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South Williamsport, PA
United States

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That Back to School Feeling

I just got an invite for my 20th high school reunion, so it’s safe to say it’s been quite some time since I’ve had to gear up for a new school year. However, I just can’t shake that invigorating feeling when September rolls around, the weather changes, and fall clothes go on sale. This year,

I just got an invite for my 20th high school reunion, so it’s safe to say it’s been quite some time since I’ve had to gear up for a new school year. However, I just can’t shake that invigorating feeling when September rolls around, the weather changes, and fall clothes go on sale. This year, after being on maternity leave over the summer, that back-to-school sensation is stronger than ever, so I’m approaching my return to the office much like a new school year.

First things first: What am I going to wear? In years past, that first-day-of-school outfit set the tone for the rest of the year. Well, not really, but it sure felt like it at the time. For my first day back at work, I want to look my best as I jump back into professional life. With every new season, there are exciting new trends. For this coming fall, Western-wear, neon, and mini-micro bags are just some of the latest styles. However, unlike school days, I’m not so much interested in making a fashion splash, but instead taking inspiration from classic school uniform styles. So, it’ll be plaids, loafers, button-downs, and blazers when I return to the regular 9-to-5. Preppy boarding school looks are a great place to take inspiration from for office wear, especially if you’re in a more formal setting. I’m a big fan of Uniqlo for trousers, G. H. Bass for shoes, and J.Crew for blazers. Regardless of your work style, there are a ton of back-to-school sales to take advantage of; even it’s been more than 20 years since you were saved by the bell.

Looking one’s best doesn’t just have to do with clothes. Don’t forget your head. Over the past year, I’ve been growing my hair out from a shorter cut, and I’m ready to revamp my ‘do. Fall is a great time to switch things up with your hair. Sure, it may seem like you’re cutting off the long locks of a carefree summer, but really you’re refreshing your look for the cooler weather ahead. I plan on returning to work with a bang (or should I say “bangs”?) I’m going for longer, heavier bangs, like a shag, since cooler weather is a great time to experiment with bangs. With the sweaty season behind us, you won’t have to worry so much about pulling your hair back and off your face. Speaking of which, face shape should determine the kind of bangs you want to try. For square faces, go for eye-grazing bangs that are tapered on the sides. With rounder faces, go for a thick curved bang rather than a wispy version for more of an impact. Heart-shaped faces do best with side-swept bangs, while an oval face will be most flattered by pin-straight fringe.

Last but not least, makeup. Going to high school during the 90s, my back-to-school makeup consisted of being very pale with lots of black eyeliner. Thankfully, my Goth-lite days are over, and while I’ve been sporting a clean face at home here this summer, I’ll be wearing daily makeup once I return to work. Like fashion, beauty also has season trends. This fall is all about warm peaches, shimmery metallic, and bright pops of color. Of course, not everyone has the time or inclination to incorporate the latest beauty trend into their daily face. But, if you’re looking for a minor recharge to your cosmetic routine, consider coppery eyeshadows and powder highlighters as a nod to the coming season. For myself, I’ll be switching out my black eyeliner with navy and olive, for a subtle update to my workplace face. Not sure how to apply new makeup trends? Check out beauty tutorials on your favorite brand’s websites. Maybelline and CoverGirl have videos on how to use their products and YouTube is full of beauty bloggers, ready to show you how and what they use to achieve certain looks.

Whether you’re 13 or 38, that “summer is ending” feeling is inevitable. Instead of mourning these hot, lazy days, embrace the arrival of fall with a style reset. If you are 13, good luck this coming school year! If you’re closer to 38, be inspired by back-to-school styles, but stay away from pleated skirt with knee socks. You may still feel like a schoolgirl, but you don’t want to look like one, especially at work.

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