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13th September 2019

Your guide to Fallowfield style

Just arrived in Manchester and confused by the distinctive way of dressing? This article might help
Your guide to Fallowfield style
Students embracing Fallowfield style at a festival. Photo by Instagram her @emilydavis__ – used with her permission

Starting university comes with a plethora of new experiences, and one that is very much specific to Manchester students is the unique style of dressing. Whether you love or loathe it at first, you’ll soon come to get very used to what is known as Fallowfield style. Realistically, you’ll probably have adapted parts (if not all of it) by reading week. 

What is so distinctive about Fallowfield style, is that whilst everyone is specifically dressing in order to look individual, each pioneer ends up looking more or less the same as the person stood next to them in the queue for the Magic Bus.

It’s a style that’s casual enough to wear to uni, but, with a bit of glitter or colourful eyeshadow, is perfect for a night out too, so it’s easy to see why most students choose to adapt it.

An impractical element is that the goal of looking effortlessly undone takes hours of looking through vintage shops. It also means arriving to lectures late in order to prefect the ‘no make-up make-up’ look that actually comprises of half your make-up bag and looks nothing like your bare-faced self.

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However, the dedication that Fallowfield style required is often made worth it by the comfort it allows. Sportswear (vintage, of course) is law. Vintage Adidas sweatshirts that are faded from years of wear – or a new one that’s been put on one too many spins through the washing machine; saves time but not great for the electric bills – are an essential piece in any student’s armoury. Or at least those who subscribe to Fallowfield’s fashion ideals.

A pair of flared trousers and some mom jeans are also essential, both of which are a comfortable option for a 9am lecture.

A pair of old trainers are the only shoes you need (the uglier the better). And, the best thing is you don’t even need to wash them! A shoe that maintains its original colour is sacrilege when it comes to Fallowfield style, so get ready to tell your family that you splurged on a new pair of beige trainers when you get home for Christmas. The alternative is confessing that you ruined the white ones they lovingly bought you as a Results Day present. 

Whether you choose to subscribe or not to the Fallowfield mode of dressing during your time in Manchester, you certainly won’t be able to escape it.

But if mouldy shoes and waking up with your room, pillow and significant other covered in glitter isn’t your thing, please remember, you are allowed to maintain your own sense of style. However, the moments of questioning whether a bucket hat is a good investment plague us all. For the record, it absolutely is not!

On the other hand, if I’ve just described your dream wardrobe scenario, rejoice! You’ve found your people! Go forth and adapt whatever weird and wonderful trends the students of Fallowfield bask in over the next 9 months!

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