Flares? At Edinburgh? Ground-breaking: The Tab’s guide to Edi’s fashion trends

Just in time to reinvent your wardrobe for Freshers’


With uni less than a month away now and the promise of some in person classes, I’m sure a lot of you are asking questions like: What do you even wear to a lecture? What is the vibe of Edi fashion? Are flares still the only trousers I should be wearing? Should I buy a fresh pair of Air Forces?

Relax – we’ve got the answers to all your fashion questions right here.

If you’re a fresher looking for some insight about Edi fashion, look no further. Equally, if you’re coming back to Edi this year, here is a guide to show you what fashion trends are due to come back or make an entrance onto campus this year.

Chunky shoes

Chunky heeled doc martins, platform trainers and heavy-duty boots have been on the rise in Edinburgh for a while because they just go really well with the city’s aesthetic. They’re worn by both boys and girls in Edinburgh as the grunge effect is unisex.

Heels aren’t the usual fancy shoes worn to clubs or lectures. Instead, people choose comfier options but don’t compensate in terms of style. Shoes tend to be the statement of an outfit. 


Dramatic and bulky jewellery

All you need to know is heavy on the rings, necklaces and chains. Students of all genders at Edinburgh tend to compliment or dress up outfits with jewellery.

Girls have been wearing more childlike and pastel coloured rings this summer – this trend will most likely continue but with more autumnal colours like orange and brown.

Layer a few dainty necklaces, some delicate bracelets and a few piercings in your ear and you’ll be ready to shimmer in Edi’s elusive sunlight. 

Boys tend to opt for layers of heavy chains, studs or hanging earrings (usually one in one ear) or plain bracelets. One or two rings don’t go amiss.

Unique and vibrant patterns

This trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Clothing colours are getting more outrageous and patterns are getting bolder. Expect the colours to become more muted as the season changes – think greys, blues and whites.

A statement sweater vest or cardigan is the height of this trend, worn by boys and girls alike. Trousers with distinct alternations on them are also popular with boys – plaid, denim, cloth and linen are among the fabrics being used. 



Grandma aesthetic

There’s a reason why vintage clothing stores like Armstrong’s and charity stores are so popular in Edinburgh. It’s out with the new and in with the old.

Vintage pieces are all the rage in Edinburgh as they add life to modern outfits. Vintage Levi jeans and oversized hoodies with weird messages and pictures on them are the favourites, so grab them while you can.

Preppy girl boss vibes

Imagine Blair Waldorf’s style but in 2021. Pleated skirts, statement suits, satin, pearls, cable knit jumpers, shirts, black sunglasses – this style is all about class.

Basically dress like you own an apartment on the 136th floor in New York and you’ll have grasped this trend.

Statement coats

People are straying away from plain jackets and opting for more statement pieces. Does this mean goodbye to the stereotype of North Face and Canada Goose? We can only pray.

Leather, fur, cotton, suede – you name it. A coat made from any of those fabrics is probably cool right now. Quirky patterns are also becoming increasingly popular on coats.

Since a heavy coat is such a necessity in Edinburgh, look out for people making it the statement of their outfit.

Dainty bags

Yes, the 90s are still here and they’re not going anywhere. Small, cute and delicate shoulder bags are still trending. Jacquemues paved the way for these types of bags to trickle down into the shops on the high street, and they’re a must have.

Once again, shoulder bags have become a staple in a girl’s wardrobe. They’re perfect for putting all your essentials (mask, phone, keys) in one small place – no rummaging around in tote bags or not having enough room in a clutch.

For boys, small bum bags worn across the body are still a fashionable and practical choice, particularly when going out.


Baggy but still fitted jeans

Denim will never go out of style – but how it’s worn definitely does. Flares were all the rage a year ago, but trends for trousers change pretty quickly.

It’s all about baggy jeans and tight tops right now. Not too baggy though – they should look a bit like you got the wrong size but somehow still elegantly fit.

Unless you’re a man. Then they should look ridiculously oversized like you’re late for your cameo in a 90s Eminem video.

Lots of layering

Practical and stylish. Is this a trend or just a way to wear all of your nice clothes at once? You decide. Basically, this trend is needed because in case you didn’t know, Edinburgh gets cold.

Layer a hoodie with a polo neck or t-shirt for a more laid-back look. Or make things a bit more sophisticated with sweater vests, gilets, cardigans and jumpers over long-sleeved tops or tank tops.

Related articles recommended by this writer:

Flares, pantry parties, and the JMCC: The Tab’s guide to Pollock Halls

• What your first post-lockdown Edinburgh night out says about you

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