This year’s Back to School season probably means a return to, well, actual school. After a forever of dressing decidedly off-site, making a stylish return to boarding bedrooms, lecture halls, or homecoming parades might take some revision. Here's a lesson from Highsnobiety.

There is little else on earth like a new notebook. Call that over-top-top, but the feeling of putting pen to paper in a fresh one is life-affirming, in my opinion. What I usually end up writing in them, less so. But who cares? The best thing about Back to School season is the new gear you go with — this year more than ever before.

After being locked up away from classmates and co-workers, the opportunity to impress seems way more appealing this time around. It’s not just about showing off, either. Going into a new level of work or learning with a worthy toolkit in tow is a good route to mental clarity and performance. No one wants to start a new season with mucky boots. Or in this case, a nearly-full notepad.

With an IRL Back to School on the horizon, we did the hard work during your last few weeks off and put together a list of some of the best notebooks on the market right now. We’ve pulled out pads from every corner of the shelf when it comes to budget, too. There are affordable choices from niche Japanese brands. There’s a Louis Vuitton option. There’s even a perfumed one. Yep, a perfumed notebook.

Scroll for the best notebooks around.

Stalogy 365 Day A6 Notebook

365 Day Notebook - A6

365 Day Notebook - A6

$33

Stalogy

Buy at Full Stop

Stalogy is a Japanese stationery brand that the phrase simple but effective was conceived for. Its notepads are sanctuaries for scribbles. This one was designed with editors in mind but is suited to pretty much anyone who requires days, weeks, or months in their jotter. The numbered grids and A6 sizing also make timeline creation far less complicated. I need this on my desk.

Le Labo Santal 26 Scented Notebook

SANTAL 26 Scented Notebook

SANTAL 26 Scented Notebook

$55

Le Labo

Buy at Le Labo

Adding the smoky and leathery notes of its Santal 26 fragrance to a scratch-and-sniff notebook, Le Labo might just have birthed the next big thing in the mundane-at-times world of stationery. *Runs off to try and make one at home*

Carhartt WIP Fortune A5 Notebook

Fortune Notebook

Fortune Notebook

$39

Carhartt WIP

Buy at END.

As you'll see, all notebooks are born different. Carhartt's, which bears a gold foil graphic at the front, has a grey dot page layout inside which makes it good for sketching — just not when your boss is looking, ok?

Louis Vuitton x NBA Clémence Notebook

Clémence Notebook

Clémence Notebook

$280

NBA x Louis Vuitton

Buy at Louis Vuitton

LV's Clémence notebook is an iconic luxury stationery piece, loved by mansion-dwellers from here to Switzerland. This year, it's been updated via the label's collab with the NBA — giving the classic piece a Varsity-inspired makeover complete with an accompanying basketball-inspired sticker sheet. No, you grow up!

Thom Browne Large Notebook

Pebble Grained Large Notebook

Pebble Grained Large Notebook

$460

Thom Browne

15% off sitewide FW2021

15% off sitewide FW2021

Buy at ssense

Didn't even need to see the image of this one to know what Thom Browne would offer by way of the notebook. Sleek, black, and with signature tricolor ribbon inside, this is the New York brand in pad form.

Cartier Panthère A5 Notebook

Panthère de Cartier 180-page notebook

Panthère de Cartier 180-page notebook

$260

Cartier

Buy at Selfridges & Co.

OK, writing notes in a Cartier pad is next level, no question about it. But trying to actually start this one off with something worthy is going to be tough.

Highsnobiety x Colette Mon Amour Smythson Notebook

Notebook

Notebook

$75

Highsnobiety x Colette Mon Amour

Buy at Highsnobiety

If you don't know it, Colette was one of the world's best boutique stores and an undeniable movement-maker when it came to hot product. Our documentary on the store attempted to capture the magic, and sadness, of its final days, bringing a worldwide tour and accompanying merch collection with it. Own a piece of Parisian history with this collab notebook from colette, Smythson, and yours truly.

Montblanc Notebook Pouch

Sartorial Leather Notebook Holder

Sartorial Leather Notebook Holder

$835

Montblanc

Buy at Mr Porter

Found the perfect notebook for you above? Now you need something to wrap it up in. Not content with keeping humans snug and secure from the elements in ways far superior to most, Moncler turns its hand to protecting your pad. Built from cross-grain calf leather, this thing is a real beauty.

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