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It Girl Glossary: How to Dress like the Academic It Girl



Representing a put-together lifestyle, destined for greatness, quiet with a mind made of diamonds, Gilmore Girls early season Rory Gilmore headlines this aesthetic. The academic it girl is the reclaiming of what once could've been labelled by the media as nerdy. She's as smart and preppy as she is cool, the opposite of effortless. Rather, she's flawless, a carefully pieced together figure striving only for perfection. Ever the high achiever, this it girl wants people to know it.



In the current media, there's no definitive academic it girl on social media, but instead hints of her in all our favourite figures. The sometimes plaid, sometimes pleated school girl skirt has worked it's way into the wardrobes of Iris Law, Bella Hadid, and Chloe Frater. Collared button ups and chunky knit sweaters can be found worn by Matilda Djerf and Iris Apatow. That's the thing with the style so famously worn by Rory Gilmore, it contributes to the composition of every current cool girl.


The rise of academia as fashion is further demonstrated by the latest accessory — a good book. Models off duty are constantly photographed with a novel in hand, and celebrities like Emma Watson are all for elaborating on their current read. The checklist of criteria for these books doesn't seem reliant on their content, but their cover. They're pastel with a philosophical quote, or an old painting with an ambiguous word for a title. At the moment, the most common culprits seem to be Sally Rooney novels, with pretty colour-blocked covers and a story entailing a mysterious cool girl in her twenties. These books not only can be alternated to match an outfit, but they also perpetuate the idea of being thoughtful. Whilst reading is not correspondent to intelligence, anyone who has read a decent book will have something of interest to say.



In analysis of fictional characters' fashion, Rory Gilmore is the primary example. Her Chilton uniform is typical, a plaid skirt, button up, blazer, knee high socks and a stack of books. Of course, she also frequents with a cup of coffee, a reminder that she spends all of her time productively. At Yale, Rory's wardrobe is shaped of longer plaid skirts or single colour mini skirts, knit or argyle sweaters, leather blazers, skinny scarves for winter, and dainty dresses for any formal occasion. She's a balanced combination of collars and frills.



Blair Waldorf is another preppy, academic it girl. Whilst not all her outfits feel wearable today, she introduces delicate white collared tops with a form of a tie, cutesy patterned tights, and the staple hair accessory of a hair band. The new remake of Gossip Girl lead to a new wave of preppy outfits, lead by Emily Alyn Lind, advocating for the casual tie and the full utilisation of ribbons.


At it's core, the academic it girl has role models goals, aspirations, and she dresses like she has the means of achieving them. She'll stroll past in heeled Mary Janes and a favourite book in hand, and everyone wants to be her.


Written by Tia Shah

Edited by Lucy Eaton

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