One of the greatest things about Manchester, whether the city or the university, is its eclectic, vibrant, and confident style. Whether strolling to Sainsbury’s in your pyjamas or donning a pac-man outfit to the latest Pangaea, the distinct attitude that sets Manchester students apart from the rest is the ‘do-I-really-look-like-I-give-a-shit-what-you-think?’ defiance spread across the faces of the vast majority.
Wearing your personality on your sleeve is the recognised style of the city and it’s what makes dressing for every day that much more exciting. The opportunities to experiment with your wardrobe are endless, primarily because it is guaranteed you will never be the quirkiest on the street that day.
When I started at Manchester in 2014, I had no idea where the three years would take me. Admittedly, certain aspects were predictable: spending most of my student loan on clothes; devoting more time to Asos than Jstor; gaining a second home somewhere on the third floor of Affleck’s. But essentially, whilst many might start their university experience with degree aspirations and career goals in mind, you can never predict how the method of achieving these will change the fundamental elements of who you are.
After this photo was taken, I realised by coincidence that it perfectly illustrates four main aspects of my personal style: a quick mental scan through my wardrobe revealed that these elements infiltrate my wardrobe in some way, shape, or form every day.
I had always enjoyed shopping in vintage stores and charity shops before starting at Manchester but upon my introduction to the Northern Quarter, enjoyment turned into an (arguably unhealthy) obsession and adoration. My cropped jumper is from COW, whilst my trousers are from a vintage sale held at the Ruby Lounge. Previously loved items are the crux of my wardrobe; I love how I am adding to the history of a piece of clothing, which has a past and even future I will never know about. I’m not one for corny attachments but my wardrobe is about as sentimental as I get!
I live by the rule that every outfit must have one bold statement: without, there is no eye-catching interest; with more than one, your outfit can become too crowded and less punchy.
A little flash of skin:
A complete sucker for a cropped top, my go-to outfit of choice is high-waisted jeans and a navel-baring top. I nearly always role up the end of my jeans too to change the shape and show off my shoes. Although a Southerner born and bred, a bare stomach even in winter makes me realise there may be a little Northern in me yet…
At 5’11’’, I naturally stand amongst the tallest in a crowd but heeled black boots are my weakness; I am rarely without them. As the shortest woman in my immediate family and possessing a slightly competitive edge, I donned my first pair of heeled boots six years ago and since never looked back, or rarely up, again.
From first year, colour has always been important and, although my style has changed a lot, I still love a huge pop of colour three years later. In this picture, I’m in my halls, keeping it simple with an Aztec pattern dress and black strappy shoes. As I’ve gone through uni, I’ve realised that simplicity is key, sometimes I will even wear head to toe black and my colour will come through my nail and lip colour. With Manchester being such a great hub for fashion and, of course, shopping, my wardrobe collection has doubled! I have experimented a lot with what I love because Manchester and uni life had given me the platform to do that. Never be scared of trying something new and that goes for your make up too.
I would say my style has more or less stayed the same since coming to Manchester, maybe slightly less out there, converse to the Fallowfield trend for increasing your alternative flair. Since becoming a student I have bought far less; I mainly rewear and recycle things I already own, so I favour items which are less recognisable when worn frequently. I have always loved inconspicuous skinny jeans, and always buy these from Zara, the only place which do trousers which don’t ‘bag out’ on me, and I hugely covet ankle boots, with my favourite being my pointed toe red snakeskin pair. Other favourite wardrobe features are long skirts in summer, backless tops, and different textured silver rings. I’m envious of how chic French models look; the model Caroline de Maigret is one of my icons—British Vogue featured her in a YouTube segment where she describes French style and ‘how to dress well’ which is endlessly cool. I’m a fan of the ‘normcore’ vibe; neutral colours and blankness of pattern make me happy. When I graduate I aspire to shop all the time in The Kooples, & Other Stories, and Whistles; I love how simple and eye-catching their looks are. My newest purchases have been dark navy/green silky culottes and some black ‘guy’ brogues, and I’m trying to decide if I’m brave enough to wear them both at the same time.
I would say when it comes to my fashion sense, I have less of a style and more a uniform. Black skinny jeans, oversized/high-neck knitwear and white T-shirts (the underrated classic) feature pretty heavily on this set menu. Trainers are de rigueur. (Stylish and supportive, all in two lovely shoes. What’s not to love?) No matter how hard I may try a jazzy colour palette, I always fall back on some vibrant shades of grey. Everything stays pretty monochrome, with the occasional splash of blue denim. Spending a year living in France did not help matters, as I am pretty sure sporting coloured clothing across the Channel is punishable by law. I am dreading the time when I need a more grown-up wardrobe as the end of my university career draws nigh. Perhaps I will swap the skinny jeans for a chic fitted trouser à la French Vogue editor Emmanuelle Alt. As far as today’s fashion forecast is looking, however, I think I see myself dressing like a female Steve Jobs forever.
Jacket – Vintage Levi’s, Jumper – H&M, Jeans – Zara, Shoes – Adidas
My personal style is fairly simple. I want the clothes I wear to fit and flatter my body. New seasons bring new trends along with them, and I try to be open minded to the new styles available, but I never like to let the trends lead my taste. It is more about the current fashion trends adding to my style. I am a lover of black, denim and stripes; it is a rare day that I’m not wearing one of the three! They are so fabulously interchangeable and just work in my eyes. I’m not obsessed with bright colours; to me it’s whether they fit my mood. And when it comes to shoes, I think the pointier the better.
I call this look The Diamond Geezer.
Sports jacket and steel toe-cap boots shows I’m not going to a fucking picnic. I flash my Timex to any doubters. Long hair shows I’m in touch with my emotions n that. Slim fit navy jeans because what the fuck else is there. Brown belt to keep my trousers up.
Who am I wearing? Oxfam, Adidas, and sort of Ralph Lauren Polo. I say ‘sort of’ cause the man on the horse has lost his baton, so to speak. It’s fake, in other words. The rest of me is real though.
As Head Fashion Editor, you’d expect me to dress far more adventurously. Fashion, for me, is all about comfort. Baggy jumpers and thick scarves have always been my groove. I remember when I first moved to Manchester; I was overwhelmed by the five-storey Urban Outfitters on Market Street. Each time I visited during Freshers’ Week, I swooned after an oversized navy jumper fashioning red raccoons until I finally cracked and made my first mancunian purchase. Three years later, it sits contently amongst my evergrowing jumper collection, not having been worn since Christmas of First Year. My impulse buys have become few and far between as my student loan has become almost non-existent (big shout out to Student Finance), but I definitely still break from time to time. This block-coloured Zara jumper was bought on a whim after a long and hard day. Retail therapy and all that…
How would I define my style? I can’t really. A lot of people tell me I am excellent at co-ordinating but in actuality I just only like a few colours, makes life a lot more simple. The outfit I am wearing here is a bit more snazzy than my everyday uni-wear which would consist of jeans, timberland boots and a knitted jumper. I have the promise of cocktails after a six hour library session so went for more of a versatile day to night look. My skirt is from a really cool shop in Withington called Mockingbirds which has helped shape my wardrobe and get rid of my student loan. I don’t think my style has changed that much since I have come to university, apart from I have acquired a lot more pyjamas.
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