There’s a reason the fashion world is often compared with high school: Wear the wrong shoe and you might as well buy a one-way ticket to the northernmost reaches of Siberia. With that in mind, we’ve compiled this handy back-to-school style guide—choose your allegiances wisely and perhaps you’ll finally end up at the cool kids’ table.
The Girl Who Eats Her Feelings
The look: Curve-enhancing dresses worn with plenty of attitude
Why we love her: Full figures are making a comeback.
Style icons: Christina Hendricks, Brigitte Bardot, Beth Ditto
Favorite designers: Louis Vuitton (above), Prada, Victoria’s Secret
The look: Power suits, minimalist coats, self-satisfied smirk
Why we love her: Truth be told, we love to hate her. Let’s face it—she’ll go farther than most of us.
Style icons: Audrey Hepburn, Diane Keaton, Chelsea Clinton
Favorite designers: Jil Sander (above), Céline, Calvin Klein
The Prepster With a Wild Streak
The look: A mishmash of boarding-school alpine knits, supertight jeans, loafers, and tie-dye
Why we love her: There’s depth to her rebellious streak—she can justify the decision to dye her hair green with postfeminist politics.
Style icons: Chloë Sevigny, Kristen Stewart, any graffiti artist
Favorite designers: Proenza Schouler (above), Christopher Kane, Alexander Wang
The Party Animal
The look: Barely there micro dresses, spiky ankle boots, half-spilled cocktail
Why we love her: What’s not to love?
Style icons: Donatella Versace, Khloe Kardashian, Grace Jones
Favorite designers: Pucci (above), Gucci, vintage Fiorucci
The Virgin Suicide
The look: Studiously messy hair, sandals, ethnic knits, lots of patterns and florals
Why we love her: She’s a great weight-loss supplement—hang out with her and you’ll learn all about gluten-free vegan muffins.
Style icons: Marianne Faithfull, Janis Joplin, Mother Teresa
Favorite designers: Missoni (above), Edun, Dosa