We’ve all been there – you have to trek across Oxford to get some obscure book for your essay, so you decide you’re going to stay for a while whilst you finish your essay. Then, you think to yourself “What am I going to wear!?” The trick to dressing for the library you’re visiting is to dress in a way that matches the vibe of the library, whilst also staying true to your own style. With any luck, you won’t feel out of place, but you will have an original outfit that’ll make you the best dressed student wherever you choose to study.
The Bodleian – Minimalism
Contrary to popular belief, minimalism doesn’t have to be boring. Although classic minimalism is mostly comprised of colour-blocking black, white, and grey, try wearing your favourite colour, or colours that complement each other. The trick to minimalism is not to overdo it with the accessories – simple stud or hoop earrings work best, but if you feel like your outfit is too boring, try wearing things of contrasting textures to make it more interesting
The Radcliffe Camera – Dark Academia
This library is the perfect backdrop for a dark and mysterious outfit. Doc Martens are a must, and these would go well paired with patterns like houndstooth, plaid, or tartan on a blazer or trousers. Combine these with things that are in dark or muted tones, like black, beige, and taupe or dark colours, if you want some variety.
The Radcliffe Science Library – Techno-Grunge
Pairing neon colours with black statement pieces will easily make you the coolest geo-astro-bio-chemist Oxford has ever seen. A Matrix-style leather trench coat is a must have and contrasting this with a bright neon shirt will make both pieces stand out. Be sure to add shiny silver jewellery to increase the technological vibes!
The Sackler – Maximalism
Gone are the days of less is more, to stand out in this library, you’ll have to go all out! Try something with a funky print in a bright colour, that cool pair of trousers you found in a charity shop and some chunky, sparkly jewellery for your ears and hands. This outfit will also help you be found more easily when you inevitably get lost in there.
The Taylorian – Y2K
Channel your inner Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Lindsay Lohan while you translate those texts! Dig out your crop tops, mom jeans and chunky trainers and utilise pastel colours to emulate your fave early 2000s icon. A kitschy purse will really tie the look together, and whilst you’re at it, pop into Claire’s accessories and buy yourself one of those plastic flip phones with lip gloss in it. Iconic!
English Faculty Library – Cottagecore
A warm and fuzzy feeling is imperative here. Muted brown and green tones, as well as floral prints and overalls, will help you feel like you’re living your dream of running away to a live in a little cabin in the countryside. Accessorise with a pair of quirky earrings and get reading!
Computer Science Library – Nerdy
The goal for this one is to look like Steve Jobs reincarnated. Put on a turtleneck, a pair of high waisted black trousers and some loafers, and if you’re feeling really dedicated, pop the lenses out of an old pair of glasses to take the look to another level of nerdiness. No hoodies allowed, especially not the ones you’ve had since sixth form!
Music Faculty Library – Retro
Flared jeans, corduroy, ABBA. If you want to do a Beatles’ hairstyle, think again. Enough said.
Law Library – Preppy
Cardigans, blouses, blazers, and pleated skirts will all help establish you as Oxford’s answer to Judge Judy, and striped, checked, and tartan fabrics will make all of the other bland law students cower in fear! For a more masculine look, boating blazers, white trousers and boat shoes are the obvious choice. If you don’t have any of these things in your wardrobe, just use daddy’s credit card!