As my time at university is coming to an unfortunate end, I cannot help but reflect on what I've learnt and how I have developed over the past four years. Procrastination at its best really. One thing I have learnt though is that students can come across as the worst dressed people. Of course, I'm not THAT much of a fashion fascist. I don't go around campus judging you for what you are wearing (not all the time anyway). However, I spend most of my life on my own campus or other campuses across Dublin and students don't seem to give a damn about how they look.
Granted, a lot of people who are beginning their college lifestyles still have a lot of growing up to do (I certainly did) and their perception of style only includes themselves in their own little world - it doesn't hurt to make a little bit of effort in the mornings.
Finding your own sense of style is a slow process. But college is the perfect place to find it. You no longer have to be dragged around the high street stores by your mother and you don't have to wear those horrible clothes because "ooh, that looks nice". We have all been there. You are completely free to make your own decisions and spend all your money within the first three weeks of term.
Beginning the process of finding your own style whilst studying allows you to experiment and push your own boundaries. You want to stand out from the crowd, not because you are the idiot who wears his onsie every now and again, but because you look good at every lecture and every seminar. Dressing well makes a huge difference to how people perceive you, how people treat you and well, whether or not they'll sleep with you.
However, while we would all love to spend huge amounts of money on clothes, we have to eat and then drinking has to take priority over eating. For those of us who go around shops with more cobwebs than cash, it's always easiest to look for inspiration. Whether you have one specific style icon in mind, or casually pick up ideas as you walk around, it's those small ideas that always make us wonder, "could I actually pull that off?" Look to a favourite celebrity, a band, a best friend, even a randomer on the street. And if you can't afford what you see, then just simply find the same basic principles, details, colors, textures and patterns. You don't have to spend €400 on a jacket when you can get the same look for €20. But then again, who am I to talk.
Students are young and increasingly image conscious people and we are arguably at the fore front of developing fashion. Students consume all the latest trends, push many boundaries and exist in a world that constantly provides inspiration and ideas.
Yet, many still don't understand the difference between being interested in how they look and being able to dress themselves well. Loads of money isn't needed, just effort.