There’s More to Life Than Stereotypes | Jo Jenner

At this point in the year one needs confidence to grab life by the horns. What better way to do so than by being as dapper as possible? Pack serious punch in what you wear. Your clothes says a thousand words about who you are. Would Stephen Fry have the same quality of persona if he ditched his crumpled cords in favour of tracksuit trousers? Of course not! Here are a select number of stereotypical campus dressers with a few hints and tips interspersed to give you an idea of the more superior student’s take on chic.

Student 1: Keen Party Goer

Sarah finds it awfully exciting to be away from home for the very first time. She smokes Marlboro Lights, drinks copious amounts of gin and wears the most outrageous clothes ever. She likes stuff her mother wouldn’t. Animal print, sequins and dishevelled Dynasty are Sarah’s thing. It is preposterous to suggest that she should tone it down. Trying to make Sarah wear ‘day clothes’ at night would be like teaching a chimp to play the trombone. She loves wearing pouty, fleshy lipstick and lashings of eyeliner at the same time. When everyone got Freshers’ Flu Sarah made sure they all came out anyway. A healthy measure of tequila will get you back on the straight and narrow, she said. Sarah swears she can walk better in her vertiginous patent platform heels when she’s had a few and makes sure everyone knows about it, too.

Student 2: The Charity Case

Janine came to university to work, not to socialise. Her wardrobe is of practical means. If it’s raining she turns to her trusted anorak to match the utilitarian mood of her zip-up fleece, boot-cut trousers (the ones annoyingly too high above the hips) and orthopaedic trainers. Her back-pack rests alarmingly near the shoulders. For good measure she ties her hair up in a sensible scrunchie. Janine doesn’t see what the problem is. Going to lectures is no fashion parade. Anyway, she likes to be comfy. As she walks to into her lecture she tries to persuade herself that justice will prevail, and that she, Janine, will be rewarded in due course for her efforts unlike that lipsticked idiot at the front with the flicky hair.

Student 3: Easy Dresser

Despite being a keen student, Natasha hates getting up each morning. She’s tired, bleary eyed, has a killer essay to hand in and isn’t looking forward to going outside in the cold and half-dark. Thank goodness, then, her wardrobe for that day is so simple: a big warm sweater, thick tights, classic pumps and a stylish coat to go on the top. Natasha thinks life, especially at seven am, is too complicated to warrant paying heed to fashion. Being on a limited student budget means that Natasha is careful to buy clothes that are investments, classic pieces to wear over and over again to which she can add her own creative twist. This girl finds it incomprehensible to spend £30 on a sparkly vest from Topshop and never falls for flash-in-the-pan trends. Armed with a mug of tea, Natasha assesses herself in the mirror and thinks she looks pretty good. But to take herself out of the banal and into the extraordinary she adds her favourite silk scarf, statement jewellery and a massive belt.

Student 4: How Not to Be Taken Seriously

A lady horrified at the restrictions of current fashion trends, this girl bleats that she simply doesn’t care about how she looks: a perfectly hypocritical statement itself. This one’s called Vizzy (Victoria’s far too imperialist). Every morning Vizzy trusses herself up in a hideously complicated arrangement of new-age, stinking tie-dye fabrics and a wholly unmanageable set of impractical beads and bangles which makes trips to the bathroom near impossible. Quite often Vizzy finds herself getting stuck in swing doors. Washing? Ironing? Hangers? Pah. How, uh, liberating. There is a rather pungent smell that radiates from her: a hint of organic hemp, the floor, dust and chickpeas (some call it ‘unemployable chic’). She is a female warrior, breaking down the steel barriers of sex discrimination. You just pray she doesn’t sit next to you in lectures.


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