Leather and leopard: These are the winter fashion trends dominating Exeter Uni

Shock – skinny scarves are everywhere

The era of Pinterest and TikTok has meant that trends can come and go so fast that the phrase “micro trends” has been coined. These micro trends have gotten ridiculous –  I now have to ask myself when I go shopping: Would I really like this item if it wasn’t trending? The answer to that question when it comes to the preceding winter trends list is “Yes!” With quiet luxury remaining popular as we roll into the winter months, most of these trends are pretty classic; such as red being the colour of the season or the popularity of the leather jacket. However, 90s influence and Y2K fashion are still majorly inspiring, of course. I mean, duh, the skinny scarf trend and leopard prints are everything.

Leather jackets

This may seem like an obvious one to kick off the list, however I am here to say that the beloved North Face 500 and Afghan coats are indeed OUT. An oversized leather jacket, specifically, is an essential to every winter wardrobe. The versatility of this item has enabled it to come back into fashion time and time again. A leather jacket can be dressed down with a jumper and jeans for a lecture but can also be styled with a “going out top” when frequenting TP. 

Coloured leather jackets have also seen a rise in popularity. Taking inspiration from the Miu Miu runway, as seen this Fall/Winter 2023 Fashion Week, a colourful jacket could be the solution to brighten up an otherwise dark, winter wardrobe. 

Small watches 

With the Cartier Panthére being slightly outside the university student budget, a, cheaper, dainty watch is certainly in fashion this season. Watches are being styled as more of a bracelet, rather than a functional time telling device. Stacking a watch alongside bangles or other bracelets has the ability to elevate even the most basic of outfits, despite the inevitable jingling that goes alongside this. 

Skinny scarves 

These have been around for some time now, however this winter, knitted skinny scarves will be overtaking chunky scarves. In 2019, Acne studios reinvented the chunky scarf, inspiring everyone from fast fashion brands to trendy, charity shop girls wanting to partake in the trend. Four years later, chunky scarves can now move over, with skinnier scarves taking over the reign. The skinny scarf trend embodies 90s romcom style whilst providing warmth for your treks up Forum Hill – what more could a girl need?


Red is undoubtedly the colour of the season. The whole red spectrum from burgundy to cherry red is being fashioned this winter. This colour can be integrated into any wardrobe from red suede Adidas Gazelle’s to to a classic slouchy jumper. Wearing red has been scientifically proven to make one seem more sexually appealing and warrant more romantic attention, so why wouldn’t you get involved in this trend? You’re guaranteed to pull – whether that be in Old Timer’s or Efes.

Off the shoulder jumpers 

Although slightly taking away the purpose of a jumper keeping you warm, off the shoulder jumpers are everywhere. This trend may be reminiscent of the 2010 bardot tops that were completely oversaturated, and clearly show how fashion flows in cycles. Off the shoulder jumpers highlight one’s collarbones and shoulders, obviously, so in turn can elongate your neck which makes this style of jumper a LOT more flattering than the oversized look. 


The obsession with bows is definitely a by-product of the ballet core trend. This trend can be utilised a number of ways, starting with tying ribbons into bows in your hair. This style is certainly a tidier look than the big, ostentatious scrunchies seen this past spring and summer. Bows have also be spotted on waistcoats, jumpers and dresses, refining designs from major fashion players like Zara and Urban Outfitters – right up an Exeter girl’s street. For the most fashionable bow inspiration, look to Sandy Liang. This trend definitely allows you to lean into your femininity!

Leopard print

Although timeless, leopard print will definitely be seen more this winter. With the likes of Ganni and Damson Madder utilising this print in their designs, the styling options are endless. A more punk, grungy look could be pairing leopard print with a chunky leather jacket and boots. Moreover, pink or red paired with the yellowish, brown tones in the pattern would be a fashionable, yet fun look for a dark, British winter. 

Sleeveless turtlenecks

Turtlenecks will arguably always be in, especially to an Exeter girl, but the sleeveless look is officially in this year. Again, this is arguably another jumper featuring in this list that is supposed to provide warmth but has now been elevated. A sleeveless turtleneck is perfect for those days where it’s freezing outside but feels like a sauna when you eventually make it to a lecture (after sweating up Cardiac Hill).

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