First Day Outfit

Even though I’ve always loved summers, I would get a little antsy for school to start back up. As the days started to grow shorter again, we’d have a few telltale signs that classes were right around the corner. There was the scramble to read those summer reading books that collected dust for two months. The mile-long school supply list and the little postcard with our class schedule that showed up in the mail. Both followed by a four-hour trip to gather said supplies and a frantic call to best friends to ensure that we had the same lunch period!

And my favorite part? The careful selection (and re-selection) of the perfect FDO aka First Day Outfit.

I’m obviously not going back to school this year, but I still associate this time with freshening up my closet. If I were going back to school, I think this would be a top contender for an FDO. Simple, comfortable, and classic!

Preppy First Day Outfit

We’ve got to talk about the shoes. My first pair of mules! I didn’t think the trend was for me until I spotted this loafer style. I love them. They still have that classic loafer look with the modern mule silhouette. My biggest concern with mules (besides thinking I’m not cool enough to pull them off!) was that they’d be difficult to walk in, but I didn’t find that to be a problem at all. In fact, I forgot about that concern until I went to type this post; I wasn’t bothered in the slightest while wearing them.

(The listing recommends ordering a size up, but I found that they fit true to size.)

Paris Backless Tassel Loafer SAM EDELMAN

The minute I saw this clutch, I knew I needed it. A gorgeous brown faux leather clutch with collegiate stripes for under $40? Yep!

Carly Heitlinger

I kept everything else pretty simple. My Equipment blouse is a great staple that I can’t recommend enough. It’s a little bit on the expensive side, but it dry cleans beautifully and can be dressed up or down. The dark colors make good date night tops when it’s cooler out too.

This is a similar option for under $100.

Carly Prepster  Preppy Back to School Outfit

Stripe Faux Leather Clutch  Ray Ban Highstreet

Photos by Carter Fish

Equipment Blouse (similar blouse under $100) // Striped Clutch (only $35!) // Backless Loafers // Similar Necklace // Jeans // Lipstick Shade: Red Square // Sunglasses

Thank you Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!

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I love this outfit! I’m a high school teacher from England and even we think about first day back outfits! You’re such an inspiration 🙂 xx

Michael @ Mile in My Glasses

I absolutely love your loafers, Carly! I’ve only recently hopped on the loafer bandwagon but I’m such a big fan! They look so brilliant – and they look awesome on campus! I would always be so excited for a new year, I’d go stock up on stationary and button downs in anticipation! Ha!

I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday!


I know you like the brand Margaux. There is this online retailer called Shoes of Prey and it made me think of you. They let you design and customize your own shoes. I’m not affiliated, but I thought you might find them interesting since you love flats 🙂 they also have other shoes.


Just ordered those mules!! Could not resist how cute they would be for a casual Friday at the office!


Such a cute outfit! This year will be my first without “back to school” and I don’t know what to do with myself! I’ve wandered into staples twice now just to look at binders and pencils. How did you cope with the uprooted schedule your first year out of school?!


Love the simple but sophisticated style. And those photos! The one of you leaning against the tree and the last with your sunniest are amazing shots of you! Perfect for IG 🙂


This post has really got me excited for fall! I’ll be going back to college soon and I can’t wait to pick out my own FDO & probably very similar to yours (simple and comfortable)!

Taylor Kay

I love this outfit! My school’s usually close to 90 degrees for the first weeks of school (gotta love the South), so I’ll probably be wearing something short-sleeved to avoid melting into the ground on the way to class, but this would be a perfect look for September/October in Georgia. I’ve started planning my FDO for this year and it’s so hard to believe that this will be my last time picking one out!

Taylor |


This is getting me in the mood for back to school season! I’ actually sitting this fall out (5 years into a part time degree) and even though I am a mature student, I still like getting a first day outfit! Your outfit is the perfect mix of polish and comfort (which is most welcome since most of my classes have teens still in their pjs! Ha!) xx Rox-Anne Celebrating This Life


this is cute, but I can’t see this as a first day of school outfit at all..why wouldn’t you feature a backpack or something actually useful to hold things? or a blouse that’s $30 instead of $200 for those of us actually on a college budget?

Jessica | The Magical Wife

This post is making me crave Fall even more than I was previously. You look so good in this outfit! I can’t believe the clutch is only $35… I might have to do a little shopping 😉 Not sure if I can pull of the shirt or shoes, but you make it look so effortless!


You have my wishing for fall even more!!! And I feel like you should be on campus with Rory at Yale with your cute outfit 🙂


I am so obsessed with back to school! Even though I’ve been out of school for a while, I still walk the aisles of all the school supplies (and maybe pick up a few things for myself as well…)

Since I now work in Admission for a private school as my full time gig (alas, blogging is still my side-hustle) I’m able to really look forward and enjoy those first day of school vibes–and I will definitely be picking out a special outfit for the occasion!

I’ve been on the hunt for mules-and I think the ones you featured might be the ones! I’m wondering how you manage to keep your white tops white throughout the day (I’m petrified of spilling coffee) and how you wear red lipstick without smudging it on your chin (or anywhere else for that matter). Loved this post!