As a lover of preppy staples and, yes, Gossip Girl, I didn't need a ton of convincing when it came to testing out social media's latest fashion craze, which I've begun to refer to as 'schoolcore.'
"I'm wearing the outfit," I texted my friend last Sunday morning, right before I took a stroll around my neighborhood (since, you know, 2020). No explanation was needed. She already knew I was talking about the same pairing we've seen on almost every influencer: a sweatshirt, a pleated skirt, thick long socks, and sneakers.
While this type of aesthetic is labeled as "soft girl" to some, the newer name doesn't mean it's actually new. Princess Diana famously wore a similar outfit while playing tennis in the '80s, and pleated skirts had a moment with the popstar crowd in the early '00s. Now, TikTokers and Gen Z seem to have discovered this cutesy, school-uniform-like look (much like they did with "flared leggings") but after seeing this exact outfit repeated multiple times, I decided to get in on it, too. Honestly, it's comfortable and easy to put together, but at the same time, is playful and statement-making, especially if you incorporate graphics and plaid prints.
While I personally opted for an old souvenir sweatshirt, a vintage Etsy skirt (Shop Similar: etsy.com), and celeb-loved Converse, there are a few different variations of the most famous schoolcore outfit. I've rounded up a few ways to wear it, ahead.
With Knee-High Socks and Boots
As the weather gets cooler, you might want to trade in your socks for something warmer that offers extra coverage, such as a pair of tights or knee-highs (Shop similar: $21; nordstrom.com).
With a Graphic T-Shirt
If sweatshirts aren't exactly your style, a statement-making T-shirt (Shop similar: $65; nordstrom.com) will give off a similar vibe and can easily be layered under a cardigan, blazer, or denim jacket.
With Mary-Jane Shoes
It's the must-have footwear trend of 2020, and luckily, the babydoll shoe (Shop Similar: $150; ssense.com) meshes well with these preppy pieces.
With a Tennis Twist
Swap out the plaid skirt for a solid white option (Shop Similar: $69; athleta.com), which will make the look feel more athleisure than schoolgirl.
With a Light, Neutral Color Scheme
You can spice things up with accessories, including a pair of hoop earrings (Shop Similar: $18; nordstrom.com) and chain necklaces.
With a Classic Mini and a Cardigan
Replace the pleated skirt with a classic mini (Shop Similar: $39; modcloth.com), and the sweatshirt with a knit cardigan. While slightly elevated, these alternatives are similar enough to the original outfit and still feel pretty schoolcore.