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.

Dolce & Gabbana Medium Lined Notebook

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Dolce & Gabbana

Buy at Luisaviaroma

Moleskine for Missoni Weekly Pocket Notebook

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Weekly Pocket Notebook


Missoni x Moleskine

Buy at Luisaviaroma

As you'll see, all notebooks are born different. This Moleskine for Missoni pairing ticks all the right boxes for scribbling to your heart's content — just not when your boss is looking, ok?

Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama Notebook

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Notebook Cover


Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama

Buy at Louis Vuitton

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist without compare. Her signature polka dots make an appearance here, in shades of blue and green, and we're green with envy. It doesn't take much to see the talent behind pattern-work that has become a recognisable hallmark of her work across design, fashion and sculpture. An unknown from a small town in Japan, her persistence in pursuing a career in art ensured her success, moving to New York and becoming a household name. Inspo for your hump day slump?

MÉTIER Leather-Trimmed Printed Canvas Notebook

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Buy at Mr Porter

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.

Smythson Portobello Leather Notebook 21cm x 26cm

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Portobello Notebook



Buy at Selfridges & Co.

OK, writing notes in a $400 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

Limited Edition Notebook


Moleskine x Highsnobiety

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 Augmented Paper Urban Spirit Leather Notebook Set

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Augmented Paper Leather Notebook Set



Buy at Mr Porter

Found the perfect notebook for you above? Made with augmented paper, it lets you digitise handwritten notes. Take your note-taking into the 21st century. With a envelope shaped leather finish, this thing is a real beauty.

Stalogy 365 Day A5 Notebook

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365 Day Notebook



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 A5 sizing also make timeline creation far less complicated. I need this on my desk.

Want to keep browsing? Head to the Highsnobiety Shop for more products that we love. Highsnobiety has affiliate marketing partnerships, which means we may receive a commission from your purchase.

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