Style Tips: Too cool for school

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September is a month of transitions – swapping out your summer wardrobe for autumn, losing the Hong Kong heat for more congenial weather and, most tortuously, snapping out of your holiday hibernation mode and heading back to school. To ease the return, Time Out has put together a cheat sheet of how to become the coolest kid on the block. Put your bobby socks and sensible shoes away and read on for tips on how to perfect the rebellious schoolgirl look…

Play on proportions
Dress code rules are made for breaking and uniforms should always be the object of customisation. Break away from your basic button downs with oversized, cropped and unbuttoned variations of this wardrobe staple, à la Alexander Wang spring/summer 2014. Don’t be afraid to swap out generic khaki skirts for more luxe versions in leather, or even tailored trousers and loafers for a more sophisticated, precocious look.

Bagging the swag
Looking to differentiate yourself from the sea of Longchamp totes and JanSport backpacks? The experimental brand Côte&Ciel twists the construction and proportions of conventional backpacks, designing contrasts in leather and coated canvas that suggest intergalactic traveller more than class swot. Meanwhile, Herschel have a selection of durable but sophisticated hipster baiting backpacks in their Studio line.

Sweater weather
What else can protect you from the arctic chill of lecture hall AC other than the ever-comfortable and easy-to-wear sweater? Ditch the stereotypical pullovers and quarter-zip fleeces that litter your college brochures and opt for pun-loaded graphic sweaters that prove your intellectual wit in and out of the classroom. Brian Litchenberg, creator of the famous ‘Homies’ sweater parodying the Hermes logo, has designed a sizable collection of apparel from hats to tank tops that riff on iconic fashion branding. For something a little more risque, don the iconic ‘Parental Advisory’ sweatshirt from Alexander Wang that’s sure to turn heads in the hallway (and perhaps warrant a visit to the headmaster’s office). Emily Cheng

Check out more styles from Cheng at girlgonevogue.com.

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