Too cool for back to school

L-A: Yesterday morning, the radio tipped me off to the fact that it was the first day of school for the kids of Halifax. So did the porchful of preteens talking about how one of them had made at least three enemies today. Kids are hilarious.

Despite the fact that I’m a grad student, back to school isn’t really something I get to do anymore. But when the leaves start to turn and all that jazz, I get jazzed for back to school. I honestly believe that the new year should start on Labour Day weekend. Forget that January nonsense. This past January 1 I was walking home from the North End in a snow storm with nary a cab in sight. That’s no way to ring in the new year!  It’s all about September for me. And with that, I’m going to talk about what you need for back to school, whether you are actually starting school next week or just wish you were.

A new hair cut:

Judging by the number of pre-teens/teens at Fred Salon yesterday, back to school hair cuts are necessary. While these kids seemed to be working longer locks, I’m recommending The Anna Wintour, but only because my hair dresser worked wonders on me and gave me that cut (as much as is possible when you have really fine hair):


You weren’t expecting a picture of my hair were you? Sorry. I’m not much for pictures of myself.

A new bag:

This is key. You can’t go back to school without a new bag. My favourite bag right now is this one:


That bag is more adorable than you can shake a stick at. I’m in love with Kate Spade. (p.s. these aren’t necessarily practical back to school suggestions…more like pretend, dream back to school suggestions).

If you need something for your laptop, but you don’t want a really sucky, ugly plain black laptop case, I’m going to recommend bags by Melissa Beth. Like the Pocket Full of ‘Puter:


So cute. (You can buy online. Or, if you’re in Halifax, Wildflower Clothing carries her bags). Personally, I usually carry my latptop around in an oversized purse and this cute sleeve:


I got it online from KoloBags.

Pencil Case:


I’m still using a Hello Kitty pencil case, but I do love the pencil cases (okay, the everything) by Halifax’s Shibang Designs. You can score her stuff at Lady Luck or at Love, Me.  I don’t care how old you are or how long you’ve been out of school, I’m sure you can still use a nice pencil case.


Don’t hate me, but I kind of love the idea of Saddle shoes. You can blame Nylon Magazine for making me think of them again. I have always wanted a pair:

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Both pairs are available at Urban Outfitters. Besides, if they’re good enough for former hipster girlfriend of Mark Ronson, then they’re good enough for me!


Unless the saddle shoes are why they broke up. In that case, I’m going to need to re-think my back to school shoe plan and get back to you.

A really awesome outfit:

I’m going to go with Kate Spade again on this one because as I mentioned earlier in the post, I love Kate Spade. There’s something perfect for fall about her new clothing collection. Check it out:

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How could you not be in love? My only lament is that you can’t buy the socks/hosiery from Kate Spade. Which they need to get on, because I’d rather not have to go into American Apparel to get my yellow tights.

Adorable Stationery:

Okay, I’m going to admit something to you now: My name is L-A and I’m stationery addict. I’ve saved this for last because it’s always been my absolute favouritest part of back to school. I always got excited when the flyers came. Which is why I love this ad:

Except that I would be as excited as the dad for back to school shopping. And we did our school supplies shopping at the Canadian Tire in Corner Brook (there was no Staples back then). I could write an entire post on stationery I love. Forget that, an entire blog devoted to cute stationery finds. If I had a million dollars, I’d probably spend half of it on stationery. Instead, I’m just going to show you a few notebooks and planners that I think are cute:

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Kate Spade Planner, Typewriter Journal by Regional Assembly of TextPicnic Plaid & Sukie Notebooks (both from The Curiosity Shoppe). And keeping with the theme, a book of art inspired by school – to bring back memories of when you actually had to go back to school:


It’s from Uppercase Gallery in Calgary & looks super fantastic. I think I might need it.

I was going to end with Joel Plaskett’s Drunk Teenagers (seems fitting), but could only find a video of photos of actual drunk teenagers drinking out of Mason jars (they’re probably college age). But this video should do the trick. Happy New Year everyone!

AllyG:  I am going to admit up front that I am totally phoning this in.

It’s 6am, I think I slept for 1.5 hours, and the best thing about my morning so far is that I remembered I bought pinwheels from Sobeys last night (on sale for $2.99!). So, I’m really trying to care what the teenagers on my street are wearing to school. L-A totally put me to shame with her sensible and frankly fabulous ideas so I feel the need to throw some cold water on my bloated face and get to work.

First off, I have the perfect pencil case for you ladies and gents who are being forced to sit and listen to The Man all day! It’s made by a local artist under the name LouLouBell. Now, I use mine for makeup (not that I need makeup because I am so naturally beautiful), but this pouch is perfect for your backpack/satchel (I love that word) or purse to compartmentalize your little knick knacks (yes, lack of sleep turns me into your grandma).

LouLou pouch

The best part is that you can order these online. There are tons of different fabrics to choose from on the site.

During a coffee date yesterday, L-A and I discussed leggings and my tendency to shop American Apparel for these items. I think we have come to an agreement that she would come to AA with me if only to point and laugh at the gold lame bras. I’m ok with that. Therefore, I would recommend that any fashionista pick up some leggings in your basic colour. You’ll definitly need a black pair, a grey pair and I’d pick and eye popping colour as well for those black minis paired with black knee high boots (UNLESS YOU ARE OVER 30! Kidding. Rock those coloured tights). Leggings are essential for the days you are completely hungover after stalking the bartender at the university pub real tired-like from studying.

So, I’m trying to do AA some props and find a pic of basic leggings (I SWEAR THEY DO SELL THEM) and this is the best photo I can find.


I believe these ladies are attempting to crawl into class to avoid being noticed by the teacher as they forgot to do their homework. Helpful, American Apparel, Helpful.

As it is getting crisp out there (love that word as well!), you’ll need an adorable jacket. Let me flag for you an example of someone knocking it out of the ball park. Meet Jenny Cindy of


Nice. Gap tank, H&M blazer. I’d personally toss the socks, but to each their own.

I love the blazer for fall. My best tip would be to hit up your local thrift shop to find a well- worn cord or velvet blazer (velvet is very Fall 09). You can’t go wrong when pairing this with a pair of jeans and boots (more boot advice for “S”!), although I’d make the most out of the time we have left before the snow/sleet/crap hits and keep trotting out in the stilletos.


This pink blazer from J.Crew is a perfect example.

This is not a good example:



I love you.

And it’s time to bring out the scarfs. One of our first posts ever was a training session on how to tie a scarf. Shall we review?

Whatever you wear, have fun at school (I don’t really mean that. If you wear something I hate I hope that you are made fun of and that your lunch is stolen cause you deserve it).

Kisses and hugs,

Ally xo

Staff Pick: sometimes my heart pushes my ribs by Ellen Kennedy

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