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Hand-me-down blazers and knee-length box pleat skirts may be a distant memory, but for Autumn/Winter 2014, school-inspired styling is the ‘in-thing’. Think buttoned-up white shirts, tweed skirts and – your new season essential – a leather satchel. That’s right, it isn’t just the younger ones heading back to school next week.

The perfect inspiration? Gossip Girl’s Serena Van Der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf (that’s Blake Lively and Leighton Meester, in real life), of course. Their expensive New York-inspired taste constantly exudes uncompromised, suitably smart yet effortlessly glamorous style, taking to the streets of the Upper East Side in a host of contemporary tweed, pleated miniskirts and statement knitwear. Take note, and try it for yourself.

Carven have built their iconic fashion status on adorable, geek-chic styling. Their AW14 collared bank sweatshirt makes for cool smart-casual dressing teamed with Dolce & Gabbana’s grey tweed A-line skirt and iconic Valentino So Noir Rockstud flats. Stand out, post box red accessories liven up the look and Mulberry’s Bayswater satchel is a timeless choice.

DSquared2’s long-sleeved white shirt tucked into Joseph’s Cravat print trousers make for a more mature, androgynous look. Pointed stilettos give sharp tailoring a sophisticated edge and Dolce & Gabbana’s Miss Sicily top handle bag and a dark floral By Malene Birger scarf add feminine touches in rich autumnal hues.

The more playful style, Moschino’s quilted varsity jacket screams all-American high school and, when paired with Carven’s pleated checked skirt and Lanvin skate shoes, makes for a cool, easy daytime look. Sophie Hulme’s Monster keyring offers a fun nostalgic element whilst Fendi’s super-chic All The Way satchel shows you still mean business.

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