A knitted turtleneck and mum jeans. 

This is an outfit for running errands; these are items of clothing you grab from your floor on a crisp winter’s morning before running to a lecture; however, this is not acceptable club attire.

I will never quite forget my first night of Freshers Week. We were all kindred spirits in these moments: nervously getting ready in your new dorm, agonising over the perfect balance of ‘smart casual’, wondering whether there is an absolute Truth and Beauty to be found in the perfect ‘nice top and jeans’ combination. PT’s was the motive and expectations were already set low; but everything changed when we first arrived and I saw a girl wearing a knitted turtleneck and mum jeans, attempting to mosh to ABBA before 11pm. 

Oxford, this is not okay. Some of the brightest and best minds of our generation may be enrolled here, but you are not exempt from the all-seeing and scrutinising gaze of the fashion world. Anna Wintour rests comfortably atop the western cultural hierarchy like a chic Doctor T. J. Eckleburg in vintage Chanel sunglasses.

On the other hand, who can blame you? Perhaps you aren’t even aware of the faux pas you are committing. So, to lend a helping hand, I have drawn up this handy-dandy guide to what you should and shouldn’t be wearing to each of Oxford’s favourite clubs:

Park End

So, you’ve come to Park End. You are either fresh from a crew date or you unashamedly love cheese, chart music and VKs; your fashion reflects this. Lads are in their finest soiled white shirts (sport-specific paraphernalia optional) or North Face tees, the fabric clings to your bodies in anticipation of the sweat and drink stains that await. Girls, you’ve thrown on your favourite Topshop Joni Jeans because they’re comfortable and reliable and you’ve worn them for the last six years straight, so why would you stop now? Literally any vest/halter/racerback crop top or Fruit of the Loom t-shirt will prove to be a winning combo. 

Plush

As the only designated LGBTQ+ club in Oxford, Plush is a breeding ground for all kinds of mayhem, fashion included. Not one person will be suitably dressed for any event: mesh tops and bra-lets worn under parkas and blazers, glitter and face paint with button down shirts. 

There is no set uniform for Plush, simply due to the plurality of persons that climb (or gracefully descend) its treacherous stairs and haunt its sweat-filled coves; however, most outfits will be an iteration of each’s ‘pulling outfit’ with a touch of conservatism. Bonus points are given to those untamable bacchanalians that turn up to the club in the same outfit they’ve worn all day, but chuck on a choker or anything with mesh; y’all are truly wild.

Bridge

Bridge is the domain of Oxford’s fashion elite (when there are no events on at the Bully or O2). Students throng to its hallowed queue in their biggest baggy trousers, layers upon layers of chains and oversized t-shirts on top of oversized t-shirts. To fit into the crowd your trainers should be near death, the only acceptable jacket style is puffer – North Face preferable – and your hair should be centre parted: this is a rule strictly enforced on the door for all, so beware those with cow licks and non-standard partings/styles: you have been warned. 

Fever

Anything. You could be wearing literally anything. You’ve just had a bop, a formal, you’ve just left the library. Fever is the domain of the bottom of the laundry basket: that top that you brought with you ‘just in case’, that t-shirt with the small stain you hope no one notices. Everything and nothing can fly in the velvet-covered walls of this place. The best style advice possible is wear a face-shielding hat.. and no Superdry.