“stripes, leggings and a good pair of Chelsea boots”
We all get to that point at university when the clothes in our wardrobes are looking a bit dull and lifeless and they need a refresh.
If you’re anything like us, you will have realised how impractical some of your wardrobe pieces are for the day-to-day life of university.
Whether you’re a baby fresher or a wise fourth year, it’s always helpful to get some tips on university wardrobe essentials from real-life students.
We’ve talked to various students from differing disciplines to help you create your wardrobe checklist. Owing to the hectic and varying daily routines of student life, we knew it was crucial to seek out expert opinions.
Thanks to their wisdom, these university wardrobe essentials will take you from lectures to lunchtime without any fuss.
Kavita, a Fine Arts student, recommends:
“Aside from having everything imaginable in your wardrobe, I’d probably say a staple clothing item like a warm, comfy jumper.”
“If you’re at university, your accommodation probably isn’t going to be the warmest. Plus, I think there’s nothing better than snuggling up in your favourite jumper on cold winter days.”
We couldn’t agree more. Student halls often don’t allow portable heaters or putting on the heating in a student home can get eye-wateringly expensive.
Designers are loving oversized knits, so big cosy jumpers are practical as well as fashionable. They help to keep you cosy when working hard on your latest essay, but also make you look effortlessly stylish when popping out for a quick coffee break with friends.
This item also suits the image of a creative student. Jumpers are the ideal way to wear autumnal colours – think burnt orange or mossy greens.
Alternatively, you can make quirky patterns look cool. The simplest way to find something unique is by visiting a vintage or second-hand store.
In fact, they also offer cheaper prices on more expensive materials such as cashmere. While it’s often out of the student budget, cashmere is adaptable to temperature variations because of the high moisture content of its wool.
Plus, investing in it will work out in the long-term as it’s long-lasting and stays fluffy and soft. Otherwise, there’s an incredible range out there so you’re sure to find a variation on this clothing must-have to suit you!
Third-year medical student, Roshni, tells us about her go-to uniform of “stripes, leggings and a good pair of Chelsea boots”.
Her favourite shops include H&M and Zara for university wardrobe essentials. Both are kind to a student budget and offer fresh variations on classics like stripes.
With the busy routine of a medical student, having an outfit that you know will always work is a life-saver. This is particularly crucial for medical students who are likely to have stricter clothing requirements due to having to go from classes to placements.
In addition, with all the running around, your poor feet are likely to ache without proper support. Chelsea boots are great for being both practical and cute. Roshni also suggests:
“A good, warm waterproof coat, especially if you’re in the North as the weather changes every two minutes. It WILL rain almost every day.”
A trusty mac is the way to go if you’ve got a lot of things to carry. It’s light, portable and simple to pack away. It’s also a place to try out some creative patterns such as on-trend vibrant chinoiserie, black and white polka dot or space-age silver prints.
She adds to her style suggestions “the all-important gym gear”. Apparently, its perfect for pretending you’re into exercise whilst being brilliantly comfy. She says it is:
“For when you can’t be bothered and like to pretend that you’re a fitness freak or need some form of motivation to go.”
We can understand it’s difficult to feel inspired to work up a sweat when you’re already mentally tired from studying. However, rather than feeding into the trend of just wearing sportswear, don’t underestimate the physical and mental benefits of regular exercise.
Nevertheless, we’re not talking about wearing some faded leggings and any old worn-out tee. Proper fitting athletic wear and supportive trainers can put you in the right mindset.
Bright colours and funky patterns will only help to pep you up. You can even get funny slogan tees to bring a smile to your face.
The best part of university is that you don’t have to go to the gym alone, but with friends to cheer you along.
Alternatively, the countless sports societies on university campuses let you show off your threads and try something new. Ultimate frisbee anyone?
Tara, a tech student in her second year, doesn’t go anywhere without her trusty leather jacket. An old hand-me-down from her mum’s own youth, it’s a classic that still looks amazing today.
She takes it everywhere. It makes an appearance at a gig, then she softens it by pairing with a girlie going-out ensemble. Her favourite combination is her classic little black dress paired with her jacket. She tells us:
“I’m naturally more of a tomboy and a little black dress is a quick way to dress up. In fact, this one is from Cheap Monday, so it gives more attitude than something a bit prim and fussy.”
While Tara is fortunate enough to have inherited a great faux leather jacket, options are now even better.
Thanks to the promotion of vegan leather by brands like Stella McCartney, faux leather no longer looks plastic and gaudy. Instead, technology has evolved to produce more realistic vegan leather that is better for the environment too.
While Tara sports one in black, a coloured leather jacket is the fastest method to include a unique piece in your outfit.
A buttery baby pink or blue adds femininity to the traditionally masculine associations of this piece. Alternatively, a bright yellow leather will undoubtedly brighten up a dreary campus.
Plus, if you prefer neutrals like Tara, it’s a fuss-free way to add a splash of colour.
Reema, an English masters student, loves her hoodie or any cosy coat with a big hood. They’re great to hide away in when trudging to a 9am lecture after a night of cramming in work.
This is an excellent chance to adopt the fur trend with one of your university wardrobe essentials. There’s nothing nicer than snuggling away in a fur trim hood to protect your face from the harsh elements.
She also recommends:
“A big but comfortable bag to fit all of the things that you need on long days. This is important because my Literature degree means that I have to carry a lot of heavy books at times. My bag needs to be durable too.”
“I wanted something that was cute and stylish as well though. For me, the best place to find that was TK Maxx, which can be pricey at times. However, during sales, the more expensive options become affordable.”
This is a great approach to finding a durable bag, which is definitely a university wardrobe essential. It’s crucial to have something long-lasting and supportive for everything you’ll be carrying.
These British Asian students offer some solid advice. Thanks to them, cold days on campus can be slightly more bearable. From their own rapidly changing routines, they know which university wardrobe essentials to have on hand.
Best of all, they have excellent knowledge of where to find these items, whilst keeping in mind their student budget. However, we know buying fashion pieces is always fun.
Feel free to experiment and find your own style that will suit you for university. It’s all about being comfortable. A lot of these wardrobe necessities can feature trendy elements whilst remaining long-term investments.
Now you have recommendations from real students on these university wardrobe essentials, it’s time to create your own university style!