Back to school style inspiration

Start the school year off looking your best for less

Juniors+Faith+West%2C+Emily+Stroud+and+Anna+Grace+Jones+show+off+their+tacky+T-shirts+in+time+for+the+new+school+year.+School+will+begin+on+Aug.+15.

Photo by Holland Rainwater

Juniors Faith West, Emily Stroud and Anna Grace Jones show off their tacky T-shirts in time for the new school year. School will begin on Aug. 15.

Story by Holland Rainwater, online photo editor

As the school year goes on, your closet begins to be strung thin. It’s easy to surrender to the T-shirt and leggings look, but you don’t have sacrifice looking your best for convenience. Here are a few trends that are cute, comfortable and dress code friendly that will help you feel and look your best going into this school year.

Photo by Holland Rainwater

Tacky T’s — Everyone loves a good T-shirt, but they typically have a frumpy feel. It’s time we emerge from the wrinkled rut we’ve fallen in and take back our tees. If you scour your closet or local Goodwill, you are sure to find some pretty tacky T-shirts, but I come bearing good news — tacky is the new cute. A clever way to bring out the best in your tee is to pair it with something stylish yet versatile, such as a high-waisted skirt. To really complete the look, you can tie up the shirt or tuck in the front and pair it with a funky necklace. Now, you’re ready to strut past the racks of expensive off-the-shoulder crop tops working your full wallet and comfy, creative look.

Photo by Holland Rainwater

Affordable Jewelry — We’ve all seen Kendra Scott and James Avery jewelry, but those brands are both predictable and expensive. Forever 21 and similar stores like H&M have thousands of different jewelry styles to choose from. If you want chunky, boho vibes, they have it. If you want dainty chokers, they’ve got you covered, and the best part is that the majority of these pieces are under $10 or even $5.

Photo by Holland Rainwater

Boyfriend Jeans — While boyfriend jeans have been a trend for quite a while now, people tend to gravitate toward the expensive renditions of the original. It seems we have forgotten that when it all comes down to it, boyfriend jeans are really just men’s jeans strategically placed in the women’s section, so swallow your feminine pride and head to Goodwill or Plato’s Closet and get yourself a pair of real boyfriend jeans. But don’t steal your actual boyfriend’s jeans — he might not be a fan.

Photo by Holland Rainwater

Bandanas — Greasiness, tangles and frizz are all symptoms of lazy hair syndrome. We all have those days when all you want is to get away with just one more day of not washing your hair, and with this super affordable accessory, you can. All it takes is a simple bandana, usually found in stores such as Walmart or Michaels for around $1 to $5. It’s as easy as folding it in half into a triangle and rolling it up, starting with the wide corner. After this, put your hair in a low ponytail and tie a strand around your hair band. This works with hair of almost any length and style.

*Sidenote: The bandana can also double as an ascot.

Photo by Holland Rainwater

Platforms — Ah, platforms, the holy grail of shoes. Platforms have the ability to make every girl feel amazing. They make your legs look longer and add a level of fun to any outfit. Add them to anything from jeans to a dress and spice up your look instantly without sacrificing comfort.

Atypical Layers — Dresses will always be the go-to when aiming to look your best, but most of the cutest ones will have a school administrator wagging three fingers at those tiny straps. The solution will not only let you walk the halls free from dress codes scares, it will also add a little something special to your look. All you have to do is snag a form-fitting graphic tee and slap it under those spaghetti straps. This pairing will add layers and originality to your look while resurrecting your favorite sundress for even the coldest of winters when paired with long sleeves or a cozy turtleneck.