Essential Guide to Freshers Fashion
Getting your Freshers style ‘right’ can seem tiresome. Fashion Editor, Christy Bucklow, discusses how you don’t need to re-invent yourself, and how style can be a form of communication.
Starting university is widely seen as a chance to reinvent yourself. However, the opportunity for a fresh start whilst surrounded by people who seem more confident, self-assured and more stylish can be incredibly daunting. There are always those people who have it so together that they may as well wear a badge screaming “I am just MORE in every way.” Each individual is different and we all have our own ways of assuming a composed, unflappable demeanour – a good red lipstick and a little black dress is my personal go-to. Sometimes it’s comforting to keep elements of your ‘old’ self in your wardrobe, be that a favourite going-out dress or your dad’s old fleece. Rather than to wholly strip yourself of your previous identity, perhaps it’s easier to see university as a chance to update your current self to a more refined version of your character and style.
Clothes can be an unparalleled tool for communicating with the people around you, particularly in the Freshers’ environment, in which everyone is so painfully aware of themselves and their new peers. While we are told not to judge a book by it’s cover, most of us are guilty of falling victim to the influence of first impressions. Rather than viewing style as something that you have to get ‘right’, see it as something that is individual to only you in the sea of new faces you are overwhelmed with: an armour of sorts. During the first few months of life at university, it’s easy to feel like your identity is hanging in some sort of limbo. We each come into our own at different points in the year; it can take time to feel comfortable enough to strip down the layers and let yourself feel like you belong amongst your friends and fellow academics. A good coat that you’re truly in love with, for example, can provide a kind of assurance that’s hard to find anywhere else when faced with the social pressures mounted upon us in the first semester.
Clothing as communication has both its joys and perils. It’s not a failsafe method – that boy in brogues will not always necessarily be engaging, nor will the girl wearing a statement coat and eye-catching colours be the life of the party. It’s dangerous to make your judgements based solely on externals. Nevertheless, beautiful friendships can blossom through a love for fashion and clothes. It’s a certain kind of serendipity when you see someone dressed in an outfit almost identical to yours, and even if you don’t end up best of friends, the knowing smile exchanged will be enough.