Buy it: Lands' End Canvas Corduroy Mini Skirt

I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, which, until I moved to NYC and experienced Connecticut firsthand, I thought was the preppiest place on earth. My high school was all about Abercrombie, J.Crew, plaid, polos, rugbys, khakis, rope bracelets...the whole nine yards. Thinking myself nonconformist as a teenager, I rebelled against the norm--I made my mom drive me downtown to shop at Urban Outfitters, and when Delia*s started up (I was 16), it was a godsend. I continued my anti-preppy tack through college (which was also in the Midwest, and also quite preppy; these were the years of Gap's "everyone in khakis" campaign, after all), working at Contempo Casuals at the mall, and even in my twenties, I tried on every trend I could get my hands on. The funny thing is, in my thirties, I find myself gravitating toward more classic and maybe, yes, more preppy looks. Part of it may be that I'm embracing my heritage; more likely, I'm dressing more for myself. In other words, I'd rather wear clothes that are age-appropriate and make me look good, as opposed to trying to impress other people or take on a persona in more calculated, purposefully rebellious looks. Several years ago, I would have turned up my nose at this corduroy mini skirt from Canvas 1963, Lands' End's newer, younger line. Now, it's exactly the skirt I've been looking for all season. I find pleated skirts can often look schoolgirlish, but this one has just a front inverted pleat and two tiny knife pleats on either side; the effect creates a bit of volume that skims the hips in a flattering way. The corduroy is a wider wale than I was expecting, but I find it comforting, in a hearkening-back-to-grunge kind of way. The length is perfect too--as with any good miniskirt, it's long enough to cover the topic but short enough to be interesting. Oh, and the price: $39.50, which makes this probably the most economical piece I've bought this fall. One word of warning: This skirt runs quite big, so I'd suggest sizing down, even if you're on the larger end of your size.

I ordered this poplin shirt too, in polka dot, because I used to have a similar shirt that I loved in my pre-rebellion middle school days. Together, the pieces are preppy overload; I think I'll wait till spring and wear the shirt with white jeans or a white mini. I wore the skirt yesterday with a leather hoodie, a henley, and ankle boots for a more downtown-preppy look. Which is a preppy I can definitely live with.

FTC full disclosure: I received the skirt and shirt as a gift, and while I receive many items gratis, I only write about the ones I like. In other words, if I don't like it, you won't read about it here.

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