Listen, we don't want to harsh your fun summer vibes, but the cold truth is that school starts in less than a month. *does Home Alone-style scream* But hey, it's not ALL bad! Now is the time of year when you can finally jazz up that wardrobe with fun fall pieces and pair those fresh duds with an even fresher summer glow. Hot! We figured the best way to get into the swing of things is with a super cool varsity jacket to throw on over any ensemble. They're totally on-trend but also act as the perfect transitional piece from summer into winter. Let's dive right in, shall we? WE SHALL.


Back to school varsity jackets

Photo: Courtesy of Tideland/adidas

Forgot the old go-to varsity jackets, these bad boys will instantly make you the coolest girl in school with their fierce statement-making patterns. Personally, we love the silk galaxy print number from Tideland ($75) and the F/W 2012 Jeremy Scott x adidas leopard zip-up that will hit stores later this summer. WERK!


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Can you believe it's already late July? It feels like just yesterday that we were longingly dreaming of sundresses and sandals, but still bundling up against the chill of winter. Nowadays we've gotten pretty attached to our uniform of maxi skirts, sandals and shorts, and as much as we're sick of the hot and sweaty city, we're also not looking forward to turning in our bare legs come fall. If you're headed back to school in addition to being headed back to cooler climes, you might have the additional worry of a dress code looming, which is why we wanted to look at some of our fave summer trends and show you how to make them backpack-ready come September!

You can work your sandals into fall with the right layers.
Photo: Madewell/Urban Outfitters/Swedish Hasbeens

We're literally dreading the day it gets too cold for us to wear our sandals anymore. We've fallen completely in lurve with clogs, particularly these natural leather numbers from Swedish Hasbeens, and the comfy and durable heels are going to stay on our feet until we get frost bite, just you wait (or we'll just get the boot version, heh). We're huge fans of layering, though, and with a pair of opaque tights like these from Urban Outfitters, which come in a variety of colors, you can extend the life of your favorite summer shoes, within reason. Sandals and socks is a much maligned sartorial move for a reason, so use your good judgment. Of course you can just add tights to your fave dress and sandals pairing and make it a little more fall-friendly (with a varsity jacket perhaps?) but why just do that when we can also back to school-ify another of the pieces we'll miss most come fall--shorts. We know tights and shorts is in no way breaking new ground, but there's a way to do this well and a way to, you know, just put some tights under your shorts (basic). We think the key here is to look outside of the denim shorts box. For this look we love a pair of not-too-tight-not-too-baggy tap shorts in an interesting, unique fabric, like this Pendleton-esque pair from Urban Outfitters ($39.00). Topped with a fitted, crisp white button down, like the True Love Shrunken Oxford from Madewell ($59.50), this is a look that could take you straight through homeroom into the weekend.


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Trash and Vaudeville opened in 1975 and has been serving up rock-and-roll realness ever since. Born out of the 1970s rock and punk scene on St. Mark's Place in New York City, the store prides itself on providing a variety of alternative fashions for everyone from rockers to punks, goths, rappers, and pop starlets, to the everyday working class hero who just wants to walk on the wild side in some leopard pants.

I was introduced to Trash and Vaudeville when I first moved to the city and it's been a staple in my life and wardrobe ever since. When you step into Trash and Vaudeville you'll instantly feel at home, and Jimmy—the manager and buyer—will make sure of it. Jimmy Webb, or Jimmy from Trash and Vaudeville (his official name), was the first person to help me out and the person to sell me my first pair of leopard-print pants. "You can go a size down," he told me, as I'm squeezing into my animal-print second skin. If there is one thing this man's EVERYTHING about EVERYTHING in that store.

As you can see from our video tour, he's MAJOR and if you get the chance to have Jimmy himself or someone on his team hook you up with your back-to-school gear, you should consider yourself blessed. Jimmy has worked with celebs like Lil' Wayne, Paramore, Avril Lavigne, Slash, My Chemical Romance, Agyness Deyn, and (his all-time fav) Iggy Pop, just to name a few.

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Ariana Grande shares her Back-to-School style tips.
Photo: Getty Images

Those of you who recognize Ariana Grande from her flame-tressed character, Cat Valentine, on the Nickelodeon show 'Victorious' may only know the zany, effervescent, wild fashion side of the 18-year-old. The real Ariana attests that her personal style is WAY different and is looking forward to fall to experiment with new denim silhouettes, bold coats and, of course, CHANEL CHANEL CHANEL. We caught up with the 18-year-old singer, dancer and actress (who is newly signed to Universal Republic Records) to talk about her best back-to-school beauty, shopping and accessorizing tips.

Cat's supercute but definitely stylistically out there. How do your tastes differ?
Cat dresses like an absolute maniac most of the time! It’s like, medium cute. It’s definitely different from my personal style and differs even more from my performance style. My performance outfits are very Marie Antoinette, sparkly corsets, giant underwear, and full skirts. And then we do another look that's '50s-inspired. Poufy skirts, big bows. Very fun, girlie and young but otherwise, when I'm not in costume I dress really normal. I love high fashion, I love Chanel but at the same time I love a hoodie, jeans and American Apparel sweatpants.

