Even if we have long left school behind, even if the only classroom we visit is in the nightmare we have about the test we didn't study for also we are naked also Becky that snake who didn't even go to that school is there in the corner laughing and pointing, when the weather turns that itch for the new semester wardrobe begins.
The fall school clothing spree was the most important of the year. We had to show we were aware of what the trends are, even as we struggle to understand why exactly the overalls were supposed to have one strap undone or if that looks good. We had to show that even if we couldn't afford the brands the cool girls wore, we could create something new rather than just copy them with generic knock-offs. But more than that, school was a time of realizing who we were as an individual, and how to express that visually through our clothes.
Now that Becky's reign of terror in the hallways is over, now that we don't have to plead with our mothers to take us to the good stores, no the clothes at TJ Maxx actually aren't just as good, oh my god are you going to wear that out what if my friends see you are you trying to embarrass me, our fall wardrobe is easier to construct than ever.
Heartloom is a local New York City brand that fully appreciates and celebrates the back to school spirit, even for us grown-ups. (Oh my god, are some of you actually going to college now, you are so young I don't know what to do with you.) Their separates mix and match easily creating an array of possibilities. They are casual enough to look good on campus, but chic enough to look polished at the office or zoom call or however we are doing things these days.
Cozy like the oversized sweatshirt you stole from your crush and wore for a full week after they broke your heart, crying into it and listening to the same Fiona Apple song over and over again in your dorm room, with enough striking detailing and shaped well so you can wear it to work. Hopefully not while crying.
Heartloom's blouses are so flattering, just pair them with a pencil skirt for instant secretary chic -- at least until you realize that the reason we think of secretaries as chic is because of those late 80s movies where the cute little well dressed secretary is leered at by Michael Douglas or whoever, and it was basically the only working woman we saw in films for like a decade. Or wear with jeans!
These camis are great under jackets and blazers, even under an oversized v-neck sweater, but they're also structured well enough to wear on their own. And they feel divine.
Heartloom is known for their sweaters. They are so soft and flattering (you all know the sweaters that made you dream of drinking coffee on a wintry beach, your hair going all over the place but somehow only in a way that makes you look beautiful and mysterious and then you put the sweater on and it make you look dumpy and lumpy in all the weirdest places) while also surprisingly affordable. Their colors are great, and really, the price is so good you should buy more than one, I have several in my closet.
It's hard to find a comfortable elastic banded pant that also looks good as well, but these are it. Soft and flowing, but not so much that they'll look like pajama bottoms, they look great with either heels or flats.
I checked: you absolutely cannot own too many cardigans. If that were a thing, I would have been canceled years ago. Everything you want: cozy, beautiful colors, and as soft as a pile of kittens. It's the kind of thing you dream of making yourself when you start to knit, but then after about eight ugly misshapen socks later you kind of give up. Don't let your lack of domestic skills stand in the way of your dream knitwear!
Jessa Crispin is a writer and tarot card reader. You can find her at jessacrispin.com or at Instagram at @jessacrispin