The Fails and Fabulosity of Uni Fashion
You’re about to start uni. Do you bring your own lunch or do you buy it? You’ve never been one to drink coffee but maybe now you should? Do you take your laptop to class? Or do you stick with the old reliable notebook and pen?
There are a million questions when making the move from the safe haven of high school to the great unknown that is university. This next question will play on your mind and niggle at your brain weeks before you even make the move.
What to wear to uni…
Now, I went to an all girls high school where we had to wear a uniform. It was an abundance of rules. Dress below the knees, no nail polish and hair that was below the shoulder had to be tied back. For a good six years I could only imagine the day when I was allowed to wear my hair out, paint my nails and wear whatever my heart desired. When the day arrived I was beyond excited but soon after, unforeseen problems began to arise. My washing load piled beyond high, every day I had to pick something new to wear and what if I outfit repeated? Would I be caught? And here was the big problem- I was a walking and talking example of the “poor uni student.”
So when it came to starting uni I realised that I was entering the great unknown as an outfit repeater who had no money. The night before my first day I spent a good few hours wondering what to wear. Did they wear shorts? If I wore a dress would it be too formal? If I wore my favourite baggy pants would I be considered a hippy? I had no idea.
After staring at my wardrobe I decided that jeans and a singlet were a reasonable combination. Not too flash but not too “I just found these lying at the end of my bed and put them on.” So off I trotted to uni wondering what was in for me.
On my first day I remember sitting in the food court (possibly looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights) staring at the hundreds of people around me analyzing what they were wearing. There was every type of clothing style possible. I saw girls in short skirts and heels, guys in shorts and tee’s, people wearing their trackies, some were in shorts, some were in jeans, some had their hair dangling around their face, others had dreadlocks, some had purple hair and others opted for hair tied back high school style. It was a jumble of clothes, a clash of colour and mesh of patterns. I was left overwhelmed, sitting in the food court and too scared to take out my mum’s pre prepared ‘just in case’ sandwich.
It takes a few weeks to find your feet at uni. It also takes a few weeks to figure out where you want to fit in on the clothing ladder. You find yourself looking at people and thinking…. “Well done, you brave soul for wearing those pants.” At the same time you spot someone else and suffer the great temptation of asking them where they got their top/skirt/shorts/shoes/jeans from.
At uni you learn the concept of true individuality. Your first step is deciding on what course you want to choose. It’s a decision made by no one else but you and this is exactly the same with your style and taste of clothes. You take inspiration from the people around you and then decide what are the fashion fails and the fashion fabulousity of uni. Find out what works for you, what you feel comfortable in and go for it.
You’ll have to be a smart cookie though at working in some fashion forward ways with the minimal uni student budget. Make use of the sales, go for scavenger hunts at op shops and sometimes it’s worth checking out what’s lurking in the depth of your parent’s closets. It could prove to be a little gold mine… quite literally. I’ve stolen my mum’s old handbag and found a $5 note in it. Not only did I manage to snag myself a bag from the 80’s but it was also a way to help pay for lunch that day. Win.
Uni is about having as much fun as you can cram into your degree with a big dose of reality, growing up and finding out little bits about yourself that you hadn’t realised yet. I have no doubt that from one week to the next you’ll surprise even yourself with your outfit choices. There will be mornings when you wake up and pick up whatever clothes are closest to you on the floor. And there will be the occasional day where you wake up early and put in 100% effort.
Whichever way you’re feeling when you wake up promise me one thing.
Have fun and include this with what you’re wearing.
Let the world (or at least your campus) know who you are and respect you for the choices you make, including the clothing choices you made before that 9am lecture! If you like that jumper your nana knitted you 5 years ago and you feel like wearing it… do it. I dare you.
Thumbnail picture courtesy to 'K is for Kani' fashion blog (http://bit.ly/fGKW75)