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Back-to-school style: A guide for what to wear, based on your personality

Not sure how to restock your closet this season? Let us help

Very preppy.
Very preppy. (Photo provided by Sun & Ski Sports)


Can you believe back-to-school time is upon us?

No matter whether you’re in middle school, high school or college, and regardless of whether you’ll be starting the year virtually or in person, one thing is for sure: Many students are known to upgrade their wardrobes right about now, in anticipation of this next chapter.

Even if the school year starts from home, you’ll want to look the part and feel good in your clothes.

So, what will you wear?

Whether you’ll be going to the classroom itself, hanging on Zoom for virtual lessons, hitting up after-school practices or just going out with friends on the weekends, confidence is key; or perhaps you should consider updating your look.

We’ll help you figure out what to wear -- and get those wheels turning, mentally! -- based on who you are and what styles you gravitate toward.

The fashion experts at Sun & Ski Sports helped break down the following personality types and offer suggestions.


Artistic Vintage-Inspired Student

Do you tend to see and take in all the beauty the world has to offer? There’s so much to appreciate every day, from a gorgeous sunset to a vibrant day at the lake. Your style is probably a little bit throwback, a little bit vintage, and it changes, depending on your mood. We see you.

We love this look.
We love this look. (Photo provided by Sun & Ski Sports)

Shop the look: T-shirt | Shorts | Backpack | Shoes

These are some brands you should check out, according to the experts:

  • Billabong
  • Rip Curl
  • Fjällräven Kånken

Bohemian Fashionista Student

Are you the fashion-forward one in your group of friends, but not so much in a traditional, trendy sense? Your style matches your personality: Free, go-with-the-flow and effortless. You’re always ahead of the curve -- we don’t need to tell you; your friends remind you of this constantly. It’s a vibe.

A very relaxed, natural vibe.
A very relaxed, natural vibe. (Photo provided by Sun & Ski Sports)

Shop the look: Dress | Sandals | Backpack

These are some brands you should check out, according to the experts:

  • Billabong
  • Rip Curl
  • Sorel sandals

Campus/Neighborhood Cyclist Student

We get it, you just want to be hitting the pavement! You’re always out and about -- making friends in the neighborhood, collecting new followers on social media, and introducing people to one another. You don’t just roll with one group of friends; you’re cool with everyone. Your look is approachable, fresh and current.

A day spent on your bike is a great day.
A day spent on your bike is a great day. (Photo provided by Sun & Ski Sports)

Shop the look: Cycling jacket | Bike | Helmet | Backpack | Shoes | Pants

These are some brands you should check out, according to the experts:

  • Giro
  • Camelback
  • FOX

Edgy Skater Student

Whether you like to skate, skateboard or just kick it in some Vans, this aesthetic is timeless. It’s edgy (just like you), it’s true to form, and regardless of the season, there are no questions about what brands you’ll want to wear and the styles you’ll rock.

We love this edgy style.
We love this edgy style. (Photo provided by Sun & Ski Sports)

Shop the look: Hooded sweatshirt | Long-sleeved shirt | Shoes - one option | Shoes - another idea | Longboard

These are some brands you should check out, according to the experts:

  • VANS
  • Volcom
  • Dickies
  • Santa Cruz

Outdoorsy Student/The Traveler

If we had to guess, if you’re invited somewhere and it involves the great outdoors, you’re in.

Biking? Yes. Golfing? Sure. Camping? Of course. Skiing? Let’s pack the car.

Everyone has that spontaneous, outdoorsy friend who’s up for anything (except binge-watching the same old series on Netflix for the 90th time). Can you picture this person, or are you that friend?

You’re probably not thinking much about style, per se, but you still want to look good. You’re after comfort, accessibility, and the top brands you know you can count on.

A super effortless look for back-to-school season.
A super effortless look for back-to-school season. (Photo provided by Sun & Ski Sports)

Shop the look: Romper | Sandals | Activity tracker | Backpack

These are some brands you should check out, according to the experts:

  • Chaco
  • Patagonia
  • The North Face
  • Camelbak

Preppy Casual Student

If you care about fashion but you’re not exactly following Fashion Week NYC trends, you probably fall under the preppy label. You like a classic, polished, clean look, without feeling like you’re dressing up or overdoing it. If we had to guess, you’re moderately involved in school activities and functions, you’re always up to try a new hang-out spot and people gravitate toward your positive energy. Your style is basic but evolved. You know what you like.

Very preppy.
Very preppy. (Photo provided by Sun & Ski Sports)

Shop the look: Dress | Water bottle | Sandals | Backpack

These are some brands you should check out, according to the experts:

  • Sperry
  • Hunter Boots
  • Keds
  • Herschel
  • Jadelynn Brooke

The Athletic Student

Hey there, superstar! No matter what sport you play or how you spend your free time (although if we had to guess, you’re probably at practice or hitting the gym), you want to look good in an outfit you know will keep you comfortable and able to keep up. Who could blame you?

Athletic style can be translated in a myriad of ways.
Athletic style can be translated in a myriad of ways. (Photo provided by Sun & Ski Sports)

Shop the look: Jacket | Pants | Shoes | Backpack

These are some brands you should check out, according to the experts:

  • Under Armour
  • The North Face
  • Adidas

VSCO Student

This laidback aesthetic is a crossover -- it’s a little bit ’90s fashion and a little bit surfer girl or guy.

You’re hip, your look is very “now” and of course you have more than 200 likes on all of your most recent Instagram posts. In case you feel like the same old outfits are getting a bit stale, we have some recommendations.

Calling all VSCO students!
Calling all VSCO students! (Photo provided by Sun & Ski Sports)

Shop the look: T-shirt | Backpack | Pants | Sandals | Water bottle

These are some brands you should check out, according to the experts:

  • Roxy
  • Pura Vida
  • Hydroflask
  • Birkenstock
  • O’Neill

Sun & Ski Sports, by the way, has a back-to-school sale running now through Aug. 17.

Hopefully now, you feel a little more prepared for this coming school year -- again, even if it’s just for a Zoom call with your class. After all, adventure is a life of learning at school and home.

Happy shopping!