Gráinne Morrison on the sartorial influence of student life in Manchester.
University is where all essential life skills are developed: how to cook, how to do your own laundry, how to make life extremely awkward by drunkenly romancing your neighbour (oops). Slowly but surely we’ve all grasped that the real lessons are taught outside of the lecture hall. By the end of Freshers’ week, one never feels the same as they did when they first arrived; away from the safety of home, we find ourselves constantly evolving. Being a student in such a fashionable city as Manchester means image is one major area of said evolution. The style of the city is so infectious; it doesn’t take long for a new you to take shape. You find yourself shaking off that well groomed style so beloved back home and looking more unkempt by the day.
The unique uniform of spice girl meets hipster meets magic bus lady has a power over us all. As a fresh faced fresher, I coveted all things glam – Lipsy dresses, stilettos, fake eyelashes, GHDs and anything else OTT. Three years later I’m glad to say I have embraced the Fallowfield way of life and no longer take a week to get ready for a night out. For me the change was gradual over my first year but a girl in my halls took only a week before she was so unrecognisable we thought a tramp had broken into our block. I can already see it happening to this year’s freshers: the piercings, the smudged make-up and the beginnings of dreadlocks. As for the guys, those brand new Jack Wills polo shirts will soon be replaced by vintage football shirts to compliment your image as an up and coming DJ.
This isn’t the first time, and it certainly won’t be the last, that your style changes. It’s important to hold on to your own personal trademarks, style should develop not disappear- don’t lose the ability to think for yourself. While my style has changed drastically since moving to Manchester, you won’t find me in the ket-head uniform of vintage Adidas sweater, leggings and Air Max trainers. I know what works for me, and that just doesn’t. Nonetheless, one should always be open to new fashions; change can be for the better. Of course, not everyone is quite as evolved just yet; the more serious among us would say that the grace period is over and anything that makes you look like you put effort in is sacrilege. Consider this a warning, don’t get left behind.