Students clutch hot coffees during their early morning rush to class; long winter coats flood Market Street, and orange, red, and brown leaves litter the streets. Gone are the hazy summer days of cider on the beach in front of a diamond sparkling sea and lazy picnics in the Quad. Friends huddle in coffee shops, pouring over books, glasses steamed from the warm indoors.
This palpable shift from summer to fall brings excitement to many (did someone say Halloween? Pumpkin Spice Lattes? Scarves?!) But this begs the question: how do we dress in the East during this transition period from warm, garden party dresses to our full-on Beast from the East winter attire? Fortunately you don’t have to discard your summer wardrobes, but can instead layer and think outside the box to make this period of the year as comfortable – and fashionable – as possible. Hopefully this article can provide inspiration and create excitement around the chilly weather and the prospects it brings for your wardrobe!
An accessory that never fails me during this summer-to-fall time of the year is hats. This can mean the difference between a freezing trek to classes and feeling cosy and content against the elements. Whether it is a warm bobble hat, a beanie, or even a baseball cap, hats retain so much warmth and are really easy to wear or keep stuffed in a handbag for later. As we all know, the winds can pick up in St. Andrews often; hats can prevent your hair from finding itself in tangled, unruly knots. Needless to say, the perfect hat can not only dress up your look, but it is also practical and easy!
Another item we must pay attention to this season is footwear. During this time, the fickle Scottish weather can lull us into a false sense of security. I often set out for my day in suede loafers under the early autumnal sun, before finding myself rushing back home in a torrential downpour that even my suede spray cannot handle. Perhaps I should know better, or perhaps I simply cannot bear to part with my summer accessories. Either way, nobody can deny that a pair of long boots never fail to keep your feet dry and warm. They can be worn with an array of different outfits. Where you paired them with short skirts and flowing dresses in the slightly chilly summer evenings, you can now add tights or jeans for a classy but practical look. Nobody ever went wrong with a pair of knee-high boots, or the classic riding boot.
This leads me to another idea: tights. This item perfectly plays into the transition between warm and cold, patio beers and eggnog lattes. Tights allow you to wear many of the same outfits you adored during the summer, while staying warm: dresses, long jumpers, and denim skirts. Fortunately, tights also come in many styles, meaning you can mix up your looks constantly: why not try a patterned pair? By keeping pairs of tights of different thicknesses, you can choose exactly the type to wear for the day ahead.
A personal favourite of mine all year round, but particularly during the colder months, are coats. Again, this plays into the useful idea of layering. A long trench coat, or even a shorter puffer, paired with a hat or a scarf can make the difference between numbness from the cold and feeling toasty – and comfy! Waterproof long coats are always a good idea, since they shelter you from the wind and also the (inevitable) rain. However, felt or wool-blend coats during fall also serve well in winter; you can buy them more cheaply from H&M or Zara, or invest in one which will last you for years to come. Coats like this can, in my opinion, pull an entire outfit together – I like wearing comfy jumpers beneath, so that I look perhaps more “put together” than I feel!
As you can tell, the jump from summer to fall is less of a stark contrast, and more a comfortable, slow shift as evenings grow darker, and we can begin to see our breath in front of our faces. Sitting in the library right now, it is clear that students are enjoying the new outfit possibilities. Many huddle in puffers, or denim jackets with fur fringes; others opt for classy turtlenecks, or hoodies to stay comfy. There are many exciting possibilities for fashion, if you know where to look, and how to use your already existing wardrobe.