Going back to school—whether moving across the country to attend college, about to head into your senior year, or tackling a doctoral program abroad—is an ideal time to reinvent yourself. Change your style, your outlook, and take up a new hobby that you can tell everyone about until they start to hate you and your CrossFit, obstacle course racing, or paddle-boarding. As summer winds its way into the past and autumn looms large, we’re going to help you gear up with our style and attire guide for fall semester.
Function and motion are the things you want in clothes and equipment made for academic pursuits. We chose apparel and equipment that’s tough enough for lugging books and running to class, comfortable enough for all your extra-curricular activities, and stylish enough that co-eds will certainly look twice as you pass them by. Our choices are also able to deal with the schizophrenic weather that comes with the changing seasons.
Alpha Industries M-65 Field Coat
Made for jungle survival during Vietnam, this is a tough, tried-and-true jacket that can stand up to the eerily warm days and oddly cold rains and snows that herald the movement into winter. Brass zippers all around look striking and are barbed-wire tough, and a wide array of pockets keep your EDC notebook, pens, and gadgetry safe and protected. We prefer the olive green color to complete your new school look, but go with camo if you’re worried about being spotted in the classroom.
Frank & Oak Ribbed Cotton Henley
Wear it under your coat, with a sport jacket, or all by its lonesome; the Henley is a timeless ribbed shirt that is equal parts athletic wear and casual evening attire. With a mid-weight cotton body, it breathes easily during action, but insulates you against frigid breezes as well. It’s equally effective for crashing out in your dorm room as bar hopping during penny pitcher night.
Levi’s Motion 513 Slim Straight Jean
Made with Levi’s® Motion technology, with stretch denim construction, for maximum comfort and movement, you’ll find that they’re active denim for the modern world. They have casually confident style with urbane good looks meant for hanging out in the quad combined with the flexible capacity to play a game of pick-up Ultimate. Add in Levi’s timeless toughness and you’ve got enhanced jeans that will carry you through the next four years.
VANS for J.Crew SK8-HI
Since 1966, Vans has been bringing the attitude of southern California to the world with their laid back skater footwear. Made in conjunction with J. Crew, the SK8-HI is a high-top shoe with a look harkening back to the days of Dogtown. Resilient enough to last through most of your scholastic life, these live at the junction of retro nostalgia and advanced modern design.
Warby Parker Stockton
Warby Parker was founded by students for students to provide affordable glasses that look great, live long, and don’t cost a fortune. The Stockton frames continues this tradition. Constructed of a single piece of cellulose acetate, these are the horn-rimmed specs that nod to the past while looking toward the future. Using rugged polycarbonate lenses, they’re tough to scratch and near impossible to break. Plus, you’ll always look like you know what you’re talking about.
Thin Brass Bar Cuff
To complement the brass zippers on your M-65, here’s an inexpensive brass bracelet that easily slips on and off to give you a hint of style that’s not showy or overstated. The statement is simple: You know how to accessorize without being gaudy and can meld your colors like a younger and more rugged Tim Gunn.
Timex Weekender Slip Thru
Minimalist aesthetic on a student budget, this will save you from digging out your phone every time you need to know how late you are to a lecture. The nylon slip through straps are made as tough as a backpacking tent, but can easily be swapped out depending on your mood or what the occasion requires. Go with the gunmetal and copper colors for everyday, then find a steel band for nights out or internship interviews.
Herschel Little America Backpack
Red, Blue, and Camouflage, this is about as American as you can get without a bald eagle on your shoulder and an apple pie in your hands. It begins life as a student backpack with an interior gadget pocket and padded laptop sleeve, but can easily become your favorite hiking day pack once you graduate and replace it with a Berlutti briefcase.
Rite in the Rain Weatherproof Notebooks
Inspiration strikes at any time and your education isn’t confined to a classroom. That means you need a set of notebooks that can be used whenever, wherever, regardless of the weather. Able to handle notes when the sun is blazing or monsoon season has come to your campus, you’ll never be without the ability to make a memory and jot it down.
Here’s an EDC pen that doesn’t sacrifice an inch of style, but also won’t leave you broke after spending $700,000 on textbooks. Made with stainless steel, it’s rough enough for any conditions and will look smashing sticking out of your jacket pocket. The knurled grip means it won’t slip out of your fist, even during a physics final that has your hands slick with nervous sweat.
Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottle
An ideal reusable water bottle for students, this is made from environmentally friendly materials that quietly show your eco-consciousness while still giving you a stellar product. The insulation keeps fluids cold for a full day or will keep coffee hot for up to 6 hours so you can still get a piping hot caffeine jolt as you head into your last class. Easily suited to your taste with a screw cap or flip-top lid and styled in black; which is the new black.
Grado Prestige Series SR80e
A set of on-ear headphones is a must if you’re riding the shuttle buses around campus or through town. The SR80e are not only good-looking with a sense of timelessly professional style, they’re extremely comfortable for long term wear thanks to a design that distributes pressure evenly, never causing head or ear aches from extended use. They also lay flat and pack away easily into your book bag or a pocket.