Lost & Found: The Backpack

The back-to-school season signals the return of the academic accessory

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Anthea Simms

Anthea Simms

The planning of a back-to-cool outfit around this turn of season fills us with nostalgia. We vividly remember laying out our ensemble the night before – a mix of denim, tartan and a touch of corduroy with suede elbow patches layered over our navy uniform. Freshly ironed name-tags listing our name and phone number were the closest thing to logos, should our precious shearling-lined jacket or favourite tie end up in the lost and found bin. To quell our scholastic jitters, we’d paint our nails a fresh shade of the newest grunge hue (this season it’s all about khaki) –  only to be swiftly sent to the head mistress’s office and handed a bottle of acetone remover. Mini-skirts were reprimand for being too short and there were rumors that high heels could spell expulsion – the only thing high about our look was knee socks. While rules and regulations dictated much of our schoolyard sartorialisms, there was one area for which even the strictest teachers couldn’t touch us: the backpack. Like double denim last season, fashion classes are divided on this 90’s trend. Chanel, Tory Burch and Alexander Wang showed ramped-up versions of the bag-with-a-bad-rap for fall. We recommend eschewing the utilitarian nylon of yesteryear and throwing a new novelty style in tweed, pint-stripe or supple leather over your shoulder. It’s a look we’ll be sporting even though our locker-days are long gone. Yes, we might get the odd comment on our geeky carryall, but then, we’ve always been a rule breaker.

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