Back-to-School Shopping Upgrades for Adults: All the Retail, None of the Bus Rides

If you live in a house with children, teens or even young adult college students, then this is the time of year that you’re being absolutely bombarded with back-to-school shopping messages. Maybe, just maybe, you get nostalgic for the days when you had to buy a backpack or pencil box (does anybody even use pencils anymore)? But chances are that back-to-school shopping doesn’t apply to you anymore. We say, “Use any excuse to shop!” Just because you don’t need something, it doesn’t mean that you can’t use back-to-school season as an excuse to treat yourself to it. Here are our favorite adult upgrades for back-to-school staples.

Ditch the Backpack. Treat Yourself to Your Dream Bag.

What’s your dream bag? Is it a leather carry-all? For the ladies, is it that Chanel clutch you’ve been eying? Is it a sporty Timbuktu messenger bag to add just a touch of edge to your work look? No matter what the bag of your dreams is, upgrade your old-school, back-to-school functional backpack purchase to a luxury splurge on the bag you always wanted but never dreamed of owning. Or even if it’s a bag you always planned to own, up the schedule and head out to treat yourself today. Just don’t fill said bag up with calculators and juice boxes after you get it!

Replace the Letterman’s Sweater with Something Softer

Whether you were wearing a letterman’s sweater because you were proud of your accomplishments or because you were proud of your boyfriend or girlfriend, the letter sweater has defined generations of high school students. But what you’re proud of now is your refined sense of taste and the ability to stand on your accomplishments without having to announce them with your wardrobe. So forget the letter sweater and treat yourself to something made of cashmere, pashmina or wool that’s so soft that you feel like you’re melting every time that you touch it.

New Shoes: Still Appropriate for Back-to-School Time

We think that any excuse is a good excuse to buy new shoes! So why not make it back-to-school time? After all, when you were a kid, you would always get a new pair of shoes when school started, wouldn’t you? That doesn’t have to change in adult life at all! Just because you’ll be wearing your new shoes on the city streets instead of through some co-ed hallways, it doesn’t mean that the transition between late summer and fall isn’t a great time to pick up both a new pair of shoes for daywear and a new pair of shoes for gym class – even if gym class is actually cross fit!

For the Ladies: Upgrade the Makeup Pallet

Of course you went makeup shopping every year before school started. After all, you can’t properly stock your backpack without a new lipstick and a compact for touch-ups. Apply that same principle to August shopping in general, but take it up a level. But a lipstick that’s ideal for the grown-up girl’s night out. Something bold and sassy that says you’re headed to the club but you’ll end up at breakfast before you go home. Think of it like prepping for a late night study session, but different.

For the Gents: Forget the School Boy Tribal Bracelets

From high school through college, we know that the accessory of choice among young men is anything tribal – from tattoos to bracelets. We can’t help you with the tattoos (though, honestly, think about whether you’ll want that tribal piece later) but we can help you with the bracelets. The Jan Leslie Bracelet Collection is where tribal inspiration meets street smart style. It’s the grown up answer to rope and beads. Trust us, you’ll still feel on-trend. You’ll just be dressing like a grown up.

Last Tip: The Back-to-School Haircut

And, finally, get a haircut! You always got one before you went back-to-school, didn’t you? We say up the ante and make it a full spa and salon day. Manicures, pedicures and everything grooming. It’s not just a quick trip to the stylist or barber so that you don’t start the year with your summer shag still hitting your neck. It’s a full-on re-do to go into the long fall and winter months.

Of course, we’re always happy to hear about your ideas for what to clean up before back-to-school season, at any age! Share them on any of our social media channels.

Back-to-School Shopping Upgrades for Adults from Jan Leslie
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Back-to-School Shopping Upgrades for Adults from Jan Leslie
Back-to-school can be an excuse to shop even when you're an adult! The Jan Leslie team has tips for you.
Jan Leslie