What other brands are you fond of?
My favorites are all over the place. I mentioned Chanel, I love American Apparel, I love Miu Miu and Rebecca Taylor. My style is somewhat classic.

What do you think of Hailee Steinfeld being the face of Miu Miu at 14?
I think it's amazing that the fashion industry is giving such wonderful opportunities to young actresses and besides, I just love a full eyebrow. I have enormous skyscraper eyebrows so I check hers out and they're great.


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Private School Accessories

Chloe Sevigny, Bip Ling, and Naya Rivera sport back-to-school accessories.
Photo: Getty Images/WireImage

We don't have to remind you that it's back-to-school time (we know you're woefully aware), but in these last few days of summer it's time to start thinking about what you're gonna wear on the first day back. Will you try a new look or revamp your signature style? Will you start wearing... WAIT. Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait. What about those who have NO CHOICE about what to wear on the first day, you ask? What, oh what, is there to do if your first day outfit consists of the same three pieces you'll be wearing from here on out, everyday, until next summer? What about those who are UNIFORM CHALLENGED? Hold up, uni-lovelies, because we HEAR YOU, and MTV Style's got you covered!

We've already shown you the top ten backpacks for tricking out your fall ensembles (even if they're in dreary navy wool) as well as the cutest and most comfortable flat shoes for jazzing up the halls (and your lackluster separates). Now, we have the perfect accessory guide for tying it all together and adding a little oomph to the blech of any school uniform. From flounce-trimmed ankle socks and lightning bolt rings (very Harry Potter!) to on-trend hair bows and black neckties. We guarantee there's something for everyone AND for every rule in the uniform book. So, roll up those sleeves and get to work!


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Pixie Lott, Jessica Szohr, and Naya Rivera wear flat shoes.
Photo: Getty Images

We don't have to tell you that shoes can make or break an outfit. It's a proven FACT that you can snazz up any basic black dress or jeans and t-shirt combo with some killer shoes. Oh, and we're not talking crazy, billion-inches tall platform killer either, we're talking FLAT killer as in menswear-inspired oxfords, loafers, or slipper shoes. Not only are these shoes more comfortable for your morning commute (i.e. walking to homeroom or across campus), they're guaranteed to up the style factor of absolutely ANYTHING you're wearing. Dresses? Check. Jeans? Double-check. Kicky uniform skirts and tights? You better believe it! Seriously, these shoes go with everything.

Even though sartorial style-slayer Alexa Chung has been rocking the lace-up flat shoe look for eons, we love that Pixie Lott wears them all the time, too, especially with feminine skirts and shorts and tights. Gossip Girl's Jessica Szhor broke all the fashion rules by pairing her pointy black oxfords with a cocktail dress (super cute), and Naya Rivera went for the dressing-up-denim option (we told you it works!) by pairing her jeans with two-tone loafers (LOVE). Thus, MTV Style has chosen our favorite flat shoes—from creepers and oxfords to rad slip-ons—to kick your back-to-school style into the fast (yet comfortable) lane.


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Back to school backpacks

Pixie Geldof, Rachel Bilson, and Gillian Zinser all rock the back-to-school look.
Photo: All via WireImage

Backpacks are not chic. Or at least they weren't until Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen put a $40K price tag on them. Or Alexander Wang sent heaps of them down the runway. Or trendsetters like Rachel Bilson and Pixie Geldof showed up with them in tow. So, wait. Backpacks are chic, which is rad because it a) means we can carry more than our lipstick and cell phone, b) effectively kills the TEETERING-OVER-MASSIVE-BAG trend of a few years ago, and c) is actually good for our backs (in moderation. But certainly better than the one-strap, over-the-shoulder book bag of yore).

The reality is, your school bag is totally a companion, enduring the same ills, wet days, long nights, and field trips you do. While the double-strapped tote used to be child's play, the new crop of packs have a vintage/retro feel and arrive in every color/trend/vibe you could want. So MTV Style has rounded up the 10 backpacks that'll definitely be worth adding to your wishlist, faster than you can say, "It's September already?!"


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MTV Style follows how people express themselves through fashion and beauty, from our favorite pop culture icons to you, the reader. We cover the fun, loud side of the industry with news, trends, interviews, videos, and more — MTV Style is fashion at full volume.

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Editorial Director
Sophia Rai
Staff Editor
Gaby Wilson
West Coast Editor
Chrissy Mahlmeister
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Featured Comment

I love these two as a couple. What a festive way to celebrate two important events in their life. Mariah looks like a dream.

Posted by Journey on Mariah Carey And Nick Cannon Shut Down Disneyland To Renew Vows In Cinderella-Themed Ensembles
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