As much as you want it to, it’s unlikely that your student bank balance will allow for frequent Prada purchases. Your best bet for a stylish year on a tight budget? Investing in some timeless staple pieces that will never fall victim to the fickle nature of fashion.
So, as a favour to you, I’ve curated the ideal capsule wardrobe which will not only prevent you from blowing your entire student loan on new threads every week, but will also keep you looking sharp from Monday lectures to meetings with professors.
First things first. When arriving on campus in September, you’ll need something to stop those showers from drenching your ensemble. This Rains jacket not only does the job well, but it’s also light enough to scrunch up into your bag when arriving to lectures.
Almost every day you’ll be wearing a t-shirt around campus. Why? You can wear it with a flannel shirt, under a sweater or simply by itself. So make sure you opt for a variety of plain crewnecks (because who wears V-necks anymore?) in muted colours as they’ll go with almost anything you wear. Perfect for post-library drinks, the gym or lounging around in.
3. Oxford shirt
The Oxford shirt is perhaps one of the most underrated items a student can have. It hits the formal-casual sweet spot. Smarten up with a knitted tie for dressier social occasions (such as society dinners), or wear with the top button open for the pub. Better still, throw it on the day after a night out and it’ll help offset any signs of dishevelment.
4. Selvedge jeans
It sounds obvious, but make sure to buy some quality denim. No, not the type you’ve been wearing for the past years. You know, the acid-washed ones with holes in the knees. Instead pick up some dark, slim-fitting selvedge jeans. Not only are they a failsafe item that will pair well with whatever your upper body is donning, but more importantly they’re crafted to last you throughout your degree and beyond.
5. Slim chinos
When jeans and joggers just won’t cut it, the chino is your essential go-to item as it can be easily dressed up or down. Wear with your Oxford shirt for a preppy vibe or with a marl grey t-shirt for those lazy days when you want to seem effortlessly stylish. Plus, it’s always a win to have an extra pair of trousers when you forget to wash the others.
6. White sneakers
This purchase is a no-brainer as the modern Stan Smith silhouette is possibly the most versatile sneaker you can own. The stripped-back, logo-less design allows these kicks to work just as well at a formal function as they do in the pub. Another positive is that they look luxe without the designer price tag.
7. Desert boots
If you’re not at a Russell group uni, chances are that you won’t need a pair of lace-up Oxford shoes. So, for some stylish formal footwear that you can get the most wear out of, opt for the desert boot. Equally at home with smart trousers as they are with jeans, they’ll help you through most occasions. And if they’re good enough for Noel Gallagher, they’re good enough for you.
You’ll be doing a lot of activities during your degree. Running late to lectures, midday snack-hunting outings and, more importantly, dancing your Friday nights away. With all that in mind, make sure to buy some hardy socks in a breathable material (preferably cotton) in order to keep the odours at bay. This five-pack not only fits the bill, but it also has a longer lifespan than hundreds of cheap pairs, meaning there’s no more excuses for those unnecessary toe-pokes.
A fundamental part of uni life is growing up. It’s time to part with the cartoon-laden underwear of your teen years and buy some which are a tad more sophisticated. This multi-pack is hard to beat in terms of fit, style and value for money.
Like all students, you’ll be carrying around a laptop and some books on a daily basis, so make sure you buy a backpack that’s not only tough enough to withstand some wear-and-tear, but will also fit in with the rest of your wardrobe. This understated Jack & Jones roll top should do the trick.
Many may view the holdall as an unnecessary luxury, but trust us it’s an affordable investment piece that’ll help you lug around all your essentials either to the gym, during those budget city breaks or when you visit your family back home.
Words: Josh Lee
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