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FROSH 2023: Embracing the fall academia aesthetic

By Nazeefa Ahmed, September 5 2023—

Chuck your floral skirts and capris away — you won’t need those for another year. Retire anything and everything to do with summer, and embrace the one time campus looks beautiful. 

The fall academia aesthetic is more than the clothes — it is a mindset of denial, romanticizing lattes and campus commotion. Midterms, theses, coding assignments and papers can wait for a future version of ourselves, one that shows up in sweats and lives in the library. 

Let’s embrace the season of over-priced pastries and tweed jackets, of idealizing school just because we look put together (for once).

Cause loving him was red

After a summer of the brightest pink known to man, we need a mature colour to ground us again. Try a rich maroon as either lipstick, nails or as a base shirt in an outfit. Doing so will bring some colour to the often drab colours associated with fall academia.   

Cowboy boots

Don’t store away your Stampede boots yet. If you find the academia aesthetic too stuffy and uptight, consider replacing the Dr. Martens and Mary Jane’s with something a little more casual. Pair it with some dark denim and a chunky sweater and you are set for the day. 


A good pair of draping slacks can elevate any outfit while maintaining comfort. I would recommend darker colours because they are easier to keep clean. Elevate the slacks with a light coat for when it gets chilly. They also look great with a simple belt and matching heeled boots.

Fall scents

The trick is to choose a rich scent without being too heavy. Any scent that is musky, woody with a dash of vanilla will do the trick. If you are not looking to buy a scent only for the season, consider buying a clean office scent you can wear year-round. Though places like Sephora have many scents to choose from, The Body Shop and Zara’s perfumes carry affordable dupes that will last for years. 

Turtlenecks and gold necklaces

If you don’t feel suffocated by turtlenecks, they are a great base layer for any outfit. Choose dark colours such as maroon, navy blue or forest green. Then, layer with bright gold (or gold-looking) jewelry for some shine. If you don’t like things around your neck, stack rings and bracelets for a polished look.

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