When I was younger, about a month or so before the start of each school year, my mother would round up me and my three sisters to flip through the pages of catalogues like L.L. Bean and J. Crew to do some back-to-school shopping. We had a very strict and somewhat bizarre dress code (e.g. "all hair color must be of a natural hue and style," no jeans, and everything had to be in solid colors, including tights and socks), so our options were fairly limited.
After discussing the potential of each garment at length, we'd take turns, one by one, pointing out the things we wanted. My mother would circle each item and write our size and initials next to them, then pick up the house phone to place the order. I'm not that old, but this was still before online shopping was a thing. And cell phones.
As a result of all this, watching television shows about young kids in school seemed so strange to me. I understood the middle school drama, but how did Lizzie McGuire get those twisty knots on top of her head? Would I look good in a jean jacket like the one that Topanga always wore? And I know I'm not alone in saying that Cher Horowitz's closet was the object of envy.
In the spirit of the back-to-school season — and back-to-school shopping! — here are 13 schoolgirls who score an A+ in style. From crimped hair to 3D glasses, these ladies are famous for their distinguished looks. So, this year, make a statement on campus, no matter if you're in high school or grad school or if you're bound by dress dress code or not. We can all learn a thing or two from these style-smart students.
13. Lizzie McGuire
I'm going to throw this out there: I wouldn't be totally disappointed if crazy crimped hair came back in style. I mean... just look at the texture that Lizzie's got going on.
12. Taylor McKessie
Taylor scores the number 12 spot for always having the best head wraps and headbands. You can never have too many headbands.
11. Topanga Lawrence
And for always doing her thing — fluffy bangs and all — number 11 goes to Topanga.
10. Gretchen Wieners
Because you can never go wrong with a cozy cashmere sweater... 10 for you, Gretchen Wieners.
9. Sandy Olsson
Wide waist-defining belts are a definite do.
8. Claire Standish
Claire wore one outfit in the entire film, but it was enough to convince us of her great taste. Let's all vow to wear more wrap skirts with boots this season.
7. Aria Montgomery
All of the little liars have great style sense, but Aria always seems to have it together. I love the mixed prints going on in this look.
6. Bonnie Bennett
Bonnie's embroidered blouses are a staple in her bohemian-chic wardrobe.
5. Luna Lovegood
Regular glasses are boring. Trade yours in for a pair of colorful 3-D ones, like Luna's, and see life from a new perspective. Ten points for Gryffindor for creative accessories!
4. Lisa Turtle
The bangs. The shoulder pads. The turtleneck. Lisa's a triple threat, guys.
3. Jenny Humphrey
Little J gets a bump in the ratings for her improvisational style skills. She's not the wealthiest girl on the Upper East Side, but she's proven that some sewing skills can go a long way. DIY FTW.
2. Elle Woods
Because what other law student could study comfortably in a sequin bikini? Or read textbooks through rose-tinted glasses?
1. Cher Horowitz
And the number one spot goes to high school's most memorable fashionista: Cher Horowitz. As if the title would go to anyone else.
Images: giphy.com (5); ABC FAMILY/Eric McCandless