As many of you may know, I will be starting lycée (the French equivalent to high school) this year. In France, we have four years of collège (middle school) and three years of lycée. The education system in France is highly centralized. It does not work like it does in the US. You know how schools in the US differ on when students go back to school? In France, every student goes back on the same day. This year, our first day is September 3rd. Every student in France has the same break for Toussaint and Christmas, but our winter and spring breaks vary by zones.
We call our back-to-school period la rentrée. During la rentrée, everybody does their back-to-school shopping and prepares to go back to school. My mom took Sandrine and me shopping today. I saved a lot of money throughout the year, so I was able to buy a lot of cool, new stuff! Sadly, I'm now broke.
For my books, I bought a nice cartable. It's like a backpack, only more rectangular. We don't do backpacks in France. You have to carry a cartable to school...no "if"s, "and"s, or "but"s! Remember how I said that the education system was very centralized? Well, it's even like that when it comes to school supplies! In America, students can express their individual personalities with fun notebooks and binders and so in. In France, you get an extremely specific shopping list. This list gets as specific as the weight, color, and dimensions of notebooks, etc! We use gray pencils without erasers. We use pens WAY more than pencils. Don't even think about turning something in if it isn't in pen (and in the right color of ink). The most famous pen we use is the stylo à cinq couleurs. You've probably something like that before. We don't erase: we use white-out. EVERYBODY has the exact same school supplies as you do. There is no expressing individuality. Everybody's school supplies are the same.
Now...onto the fun stuff...clothes! I bought this awesome belt to go with several outfits. It's definitely an investment piece since it'll go with a lot!
I love this cream lace tank I found! I got it on sale for a fraction of the original price! I can't wait to wear it!
I got a new basic black tank and an off-the-shoulder lace top.
I found this pretty white tank on sale, too. It will be a great piece for layering.
I'm IN LOVE with the short-sleeved black cardigan I bought! It is perfect for the weather now!
I also found this adorable striped tunic. I've been wanting something like this for years!
The infinity scarf I'm wearing now is also new. I love it!
So, dear readers, when do you go back to school? Have you finished your back-to-school shopping? What do you think I should wear on my first day?