Ever since I first saw the commercials for Korean/Japanese school uniforms, I’ve been looking for clothes that resemble the “school girl” look. However, I’m not sure how to put these clothes together and still look fashionable. Please help me!
Oh uniforms. They’re insanely boring, right? I could tell you hilarious tales of my school days but let’s not go there, dear. These days, that “school girl look” is so popular I’m tempted to bring out the old plaids. TV shows like Gossip Girls and the super popular K-drama, Boys Over Flowers have turned the “uniform look” ever-so cool.
Prep outfits are, well, preppy, and typically skirts hit mid-thigh; the “uniform look” is either girly girl or menswear-inspired. But how you wear it really depends on your personal style: turn that “uniform look” into something so frou-frou it will hurt your eyes, or something that borders on androgyny. And keep them guessing.
The Sweet “Model” Student: Korean brand Sechuna is the first stop in shopping for pieces to create this look. If you wish to hannel a Korean schoolgirl’s style, these academic pieces fit the bill to a T.
The Plaid Skirt and The Blouse – Plaid is a must when it comes to achieving the K-drama uniform look. Look for box pleats, lace trimmed hems and color variations of plaid that will separate you from the rest of the fashion pack at school.
The Blouse – For your top, make sure you pick the right blouse. By nature, the blouse is a feminine shirt by definition. Your choice of blouses should border on the girly side. Go for styles with Peter Pan collars, pleats and pearl buttons.
The Blazer/Cardigan – Now top it all off with a cardigan and a blazer. Contrast trim flatters a girly silhouette. Keep your eye out for other embellishments such as chains sewn along the hems a la Chanel, metallic piping or leopard print lining.
The Accessories – For me, this is where you turn the uniform into a “you-niform”, an outfit that is distinctly and uniquely yours. A pair of funky socks is essential: knee-high socks balance the high hemline of the skirt. Legwarmers are another option that encapsulates the Asian prep look too so stock up on different colors and prints to go with your shoes. Finally, sashay down the school hallway in a pair of killer heels, or if you’re a little accident-prone, opt for ballet flats or low wedges.
Boy, Oh Boy!: If you’re not into frilly skirts, that’s perfectly fine. Embrace the tomboy in you! Not everyone looks good in a skirt anyway. Skorts and shorts make the grade so you don’t have to sacrifice your signature style. Go for college-inspired (think Harvard, Oxford and all those noble institutions) patterns like plaid, checks and houndstooth.The Shirt – If blouses are too feminine, girls who prefer a more gentlemanly look are the epitome of high-class cool in minimalist dress shirts. Look for pure cotton pieces that allow the skin to breathe. Sharply tailored details such as collars, cuffs and fly front plackets have a New England charm.
The Blazer/Cardigan – The blazer and cardigan are the essentials for a tomboyish but still preppy look. Go beyond black and navy by opting for a striped blazer, an argyle vest or a color-block cardigan. If you want a more sportswear edge, choose a hooded jacket that creates a more casual look. Keep your eyes out for burnished gold buttons, decorative crests and emblem patches that will add a little shine. Just make sure you’re not impersonating a real school.
The Accessories – Contrary to popular thinking, menswear looks also require accessories. Do things your way by stealing your boyfriend’s tie to give yourself a total prep look. Bow ties add a quirky appeal for the tomboy-fashionistas
The Shoes and The Bags – Slip on those oxford shoes or go for a sportier look with plain or printed sneakers. Pack your books in a check backpack or a Brit-inspired messenger bag.
You can now star in your very own K-drama! Don’t focus on looking like everyone else but be comfortable with what you like. Hope you get an A, sweetie!