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28th February 2017

Style on stilts

Having begun university in monochrome monotony, Deputy Fashion and Beauty Editor Sophie Soar discusses her drastic (ally necessary) style evolution

When I started university almost three years ago now, I arrived with a uniform I adopted several years before. Black jeans, black top, black coat, black shoes… you probably get the picture. I took solace in the shade; there’s no difficulty in styling plus it’s flattering and easy to wear (although sometimes impossible when searching for that one particular black top amongst fifteen identical others). I resolutely believed I had found my chosen style of monochrome monotony, with an occasional guest star role of red lipstick or a pink top on nights out.

Following the indiscernible occurrence of an unexpected plot twist, my wardrobe converted to a cacophony of colour and material. Every item has a story to tell and, best of all, I can now tell my t-shirts apart (not that this makes dressing for the day any easier or quicker).

In true Carrie Bradshaw fashion, I keep my money exactly where I can see it: hanging in my wardrobe. My parents and the loan repayment system probably have a different opinion as to where my money should be but we can’t agree on everything. Instead I argue my wardrobe to be more an investment towards my career goals as a fashion journalist: a walking résumé perhaps?

It only goes to show that our personal style continually evolves and adapts to our environment and new chapters in our lives. For instance, my wardrobe possibly contains a good half of all vintage products that circulated the Northern Quarter in 2015 or the Didsbury charity shops in 2016 (don’t knock ‘em til you try ‘em).

I hold the belief that our style and clothes strongly reflect who we are, which is in turn is strongly influenced by where we are. I often wonder how I would differ had I studied at a different university, lived in a different city, or denied the presence of any other colour in my wardrobe.

My friend once noted the striking contrast between our close group’s clothing choices. Each and every one reflects their wearer’s characteristics, presenting a group of very different personalities and personal style. But then, whilst the wardrobes clearly change enormously from person to person, they all complement one another — (insert any cliché “friends forever” quotation). As anyone who’s lived in halls or shared a house will know, it makes for one fabulously enormous communal wardrobe.

So in first year, I was black Nikes, khaki coat, and black body con dresses all over. Now, I am multi-coloured jeans, six-inch boots and vintage jackets. And whilst I like to think I’ve found my style, what suits me and what makes me feel good, it’s interesting to think how this might change in another three years… Hopefully when I don’t have to sacrifice a few meals to justify a new pair of heels.

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