Queer Outfit of the Week: Back to School

Welcome to Queer Outfit of the Week where I scour the world and tell you all about my one favorite queer outfit this week. I’ll envision a scenario where you or your girlfriend or your best friend or your mom or your cat could wear it and talk all about why it’s a great outfit for that event. Every week will be a different style, gender presentation and event so there’s a little something for everyone — even the person who just wants to look at pictures of stylish queers! So let’s get to it — we’re going to figure out what the heck we’re going to wear this week!

Header by Rory Midhani

Queer Outfit of the Week

Every year the first day of classes sideswipes students across the country. You’ve just settled into your summer neons and flip flops and all of a sudden it’s time to bust out your blazers. Amongst the stress of new pens and expensive textbooks is the age old question of what to wear. The first day of school is your time to make a splash with your friends while making a good impression on professors.

The first day of classes is usually hot as hell. You might be tempted to wear your new blazer or one of your favorite sweaters, but come noontime you’re going to be sweating in all the wrong places. Instead, go for a short sleeved button-up in a late summer/early fall color. I always think red is a good option for this time of year. Remember, however, to go for a short sleeve button-up that is fitted through the shoulders and around your arm, otherwise you’ll end up looking like your dad on vacation. If you want to really bump up the style on your top, cuff the sleeves a few times, button your shirt up to your neck, and tuck it in.

You want to pair your top with jeans and shoes that are relaxed, but not falling apart. Mid-rise straight leg jeans in a light wash have a summery feel, but are more appropriate for class than shorts. If you have a pair of fall boots you just can’t wait to wear, there’s no reason not to debut them on the first day of class. Just be sure to wear lightweight socks and cuff your pants to keep from overheating. Finish this off with a no-nonsense messenger bag and a “just in case” jacket and you’re good to go!

If you’re on the femmier side of things, you can switch up straight leg jeans for cropped skinny jeans or even a denim skirt. You could also dress up the collar a bit with a fun statement necklace. On the other hand, if you want something a bit more masculine, you can either go for wider-leg pants worn lower on the hips and/or wear your pant legs over your boots. Alternatively you can dress up this look with a fun bow tie or knit tie.

Autostraddle Queer Outfit of the Week Back to School
Banana Republic, R 13, Topman, Steve Madden

Whether you’re enthusiastically bounding off to school or reluctantly dragging your ass to class, the first day back is a great opportunity to make a fashion statement. By keeping your look simple, clean and a little fun there’s no way you can get it wrong!

If you see something that you think should be featured on Queer Outfit of the Weeksend me an ASS messageask on my tumblr, or tweet me @Ohheyitslizz

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


  1. aww liz. you are a better person than I, the senior who will walk into class just as it’s starting with the look that says “dear professor, you are lucky I even bothered with pants.”

    happy semester, everyone!

  2. I am not in school anymore, but on a weekend walking around downtown/uptown… this would be perfect. =)

    • I find that even when I’m not “in school” I have some sort of “back to school” moment. Even if it’s just the first day back at work or getting together with my friends after a vacation.

  3. Ah Liz, you totally stole my outfit idea for class today! just substitute the jeans for gray fitted cargo pants and you have the outfit I’m wearing right now lol.

    Guess that means I’m doing great in my goal to queer up my style this year. Yay me.

  4. The phrase “denim skirt” just sent me into a disconcerting elementary school skort flashback that I was in no way prepared for.
    Is it a skirt? Is it shorts? Is it a way to make people think you’re going to flash them when doing a cartwheel, when instead surprise! there’s shorts in the back?? So many unanswered questions.

    Liz, I love these articles so much.

  5. Oh back to school fashion. Love it! I remember when I had money to buy new stuff for the school year. Wait, yeah, that wasn’t my money. . .

  6. i went back to class a couple weeks ago wearing jeans, a t-shirt (with the sleeves rolled up), and a scarf someone gave me once because guess who doesn’t have a lot of money?
    (this kid!)
    i love that back to school outfit, though. i definitely need to invest in some short sleeve button down shirts the next time i get paid

  7. i think geneva wears this exact outfit like 80 percent of the time (but with an undershirt) (and not light denim) and i highly recommend it for being the cutest person on earth

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