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Fall Into UC Irvine’s Latest Autumn Fashion Trends Amongst Students

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As October comes to a close, expect a shift not just in the weather, but also in the new fashion pieces UC Irvine’s students decorate themselves with. Californians are stereotypically known to only have two seasons throughout the year. The state seems to fluctuate primarily between scorching hot weather and autumn breezes. But what happens when those two seasons overlap? UCI students are getting creative in practicality when navigating the transitioning weather with their fashion choices — from layering different textures and colors, matching the autumn leaves, to uniquely accessorizing. 

With the weather’s tendency to skyrocket midday and cool down later in the afternoon, what fashionable ideas are locals up to? Recently, UC Irvine’s students have been experimenting with layering knits and having fun with mixing textures. Lightweight, yarn-made pieces are a classic and can be easily found in your own grandma’s closet. Yet, knitwear is a staple that easily elevates an outfit when paired with accessories to dress for comfort and California’s sliding temperatures in mind.

One could wear a loosely knitted cardigan to allow the coolness of the breeze to pass through one’s clothing and avoid overheating, while staying warm enough as the sun begins to set. The use of knitwear displays a simple take on an outfit without sacrificing the complementary details that knotted strings create when layered over other pieces of clothing.

Second-year biological sciences student, Chris Nguyen, utilizes his cardigan to create a spider web-like shape on his arms — just in time for spooky season! On the other hand, third-year psychological sciences student Abigail Lee experiments with a knit dress and tops it off with a thick patent leather belt to create a sharp contrast in textures. The adjacent use of materials and shades allows individuals to develop their very own color scheme, enhanced by tights or leg warmers to complete the outfit.

Photo from Chris Nguyen @chrs.nguyen / Instagram
Photo from Abigail Lee @abigailairlines / Instagram

Creating a scheme of compatible colors is a vital part of dressing and truly allows one to bring the fall season into fruition. Now is arguably the perfect time to utilize toasty and neutral colors to blend in and match with the beauty of nature around you. What could go wrong with sandy hues and a dash of black shades and creams? Dressed to match your freshly brewed lattes, utilizing these colors is truly a fail-safe.

The best part is the patterns that match such colors. Stripes and plaid patterns work especially well. As a student, wearing plaid will have you dressed for the part and its simple shades help coordinate with other pieces. Lee has stacked a plaid bag with a skirt and it worked! Though wearing denim on denim is commonly considered a fashion don’t in most circumstances, no one ever said not to use plaid on plaid to your advantage.

Photo from Abigail Lee @abigailairlines / Instagram

Third-year sociology student Isabel Murphy has paired a lovely chocolate skirt in conjunction with a brown striped top. Additionally, Murphy’s cowboy boots tie the overall color scheme of a brown outfit together. The choice of shoes acts as an accessory and gives the outfit the extra kick needed to level it up.

Photo from Isabel Murphy @fathermurphy / Instagram

The use of accessories has been coming in cycles, from the renowned Vivienne Westwood pearl necklace with its glimmering planet logo to melted metal jewelry by brands such as Harlot Hands and MOIRA X MEL. As trends quickly come and go, students have been getting creative in their choice of charms and strings. Most recently, large, puffed-up charms have dominated the UCI fashion scene. The most notable and prominent dressers use simple strings and ribbons to fasten these necklaces around their necks. With easily interchangeable charms, this trend lets each individual swap their choice of charms, whether that be with metal heart lockets, glass-blown shapes or cross pendants. The ability to exchange one cord or trinket for another allows its wearer to utilize it for different seasons or when they want to give their outfits a new look. Their innovation lies in their ability to be both affordable and personalized to each student as they pick out their very own charms from vintage markets and stores. 

For example, Murphy and Lee have similar necklaces, yet enough individuality to compliment their respective outfit choices. Such additions can be worn with more casual outfits or for a more formal look. Whichever way one decides to wear these accessories, they work well for a variety of occasions.

Photo from Abigail Lee @abigailairlines / Instagram
Photo from Isabel Murphy @fathermurphy / Instagram

It is thrilling to see what new trends will be brought to campus in the approaching autumn months. Make sure to keep an eye on your peers for sources of inspiration and admire their takes on fashion.

Lexis Pham is an Arts & Entertainment Intern for the fall 2022 quarter. She can be reached at