This is the only King’s fashion guide you’ll need this autumn
The seasonal essentials to be fashionably practical for the cold weather
With the season of Autumn finally upon us, marked by seemingly pointless introductory seminars, we are presented with yet another problem in the saga of being a student in a London university in 2023; how to dress for the Autumn season.
With the temperatures on campus as volatile to change as the strikes and policies of the UCU, it is incumbent that we are prepared for any and all climates. From the fiery hell of the Chesham building to the sub-zero conditions of Bush House lecture theatres, we’ve got you covered during the season of climate chaos and overpriced seasonal lattes.
Invest in an umbrella
Is it worth ruining your outfit with an ugly, prone-to-going-inside-out-in-public umbrella? Absolutely! It can be daunting at first, but once you have mastered the art of holding your umbrella against the wind with a skillset comparable to that of an Airbender, you too can laugh at the swathes of unprepared tourists running for shelter in the nearest Pret. My advice: get yourself a £4 one from Primark to avoid being caught out in a Strand monsoon and being forced to buy one for over twice the price at Boots.
Keep your tote bags
The most popular choice for artistes of KCL; these one-shouldered, relatively low-capacity bags are some of the most impractical vessels for a commute ever made. Nonetheless, we will continue to wear them (and on our right shoulders) to death this season, with the bag providing a perfect canvas for your favourite feminist quote, or to display the fact that you’ve been to a V&A exhibition. Freshers might alternatively choose to play it safe with the free totes they picked up from the King’s Residences and the KCLSU during Freshers’ Fair.
Get your trench coat on
An item for those of you going up in the world. Forever smart-casual. Constantly in Vogue. It feels like everyone who wears a trench coat must inherently have their lives put together (I am forbidden from joining the club). It’s also probably the best choice of clothing to wear if you need to make an incognito getaway during rush hour.
In my opinion, the best accessory ever. As well as its functional purpose in Autumn to keep you warm, the humble scarf is the quickest way to liven up any campus outfit, with varying degrees of eccentricity. Cosy block-colour scarves are perfect for anyone swayed by the trench coat; a staple for all chic commuters. But for anyone going for more of a Y2K look, skinny scarves of the 2000s are back to stay (do not even think about buying the £20 ones from Urban Outfitters when you could pay £2 for them in a charity shop), and 60s paisley prints remain the perfect staple for any born-too-late flower children on campus.
They are more than just a a neck accessory as well, they’re multifunctional; you can put them in your hair or use them as makeshift belts à la Jimi Hendrix. Most second-hand shops have scarves going for as little as under a fiver, a great way for any keen thrifters to have a shopping spree without breaking the bank.
Get out the Docs
Calling all humanities students! Wearing DMs is arguably a lifestyle choice: most owners of DMs will completely refuse to submit to wearing any other shoe, even if it is hot enough outside to melt tarmac. Fortunately, it’s Autumn, meaning these boots are in their season of peak practicality (provided you have broken them in). Bonus points for platforms, which I find make your legs look extra lovely and the hems of your trousers much less likely to soak up any of the polluted rainwater on the pavement.
Knit Knit Knit
The season of knitwear is upon us once more, and the possibilities are endless. Cobain-chic cardigans and ye olde grandad jumpers are good swaps for hoodies if you are trying to liven up your wardrobe, and (if they are second hand or 100% wool) a much more sustainable option than most sweats sold today.
If you want to wear a miniskirt but its freezing outside, knit leg warmers are extremely practical. Also, if you have decided to purchase a scarf after learning that they are the best accessory ever, a knit scarf is perfect for the colder weather, and a quick way to add a statement piece to any outfit lacking a bit of je ne sais quois.
As a final rule: layering up on campus is essential; it is the only way to simultaneously be prepared for a tropical tube journey and subsequent hailstorm outside the station. Think easily removable items like zip-ups and scarves, or bare legs paired with a big jacket (or your trench coat if you have your life together).