LSE graduate Sadia and UCL student Alexia showcase 4 on-trend looks to help you ring in the academic year in style.
Whether you’re a bright-eyed first-year embarking on the next chapter or a seasoned final-year, eager to graduate, the power of a sartorial overhaul should never be underestimated. Just like a pristine set of stationery, an all-new back-to-school wardrobe marks a clean slate at the start of the academic year, no matter last year’s transgressions, and inspires a certain confidence. Whatever your ambition is for the year, be it to secure your dream placement, knuckle down at the library or simply make a statement on campus, our back-to-school style guide will ensure your outfits are on the same page.
Unless you’ve spent your summer interning, adjusting to the early mornings as you head back to uni may present a challenge; make life a little easier for yourself on the first Monday morning of lectures by opting for an ultra-comfy pair of culottes. SS16 saw the long overdue death of the skinny jean, with breezy Seventies-style wide-leg trousers becoming an irresistible high-street staple. Fortunately, the collection of palazzo pants and flares you’ve accumulated over summer should carry you well into autumn and, when paired with sleek black cami, will look smart, sophisticated and perfect for the city (rather than the beach). Play up the monochrome theme with a pair of box-fresh white trainers – whatever your age, brand-new school shoes are imperative – and throw on a grey trench coat as you transition into the colder months. And if you’re serious about paying full attention in lectures this term, avoid the temptations of your MacBook by opting for a little black rucksack with just enough space for a notebook and pen.
When meeting with your dissertation supervisor or even working on a group project, assert your confidence with an outfit that’s polished and put-together. Modern-day power dressing calls for an old-school classic, namely a crisp white shirt that’s been immaculately laundered. Blue ‘mom’ jeans keep the look effortlessly cool and comfy enough for the commute into uni, although a pair of smart block heels will smarten things up and show you still mean business. Finally, quintessentially British accessories such as a classic structured handbag and checked wool scarf will ensure your outfit remains timeless and perfectly channel the back-to-school vibe.
ALL-DAY LIBRARY SESSIONS
For those early mornings and late nights spent swotting in the library before your imminent deadline, comfort is key. Mix things up by switching your striped summer culottes for a slightly more tailored black pair (which also bide well for the upcoming interview season) and team your trusty white trainers with a crisp white Bardot-style shirt. Suede biker jackets are all the rage this season and make a cosier alternative to traditional leather; don’t be afraid to make a statement with a pop of colour – a piece that’s eye-catching and fun will help lift your spirits when the assignment at hand is particularly dull.
FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIALS
Smart dinner and drinks in the West End with coursemates or society members call for an ensemble that’s equal parts glamorous and effortless. Don’t be afraid to dress up, especially if you’ve spent the week traipsing around in trainers and a hoody. Strappy black heels will elevate any look, but are most potent when balanced with pared-down pieces; embrace the sports luxe trend by teaming your heels with super-versatile ‘formal joggers’ and a silky black cami layered over a plain white tee. From there, a black leather biker, structured black clutch and lashings of black mascara are the only finishing touches needed to set the tone for a well-deserved weekend of fun.
–Fedora Abu & Mimi Fall
Photography: Marianne Paul
Styling: Alexia Savva & Sadia Khan
Models: Alexia Savva & Sadia Khan