Old-fashioned initials got new life from fall runways as designers went back to their ABCs. Monogrammed J’s and K’s embroidered in bright colors on cardigans and sweatshirts from Jil Sander and Kenzo riffed on the back-to-school theme for adults. Along with lettered sweaters and varsity jackets, designers tweaked pleated skirts and penny loafers, and tossed aside the tin pencil cup for a quirky update.
Zara stylists have given the traditional loafer an edgy vibe. Gothlike metal studs and an elongated vamp take it out of pure prep territory. Wear these hardware-heavy mocs with leather pants and a printed sweatshirt for a stylish transition to fall. Studded moccasins, $90 at www.zara.com.
• A Joe College staple, the original heavy duffle coat with toggles, is reinvented by Brooks Brothers in nylon with a water-repellent finish that sloughs off raindrops and features a cotton twill lining for warmth. Exterior patch pockets and three interior pockets offer easy access to car keys and electronic devices. Wear with a turtleneck and high-top sneakers. Nylon duffle coat, $398 at Brooks Brothers stores and www.brooksbrothers.com or 800-274-1815.
• Adorn your desk with this cheeky piece of office decor from Urban Outfitters to distract you from weighty work matters. The magnetic wrist comes in handy for attaching stray paper clips or even loose hairpins. Hand pen holder, $19, www.urbanoutfitters.com.