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Welcome to Edinburgh! Back-to-uni outfit ideas

edinburgh slow fashion winter style

If you're anything like I was, you'll have spent the summer months fretting over crafting the perfect university wardrobe and how on earth you're going to carry all those boxes full of shoes and dresses up to your room in halls which is, inevitably, going to be on the top floor. 

But learn from my mistakes: two weeks in and even brushing your hair will seem like too much effort. High heels will quickly be discarded when you realise that rainy weather and cobbled streets are really not a good match. You'll spend more time shivering in an oversized woolly jumper than anything else come November. 

So what are the essentials for a uni wardrobe? Most of all, you'll want to be comfortable. You're bound to be nervous, especially during freshers week and before your first lecture, so you don't want to add worrying about ill-fitting shoes or too-short skirts to your list of anxieties. 

Let's start at the bottom: ankle boots and a good pair of trainers. I recently invested in a pair (trust, I would much rather have bought a new Rowanjoy dress instead) and it's probably the best purchase I've made in years. Edinburgh's a pretty small city and you'll find yourself doing a lot of walking, especially if you want to save £££ on bus fares. The streets can be pretty unforgiving, with uneven pavements and those damn cobbles everywhere. Decent footwear will keep you comfortable as well as warm and dry during the damp rainy weather!

Skinny jeans are always a good bet. Edinburgh is a windy city, so it's good to have a back up pair of jeans or leggings to avoid flashing poor unsuspecting tourists on your way to lectures in the morning. Pair with an oversized sweater for the comfiest, cosiest study outfit. I still wear my favourite uni sweater when I want to curl up with a good book on a rainy Sunday afternoon!

I'm a huge fan of these colourful cord skirts that just arrived in store from Beyond Retro too. They're perfect for the autumn and winter, and in shades of blue, purple, green and red they'll go with anything.

Stock up on flannel shirts and silk blouses for layering with basic tees and vests. Scottish weather is well-known for being unpredictable, and there's been many a day where I've turned up for work dressed for summer and have ended up shivering by the heater all day! Layering with a tee, blouse, cardigan and coat will leave you prepared for any eventuality.

And talking of coats... over 50% of my wardrobe is now dedicated to coats. You'll end up wearing one at least 10 months of the year in Edinburgh! The essentials are a raincoat or two (I have a lightweight mac and a heavy duty vintage waxed jacket), a warm winter coat, and a couple of lighter jackets. I've got my eye on one of the new Beyond Retro camo bomber jackets... You might also want to consider a baseball or leather jacket, a faux fur or shearling coat for cold nights, or a cosy parka.

Finally, accessories. I've been testing out all the super cool vintage backpacks we've had in store, and have purchased a tiny one for nights spent bar-hopping and a bigger one for everyday. You'll want one big enough for lecture notes, stationery, a water bottle and a book or two - I'd recommend our gorgeous Tumble + Hide bags for long-lasting, durable leather. 

A stunning Karen Mabon silk or cashmere scarf is the perfect investment piece, but I've been recommending our lightweight Edinburgh map scarves to all the newcomers to the city too! It's actually accurate, and if you get lost you can just check your scarf rather than getting a map out. Add a cute vintage hat (berets, trilbies, fedoras and flat caps all under £10) and that's you sorted.



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