Blogs | Tweed Smoking Jacket Anyone?

I knew what to wear as a student, I knew what to wear working in an office, I even knew what to wear as a stay at home mum (mostly pyjamas or a onesie), but I really don’t know what to wear as a ‘mature’ student.

It is a curious dichotomy – on the one hand I am a ‘student’. This comes with ideas of freedom, expression, comfort and youth! But I am also ‘mature’… apparently. This comes with ideas of support underwear and polar necks. I am not sure Gok Wan has brought enough attention to this quandary (Trinny and Susannah in my day!)

Walking around the Leeds University Campus you can’t help but be aware of the fashionistas and trendsetters trotting around in their pixie boots (I don’t actually know what these are). I have never been particularly fashionable myself, but I do want to look the part!

So what does a mature student wear? A smoking jacket perhaps… with a pipe? Academia brings with it an image of tweed – with elbow patches? But perhaps this is an outdated stereotype.

The undergraduate trend of the time seems to be, from a thirty one year old perspective, to wear sort of vintage looking oversized 70’s patterned cardigans with tight vest tops and skinny jeans … and piercings. Lots of piercings. Everyone looks cool! Everyone looks hip! And I am decidedly uncool – proven by the fact I have just used the word ‘hip’.

What I can see is that the academics around me really have a sense of style… or a very good sense of self. No matter what they wear – they wear it with conviction. And I know myself after thirty years – I am not going to change my style too much at this stage.

I have never looked right in flats and slogan laden t-shirts and I certainly don’t want to be clip-clopping about in heels and a work suit. I just know one thing! No one should be forced to see me in neon leggings and a crop top!

Stephanie Siviter


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