What: Ralph Lauren sweater (available here, long sleeved alternative here) Comptoir des Cotonniers skirt (similar here), Ruitertassen satchel (available here), Kurt Geiger platform loafers (similar here & here, fancy pants Prada version here), ASOS socks (available here), Preston and Olivia hat (all c/o) with Whistles tweed coat (v old season, similar here).
Where: Brunch in West London
One of the great ironies of life, as far as I’m concerned anyway, is how my relationship with school uniform has changed since I finally managed to get through it without getting unceremoniously booted out along the way. During my school years I totally loathed my uniform, regardless of which unfortunate institution happened to be lumbered with me at the time. At one particular school we wore navy plaid mini kilts (!!) which I routinely defiled with nail scissors – on the basis that shorter was always better regardless of the fact it was a convent and there were no boys in sight – and neat v neck sweaters that I never stopped attempting to swap for mangy old hoodies. Then there were the shoes. I wasn’t having any of the rather chic flat loafers that were just about in keeping with our dress code, instead opting for the highest and heinous platform Kickers (remember those?) I could persuade my mum to buy me. As a result, most of my teenage years were spent being bollocked for breaking uniform rules (among other things) and apparently this was pretty much how I rolled from the age of about six. Sensibly, I seem to have mentally erased all memories of awkward parental/head teacher meetings before I was about 12. Over a decade on, these school uniform staples feature prominently in my wardrobe. In fact, I own and adore a navy plaid kilt that’s virtually identical to the one I hacked to pieces all those years ago. Rarely a week goes by without my wearing loafers, sweaters, knee socks and satchels. This luxe red leather style from Belgian leather goods brand, Ruitertassen, is a current fave because it’s roomy enough to carry my laptop. Paired with a pleated grey skirt, fair isle knit and knee socks the whole thing is totally school uniform tastic and deliciously preppy, but also very “now”, what with this season’s love of heritage fabrics and remixed classics. The tweed peacoat is a very old Whistles buy which, some four or five years on, is still serving up chic cosiness. As for the loafers, I suspect I wouldn’t have got away with them at the convent but a leopard cannot change her spots you know, or in this case her uniform rule breaking ways…
Do you find yourself back in school uniform inspired outfits years after leaving or is it all too much of a blast from the past?
Love Ella. X
Images by Holly McGlynn