photos by sara walk

forever 21 shirt (similar)

forever 21 sweater (similar)
kate spade watch (on sale!)

With the beginning of school only weeks away, I’m starting to get into back to school prep mode. Although I’m not going back to school (thank goodness those days are behind me), my four year old is and as always, I love all the preparation — the new clothes, the school supplies, the new lunchbox…it’s all so nostalgic and fun for me. I mean, who wouldn’t want a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils (for any You’ve Got Mail fans out there)?

So although I’m not going back to school, I’ve teamed up with DSW this month to share a few back to school essentials for those of you who are heading back to class, or just want to pick up a few new things for Fall, and to do another fun #DSWShoeHookup giveaway! I love DSW because they have amazing designer shoes (shoes for women, kids shoes, and even great men’s shoes) at even more amazing prices, and they have a sweet rewards program that allows you to earn points with every purchase that go toward DSW gift certificates so you can buy….more shoes, obviously. A win-win solution in my book.

Leopard print is so huge right now, and Sperry’s have been on my shoe wish list for ages, so the two combined in these shoes made the decision a no brainer. Plus, as much as I love a heel (or even a wedge), flats are an essential for school. I combined them with a preppy layered gingham and sweater combination for an easy and comfortable school day, and then threw in a statement necklace and a leather backpack to complete the look.

There are so many other great shoes at DSW right now — I could hardly narrow my favorites down! But here are a few of my favorites that would be perfect for other preppy back to school looks. Click the images below to shop them, and watch for another back to class look next week, plus a fun contest to win some shoes!
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a big thank you to DSW for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own. 



  1. Natali says:

    Great backpack and sneakers! You look fantastic!

  2. Christina Storm says:

    LOVE this look! That denim looks incredible on you! Hope you have a great weekend!

    The Style Storm
    <3, Christina

  3. Agi says:

    Cute outfit!!!! Love those shoes.


  4. So adorable! Love this look! I watch You’ve Got Mail at least once a year, and my husband always teases me for it, “Haven’t you already seen this movie?” It’s Meg Ryan at her best, IMO.

  5. Leticia says:

    Omg those shoes though! Love it!!

  6. love your outfit so much Merrick!! And love that we’re side by side <3

  7. Barbarella says:

    Genialne połączenie, super focia 😉

    Zapraszam do mnie w wolnej chwili

  8. Anne Brown says:

    Did you patch the hole on the knee in that pair? I have a pair of destroyed skinnies that the knee keeps getting bigger and bigger! Makes me sad bc I love them

  9. I’m also starting on that bts prep, this post just adds on to the theme of my mind haha

    I love those sperry’s, it’s a nice way to incorporate print into an outfit

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Have you guys seen the pinterest board, “My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler?” My sister in law introduced it to me a few weeks ago. It’s full of gorgeous images from over-the-top photoshoots with kids dressed to the absolute nines, but poking fun of the fact that we’re aspiring to dress our kids this way. 
Peanut is fairly opinionated about his clothing, and most days chooses his own outfits (he also always gives me advice on my outfits 🙂 ). I pick most of his clothes in the store, but I’m careful to choose things that are comfortable, easy to wear, and allow him to move, unlike so many of those well-dressed toddlers. I’m absolutely of the opinion that kids don’t need a million layers and accessories to be cute and stylish! 
We teamed up with Kohl’s and did a lot of Peanut’s back to school shopping there — they have great stuff for kids and always amazing deals. Then Peanut and I went through his closet and together we chose seven outfits that completely reflect his easy-going, minimal, and vibrant style. Also, he had such a blast taking these pictures and I love how his hilarious and spunky personality shines through. He’s the funnest.
polo: tea collection c/o
jeans: old navy
boots: old navy
tee: children’s place outlet
jeans: tea collection c/o
converse: kohls c/o
hoodie: tea collection c/o
shorts: kohls c/o
converse: kohls c/o
top: h&m
shorts: kohls c/o
sandals: old navy
hat: h&m
top: h&m
shorts: target
converse: kohls c/o
tee: kohls c/o
jeans: old navy
boots: old navy
tee & shorts: target
converse: kohls c/o
shwings c/o
this post was sponsored by Kohls, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. 


  1. Julia says:

    Hah, this is great. Can you get any cooler than him?

  2. Lix Hewett says:

    Hahaha, what an adorable kid!

  3. Ashley says:

    I love dressing my boys. These are the kind of outfits I like to dress them in as well!

  4. This is absolutely adorable! I love the comfortable, practical pieces!
    Much love from Louisiana,

  5. mandy says:

    He is absolutely adorable – loved this!

  6. Leanne says:

    Oh my gosh I love him! His face in the helicopter tee, and his little hands in the hat! Oh how I miss him! (but not as much as Bradley)

  7. Abigail says:

    Oh gosh, I love 'My Imaginary Well-Dressed Toddler!' I get so excited when I see the pins in my feed!
    Looks like your photo shoot was lots of fun! 🙂

  8. He is SUCH a cool little dude!

  9. SheridanR says:

    Peanut is one adorable little guy!! My boys would not be interested in posing like this for me lol

  10. How adorable is he?! And he looks SO much like Philip!

  11. oh my goodness he is such a ham for the camera! I am dying. SOOOO I've been dying to ask you this since like— he was born— have you ever tried growing his hair out longer?! I think it would be adorable!! It seems like a very Philip thing to want to keep his hair super short ha ha.

    Hope everything is going great in Cali for you!

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