamorous open-back shrug that makes the perfect dress topper on a chilly night AND looks super chic with jeans and booties—or transform it into a beautiful scarf that pairs with your tunic or long-sleeve tee. However you wear it, this essential all-seasons cashmere wrap makes a trendy statement as an accessory all its own or a sweater-style top that can be as casual or dressed up as you make it. Now that’s a wrap. 

Get the Style:

The Alashan Cashmere Company Dress Topper

Essential #5: Grab & Go Style

However much you’re in love with your handbag, it’s always a good idea to have a lighter alternative on hand, like a Vera Bradley wristlet or zip ID case to tuck in your backpack, gym bag or back pocket so you always have your student ID, drivers license, credit card or cash ready when you need it. Need something a bit more substantial to hold your planner or a small makeup bag? Sakroots crossbody and belt bags have a cool hipster vibe and the durable nylon material stays tidy and clean...because, well, you never know what shenanigans might bump right into you on campus!

Get the Style:

Vera Bradley Wristlets and Zip ID Cases 

Sakroots Crossbody and Belt Bags 

Essential #6: Stay Safe & Sound

Every girl should be empowered with the tools she needs to feel safe and defend herself if needed. BlingSting lets you pack some extra “punch” with the appearance of a fun, sparkly accessory that looks like a super trendy heart or lipstick-shaped key chain that attaches right to your key ring, backpack, purse or even dog leash.

The Bling String ahh!-larm is a heart-shaped personal alarm coated in a sparkly confetti glitter that matches any style. Pull the included pin to instantly sound the built-in 120-decibel alarm, startling any potential creepers enough to gain the extra time needed to get to safety, as well as grabbing the attention of nearby pedestrians who can notify police or lend a hand. The added LED safety light feature quickly illuminates dark places, like poorly lit pathways and sidewalks, with the press of a button and is always handy on those days you forget to turn the porch light on. (oops!).

Want a little more sting with your bling? BlingSting Pepper Spray comes cutely packaged in a black, rhinestone covered case that resembles a flirty tube of lipstick—but bullies, burglars and sexual predators beware! The refillable case contains a blinding pepper spray, complete with a 10% concentration of 2 MM SHU—the strongest mixture of pepper spray legally allowed in the US. Perfect for responsible tweens, teens and college students who understand that BlingSting can cause some serious damage and is ONLY to be used in emergency situations, this sparkly compact key chain makes a dazzling addition to your keychain, with the added reassurance of a strong pepper spray that can temporarily blind and choke attackers. 

Get the Style:

The Bling String ahh!-larm 

BlingSting Pepper Spray

Essential #7: Back-to-School Beauty Staples

Ain’t no one got time for bad hair days...or getting up extra early to spend a gazillion hours in front of the mirror. These beauty must-haves leave you looking like a million, feeling amazing, and totally cool with hitting the snooze button a few more times.

Skin Care: Tired of hopping products because they just don’t seem to work? Dry skin, blemishes, and oiliness can all be a thing of the past with the right products that actually work with rather than against your skin. Orenda Illuminating Facewash does just that. The vitamin-infused gel wash nourishes your skin from the inside out so it can begin to heal from the dry patches, breakouts, blackheads and red splotches that keep somehow cropping up even though you’re pretty dedicated to washing and moisturizing. Keep your routine up but with a product that’s designed to feed your skin the right blend of ingredients it needs to glow. On the other hand, if skin care rituals aren’t your style and you need a 3-in-1 makeup remover/cleanser/moisturizer that soothes your skin while calming redness, irritation and evening out your tone, check out Skinny & Co’s Facial Oil...and their whipped body butters do the same for the rest of your bod!

Make-Up: Every girl has her foundation go-to, whether she rocks a lightweight BB cream or goes for more glamor with a full-coverage base. Whatever you use to even out skin tone and create a smooth, clear canvas for blush, highlighter and eyes that pop, you need a makeup applicator that doesn’t waste your foundation by absorbing half of it—or get a film of nude, beige or bronze all over your fingers...and consequently, your cool new back-to-school wardrobe. The BeautyBlender Makeup Sponge is designed to absorb water, so it doesn’t soak up all of your foundation and leave gross-looking streaks. Get it wet, apply your makeup effortlessly and leave it on the counter to dry. You’ll love the way it works with your primers, cream and powder foundations and blushers to smooth on and blend in!

Hair Care:  Tame your tangles...or fight with knots, clumps, and the inevitable frizz! The Wet Brush glides through wet hair of any type, making after-shower hair care and blow-outs a cinch.

Pampering: Relaxing bubble baths. Fun, yet luxurious soaps. Dreamy perfume sprays that smell amazing—there’s no better way to treat yourself than an indulgent bath or long shower with sweet-smelling essentials invigorate you for the day or relax you to sleep. Lollila and Tokyomilk perfumes, soaps and bubble baths are the perfect beginning to a super-charged agenda or the blissful end of a long day. 

Get the Style:

Orenda Illuminating Facewash

Skinny & Co Facial Oil 

BeautyBlender Makeup Sponge 

The Wet Brush 

Lollila Perfumes, Soaps and Bubble Baths

Tokyomilk Bubble Baths & Fragrances 

by Erin Rose