Lifestyle and Leisure / Bristol Fashion

How Bristol will influence the way you dress

By imogen horten, Wednesday Oct 2, 2019

Being all too used to a ‘smart business’ dress code for sixth form or college it can be hard to know what to wear to lectures. Is it smart? Casual? But how casual – pyjamas are surely a no?

The truth is by week two the need to look smart pretty much anywhere on campus has disappeared. But what if you still want to look chic and feel comfortable? Bristol’s answer: athleisure.

Think Bristol, think athleisure

Think Kappa, Fila and Adidas tracksuits with a cropped t-shirt, or logo sweatshirt when the British weather inevitably turns chillier. Bristol is pretty much a walking, talking Urban Outfitters catalogue and the more effortless the look, the ‘cooler’ the vibe that’s given off.

Going into the winter months an oversized jumper will be your best friend. Alongside sweatshirts, most commonly sported around Bristol are three-quarter zips and chunky knits, usually vintage or second hand. This year second-hand clothing has outgrown the fast fashion industry and is even set to outgrow luxury fashion markets by 2022.

Vintage is something Bristol students adore and when you know the right places – Cotham Hill, Whiteladies Road and Park Street are littered with vintage gems and charity shops – you can add to your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Beyond Retro now has a store in Broadmead

Girls, get ready to burn your skinny jeans. In true 90s style, the trick is to wear baggy trousers; skate jeans, mom jeans, flares, paperbag trousers – anything as long as they’re not skin tight. Ten times comfier than denim that clings, you’ll get the feeling of wearing your pyjamas to lectures whilst remaining stylish at the same time.

Fitting seamlessly into Bristol’s hippie bohemian culture are countless pairs of floaty hareem pants, usually bought on gap year travels. Other pieces brought back from countries afar include anything crochet – from bralettes to cardigans, these aren’t only for festivals. Complete the look with layered necklaces, gold chains and shell chokers (think Lucie from Love Island) the more the better.

Flares are going nowhere. A solid favourite in Bristol, these groovy chick essentials look to be staying. From ribbed styles to denim they’re the most versatile of trousers, being seen in libraries and lectures but also paired with tiny crop tops (this season think neon and one shoulder) on the dancefloor.

Most clubs in Bristol don’t require heels and dresses so think 90s for inspiration, like bandanna tops and bandeaus, with slip dresses in all lengths being a winning formula for formals.

Clubs don’t have strict guidelines, so embrace all clothing styles

For those who want to feel a bit more feminine, midi skirts are your answer. From the leopard print satin midi that got its own Instagram, to floaty floral skirts they are your perfect ‘in-between seasons’ go-to. Pair with baggy knitwear and chunky trainers for a cold-weather friendly romantic grunge look.

Read more: UWE Bristol graduates help change the future of fashion

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