The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

From Freshers’ to fashion week

Kassi Allcock on how being a student has changed her style for the better

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Looking back at old photographs from Freshers’ Week in my first year, I am relieved to say that my style has taken a huge turn for the better. Jeans that were so bleached that they were almost transparent, 30 or more floral pieces spilling out of my wardrobe, and bum shorts upon bum shorts upon bum shorts. Even my hairstyle was something to be ashamed of, wearing a doughnut-style bun smack-bam in the middle of my head… because that definitely looks like a natural messy bun, doesn’t it!? Only 18 months later, I can declare that my fashion sense has evolved. The reason? Being a student in Manchester.

In first year, I was provided with a very generous student loan, meaning that I couldn’t just ‘pop into town’—every outing was a fully blown shopping extravaganza. With a big lump sum in my bank account, no thought went into the clothes that I was buying; everything was an impulse purchase. This made my style a mish mash of everything, and I owned no staple pieces that I could wear timelessly. A year and a half later, my student loan barely covers my rent, but my wardrobe has thankfully improved. Who would have guessed it? Being a stingy student has done my fashion sense a world of good, having to think everything through before heading over to the till. Do you really need yet another floral top? No Kassi, you definitely don’t. Thankfully, I am one of the lucky ones with a part-time job, which makes a treat every now and then that little bit easer. And who can forget student discount? That’ll be the absolute worst part of graduating next year!

As somebody who doesn’t drink, or go out often, I can save a little money that would otherwise spent on alcohol and going out clothes. The majority of my friends, however, have drawers full of special outfits destined only to be seen by the inside of a club. At least two of my flatmates in first year had an entire box full of fancy dress outfits—everything from Where’s Wally to a tribal warrior. In the adult world, away from university, who would possibly need such a vast collection of costumes? Walk through Fallowfield after 9pm painted blue from head to toe, and everyone will just assume that you’re dressed as a smurf or an avatar. Walk through Fallowfield at any time of the day in your pyjamas, and no judgmental looks will be headed your way. Students can get away with wearing practically anything… so take advantage of it whilst you still can!