7 Steps to Mastering Collegiate Style

Your Ultimate Guide to Preppy and Academia Fashion

From New Jeans' Ditto to the iconic school settings of Gossip Girl, the academia aesthetic has proven itself to be timeless in appeal. Much like the stylish Upper East Siders of the hit series, are you looking to recreate a classic schoolgirl look or elevate your style to the Ivy League of fashion? Look no further; we're here to make your style dreams come true!

What is Academia Style?

NewJeans 'Ditto' Concept Teasers documents 1Credits: kpopping

Academia style draws its inspiration from the romanticism of classic literature and the traditional ambiance of old-school academic institutions. This fashion trend can be further divided into two distinct styles, namely light and dark academia. Light academia channels a softer, bookish appeal, while dark academia exudes a more gothic, enigmatic, and elusive charm.

Credits: Pinterest (1, 2)

The greatest distinction lies in the choice of colour palette, with light academia being characterised by light and airy colours such as whites, creams, soft pastels and light browns, alongside occasional touches of muted and earthy tones. In contrast, dark academia is dominated by moody and sombre hues such as deep browns, blacks, dark greens, and burgundies. It occasionally incorporates accents of white, cream, and muted gold, used sparingly to complement these rich, deep shades.

Continue reading to discover the essential pieces you need and additional styling tips to successfully embrace the academia aesthetic!

 1. A-line Pleated Skirts

Credits: Pinterest (1, 2, 3)

A-line pleated skirts have cemented their status as a must-have in modern academia fashion. These skirts offer a sophisticated and versatile look that's perfect for today's style-savvy individuals. With a wide array of options, from solid colours to eye-catching patterns like plaids, herringbone, and tartan, you can tailor your skirt to reflect your unique style.

Opt for solid-coloured skirts in classic neutrals like black, navy, beige, or grey for that effortlessly chic, minimalist vibe. Or, step up your fashion game with patterned skirts, making a bold statement and injecting an element of excitement into your outfit. To strike the perfect balance, pair patterned skirts with solid-coloured tops or simpler designs, achieving a trendy and harmonious ensemble.

 Mini Woven Pleated Skirt with Checkered Print (Light Yellow)
Mini Woven Pleated Skirt with Checkered Print (Rose Red)

Discover the perfect pleated skirt to elevate your wardrobe! With our wide variety of styles and colours, there's a pleated skirt waiting just for you at YISHION.

2. Dress Shirts 

Credits: Pinterest (1,2,3)

Adding a touch of professionalism and sophistication to your academia style, dress shirts are a definite go-to. Whether you're aiming for a polished look by tucking it into your bottoms or prefer a laid-back vibe by leaving it untucked, the dress shirt offers endless style possibilities.

For those cooler seasons, elevate your ensemble by layering a dress shirt under a cosy cardigan or a classic sweater. This not only keeps you warm but also adds an extra layer of style to your academic-inspired fashion.

Solid Colour Short Sleeve Button-Up Shirt with Removable Checkered Tie (White)
Solid Colour Short Sleeve Button-Up Shirt with Removable Checkered Tie (Black)
2in1 Collared Blouse with Knite Vets Layover (Heather Gray)

Shop from our wide selection of dress shirts. From cropped and trendy styles to the more refined and cosmopolitan designs, we've got it all!

3. Outerwears

Credits: Pinterest (1,2,3)

Sweaters are incredibly versatile and can be worn as both innerwear and outerwear. They are ideal for layering in academia fashion. Layer a sweater over a dress shirt, blouse, or even a turtleneck top for greater depth and an additional touch of cosiness. Choose cable-knit sweaters featuring intricate patterns if you wish to add texture to your outfit. To introduce a more contemporary, casual and youthful element to traditional academia pieces, you could alternatively incorporate varsity-style outerwear into your academia-inspired outfits. Varsity outerwear often features intricate embroidery, logos, or patches. Choose one with subtle or academic-themed designs to enhance the scholarly vibe.

 Solid Colour Long Sleeve Sweatshirt with Printed 'R' Logo (Light Beige)
Solid Coloured Long Sleeve Hoodie with"Fortune Run 1997" Logo (Off-White)
Solid Coloured Long Sleeve Hoodie with"Fortune Run 1997" Logo (Light Yellow)

Elevate your style all year round with our wide range of outerwears suitable for different seasons and occasions. Whether it's a breezy summer evening or chilly winter evening, our outerwear will keep you both comfortable and fashionable.

 4. Structured Blazers 

Credits: Pinterest (1,2)

A structured blazer can transition seamlessly from academic settings to professional or formal occasions, making it a versatile wardrobe staple in academia fashion. Choose a well-tailored fit for a clean and polished appearance to convey a sense of timeless elegance.

Solid Coloured Cropped Long Sleeve JK Style Blazer (Gray)
Solid Coloured Cropped Long Sleeve JK Style Blazer (Gray)


Take your look to the next level with our stunning cropped grey structured blazer! This remarkably versatile piece can allow you to achieve either a charming school girl look or a polished and professional ensemble.

  5. Accessories


Credits: Pinterest (1,2,3,4) 

Reinforce the scholarly vibes using accessories such as metallic glasses with round or square frames. Don a flat cap, beret, or wide-brimmed hat for a dash of elegance to your ensemble. Choose minimalistic and vintage-style jewellery, such as pearl earrings or simple necklaces. Meanwhile, the addition of a classic, timeless wristwatch can be both practical and stylish. Wool or silk scarves are a great choice if you are looking to go academia style during the colder seasons. Opt for leather structured bags or canvas tote bags as these complement the bookish vibe. Some bags even feature literary quotes or bookish prints which amplifies the intellectual and philosophical vibes. You can also accessorise with book-related jewellery or pins. If you are feeling it, carry a vintage book or a leather-bound journal for a finishing touch. 

6. Shoes

Credits: Pinterest (1,2,3,4

Complete your academia style look with classic leather Oxford shoes, loafers, brogues, or ankle boots. For a more feminine touch, you could go for Mary Jane-style shoes. 

7. Hairstyle 

Credits: Pinterest (1,2,3,4) 

As an additional styling tip, pull off an effortless yet put-together look using vintage-inspired hairstyles. You could wear your hair in loose waves or a messy bun. Alternatively, try braiding your hair if you prefer a softer and sweeter look. Showcase your girly side by adorning with a ribbon hair tie. 

With our comprehensive guide to must-have items and styling advice for the academia aesthetic, you're now all set to blend vintage charm, scholarly sophistication, and modern minimalism into your look!

At YISHION, we’ve got you covered for all the hottest and latest trends. 
Share your #yishionOOTD with us on our Facebook/Instagram!