We know, we know: When it comes to kids today, back-to-school style doesn’t quite mean what it used to. You’d be hard-pressed to find an average ninth grader roaming the halls in tweedy jackets, crisp button-downs, pleated skirts, or a prim pair of Mary Janes. Still, there was a time when heading back to the grind did mean dressing like an academic cliché—and plenty of top designers seem to miss those days.
Across a wide variety of Fall 2015 runways, labels like Gucci, Michael Kors, Prada, and Miu Miu all referenced very specific facets of September style without being overt. So while models didn’t look like leftover castmembers from “The Facts of Life” or Rachel Berry from “Glee,” there were plenty of preppy, school-ish staples woven into various collections.
From shrunken blazers and pleated skirts to modern riffs on plaid and backpacks, here’s how top designers subtly translated back-to-school style.