Get back-to-school fashion at fair price

Material Girl blazer from Macy's

I miss back-to-school shopping. It was fun picking out your outfit for the first day of school, even though living in a hot climate meant a lot of the "traditional" back-to-school plaid jackets and argyle sweaters I saw in catalogs wouldn't do.


You can find cute preppy back-to-school pieces that won't make you break a sweat or break the bank as an adult -- here are a couple picks:

Sweater vest: Gap's tan, purple or black sweater vests button just below the waist. The sleeveless vest would look great layered with a tank top or sleeveless blouse during the summer and with longer sleeves as the weather cools. It costs $39.50.

Argyle knee-high socks: For a cheap update, try Gap's knee-high argyle socks for $7.50. These are a fashion risk, so let it be the only print of your ensemble. Worn with a solid-color straight skirt and a crisp white button-up shirt, it'll look classic prep, not costume.

Patchwork plaid skirt: American Living at J.C. Penney has a red, white and blue plaid patchwork skirt on sale for $34.99.

Keds: You can get your Keds at Gap now, some for $39.50. The slip-on shape and solid colors will take you back to trying on shoes with your mom.

Plaid blazer: If you can fit into junior sizes, the new Material Girl line at Macy's has an affordable tartan plaid blazer for $36. You can wear it with jean shorts and a tank top to avoid getting too hot.

What was your favorite back-to-school outfit back in the day? Did you buy yourself a back-to-school outfit this year? Comment at the Shopgirl blog at