We all know that the typical Oxford stereotype – the dweeb with glasses who spends his time in the library engrossed in X number of books and looking so pale you wonder when (or even if) he ever saw sunlight – is by no means a reality. It’s now accepted (at least nearly) that, yes, Oxford students like to work hard, but HELL do we like to play hard too.
There’s no denying the constant speculation over what the ‘Oxford stereotype’ constitutes in a social context but what about within a fashion context? What ‘types’ of style do Oxford students have?
Fashion is by its very nature a diverse realm, a way for individuals to ‘fit in’ (e.g. following a trend), ‘stand out’ (e.g. dressing in a way that’s particularly unusual) or, as is the case for most of us, somewhere in between the two. Within the world of fashion, there’s no denying the fact that there are particular ‘ways’ people choose to dress and style themselves. The tomboy/indie/preppy look (think Alexa Chung) is just one example.
And just as there is no ‘one’ Oxford stereotype in the social sense (‘the blues aspirer’, ‘the union hack’ or ‘the library swot’ might be a few), there’s certainly no ‘one’ stereotype for the way Oxford students dress.
Although by no means an exclusive list, the following covers the most popular ways Oxford students dress themselves. Take a walk down Cornmarket and see how many you can spot… The question is, which one are you?
1. THE BRAND SLAVE
You know him – jacket from Fred Polo, shirt from Ralph Lauren and stripy socks from Harrods, this guy settles only for the finest, and boy does he make it known.
2. COMFORT COOL
We’re at Uni, not a fashion show. The comfort cool doesn’t give a heck what you think and will happily rock up in the library, tutes or lectures kitted in trackies and a hoodie that says ‘fashion? Sorry what?’
3. LITTLE MISS ACCESSORISE
It’s all in the accessories baby. She’s the go to queen for bags, shoes and all things sparkly. Number of proms attended? Rapidly losing count.
4. THE ‘I HAVEN’T MADE ANY EFFORT’ BUT I SO HAVE
A slick white shirt, blazer and chinos, totally effortless right? Little did you know he spent ten minutes ironing that shirt and changed his cuff links especially for dinner.
5. THE FASHIONISTA
Always ahead of the game, this person knew the latest catwalk trend before it even became a trend. Walking tall with just the slightest expression of smug, there’s no ignoring the effort the fashion conscious guru goes to.
6. THE GEEK CHIC
Big glasses, braces and a shirt buttoned to the top, the geek chic looks like they’ve just stepped out of a glossy Specsavers ad.
7. THE “MY MUM BOUGHT MY WHOLE WARDROBE”
Still wearing the shirt his mum bought him in year 10, this guy is happy to wear the same thing every day – the only variation being his Marks and Spencer’s boxers.
8. THE SPORTS JUNKIE
Gym member? Check. Blues aspirer? Double Check. Kitted in Nike, Adidas and Puma, the sports junkie works out hard, making sure they have all the gear to match.
9. THE “EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE”
Usually in jeans and a standard top, this person will make a spontaneous effort when least expected. For one day only, let the compliments roll.
10. THE WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?!
They think they look great. The rest of the world thinks they need to invest in a mirror. When it comes to clothing, this person needs to head to the ‘common sense’ department ASAP.