Lifestyle and Leisure / Retail

Student-shaped Bristol fashion

By bristol247, Wednesday Sep 16, 2015

Freshers is all about excitement, it’s out with the old and in with the new: new home, new city, new friends and certainly new clothes. If you’re looking for the opportunity to be a little bit different from your home self, look no further than university – it’s where you can unleash your inner hipster alter ego. Here are a few fashion ideas that will help you settle in and make yourself feel perfectly at home. 


The hype of freshers revolves around dress-up party after dress-up party, but after buying blow-out costumes for each and every event you’ll find maybe wearing the odd one a surprise, yet having these handy pieces can be a wardrobe gem in Bristol. With eccentric clubs Lakota and Motion blazing throughout the year, you’ll find the odd fancy dress piece can come in very useful. Facepaint and glitter are pretty much mandatory, but put those pirate hats or leopard-print catsuits to good use with a pair of Nike Air Max to hit Bristol’s favourite night-time haunts.

Weather proofing

Number one: umbrella – it’s a no brainer. Since becoming a student at Bristol I have added two essential items to my wardrobe: my first ever pair of ankle boots and a pair of non-exercise-related trainers – trust me, you’ll need them. The more understated (slightly less practical) alternative to a wellie, an all-terrain and weather-proof boot is needed as you’ll be greeted by lashings of wind and rain, often together, and it’s a great option for either sex.

Avoid looking like a classic Brit abroad and ditch your childhood sketchers. The trainer takes on a new lease of life around campus and is a perfect choice. As you’ll observe, Adidas originals and Nike Air tend to be the favourites and are not only essential but double up as your faithful night-out friend, super-comfy and with the ideal ‘I don’t try too hard’ vibe.

Bristol is also pretty chilly, pretty much all year round. The preferred student attire tends to be the classic parka. Canada Goose may as well have an outlet on campus for all the business it has, and whilst it may be the unoriginal option, these coats last a lifetime, are particularly waterproof (essential!) and warm. Worth the investment, people. 

Night-out essentials

This one could simply be a tick list or a mathematics equation.

Girls: crop top + black jeans + trainers (+ the occasional funky flare or crochet bralet) = heavenly night-out matrimony.

Boys may as well bowl up in whatever they were wearing that day. Pop your parka in the cloakroom for the extortionate price of £1 and you’ll be ready to dance the night away. Low-rise jeans and multicoloured tees seem to be a favourite, but don’t expect to see this attire on Wednesdays at Bunker – it’ll be the shirt and tie uniform for the lads and whatever fancy dress can be rustled up for the girls. Again crack out those trusty trainers. Don’t fret about your all-white kicks, you’ll get all that sticky grime off in a jiffy with a make-up wipe (grab one from the girl across the corridor).

The occasional ball or black-tie event …

You’ll have some sort of ball or formal in your first year and it’s an opportunity to dress to impress.

It’s pretty simple here. For the boys, just grab your favourite suit or tux, usually the one you had for your leavers’ ball will do nicely, although everyone appreciates a velvet jacket – just saying. Girls – only a little more effort is required. Here is where the Bristol uniform diminishes and you can wear whatever in the world you desire. Black tie is not weather conscious so no need for a parka, and this is the one instance you’ll be able to wear heels without garnering some peculiar looks or a broken ankle – heels and hills don’t mix too well. 

Miscellaneous sports wear

Break out those sloppy joes, trackies or sweatpants. They’ll be your favourite pieces of clothing for all those ‘independent study’ hours when you really cannot be bothered to be in the library. Otherwise uni is the only place where wearing pyjamas all day is actually accepted as usual – take advantage of this. Once you hit the real world, popping down the street in your plaid flannels is definitely not acceptable. 

Bring along your gym gear. For you sporty folk, Bristol sports gear will become your favourite attire, showing off your sporting prowess over every other student in the queue in Sainsbury’s. For those who brave the gym, a full colour-coordinated, usually Nike outfit is needed – you’ll want to be seen in your gym gear all day before hitting the treadmill. First impressions count, guys, and if you don’t end up working out, it doubles up as a pretty edgy night-out look.


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