ok losers it’s your girl polcry here to run you through the basics of what the darn heck to bring with you to university to cover your naked body
B A S I C S
If you’re edgy and ~minimalist~ these’ll probably comprise the majority of your wardrobe. Regardless, you’re going to want to bring at least a few each of these.
LEGGINGS: at least one black pair, possibly more if you’ve accepted the inevitability of not giving a shit how you look at for 9ams. You can also get funky and bring patterned ones if you so desire, you maverick.
JEANS: I prefer jeggings for the comfort feel and ability to do spontaneous high kicks, but if you’re a fashionista boyfriend or bootcut jeans are cool too. Trust me, the freshman fifteen is real and if you have to choose between a lil’ too big and a lil’ too small, go big. Belts exist for a reason.
T-SHIRTS: you can get a wide array of fits of tees, so bring a few of your favourite style in simple colours like white/black/grey/striped. I find slightly wearing a slightly oversized tee gives off a certain effortless vibe, especially if you tuck the front in to the waistband of jeans to give it an IDGAF drape and pair with cute AF shoes. Hella cute with no effort.
SWEATSHIRTS/JUMPERS/SWEATERS: I live in jumpers. I’m not going to lie. Go oversized with leggings or skinny jeans, maybe add a layer underneath if it’s a lil’ chilly. If you live somewhere that feels like the depths of Antartica, you might want to go with a finer knit and layer under and above. The struggle of getting a thick coat over a chunky jumper is real, guys. Turtlenecks, crew necks, V-necks. They’re all good. Avoid collecting too many sweatshirts with your university’s name on it, though - you will look over-enthusiastic.
SHOES: one word: COMFORT. Campuses are big places. Chances are, you’ll be walking a fair bit. I love trainers - I have a pair of black Nikes, a pair of white Reeboks and a black slip-on pair. Converse, Adidas, New Balance are all popular. They crop up on the feet of almost everyone. Look down, and I guarantee the vast majority of any university class are wearing trainers.
If you’re like me and enjoy torturing yourself, you can also wear heeled boots. I find them weirdly comfortable, probably due to my excessively hyperextended knees. Pointy ankle boots always look chic, but frankly people will be so surprised that you’ve made an effort that any type will impress. Zara’s always a good choice for cute boots.
I’d avoid opened-toed or flats that expose a lot of your foot during autumn/winter/spring. It’ll probably rain, and then you’ll be cold and miserable and have soggy feet. Wellies (or rainboots for you strange Yanks) are a good choice if you’ll be in a wet climate (hello England), but they can be a bit cumbersome. Try and get some lower-cut ones to reduce the weight and to stop you from stomping excessively.
COATS: this is pretty personal. Again, if it’s wet, I’d recommend something at least water-resistant. I have a North Face windbreaker that I keep in my car in case it starts tipping it down, but it’s not particularly warm. Leather/suede jackets look cute but are not a good choice if it looks like it might rain. Other than that, anything goes. I have a cute beige pea coat from ASOS that I love, and a shearling jacket from Bershka which is far too cool for a dork like me.
L O U N G E W E A R
PJs: buy yourself some new ones. Please. Your flatmates don’t want to see your lady parts through that ever-expanding hole in the crotch. Some university flats feel like the pits of hell, so it might be a good idea to bring a few pair of short PJs too. You can always swap them out for joggers or leggings when you’re not snoozin’. I can always find cute pyjamas in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Primark.
SWEATPANTS: as comfy as PJs but with the added bonus of being socially acceptable. Whether you prefer a tapered, slim fit or big ‘n’ baggy, make sure they’re stain-free and don’t smell funky. Bring a couple of pairs and rotate through as necessary.
BRAS: regardless of whether you have the athletic capabilities of a sloth or Michael Phelps, you will want to bring sports bras. Hides the nips with basically no discomfort. Bralettes are cute too, but I’m an advocate of sports bras if you’re just slugging out in front of Netflix and nobody is going to see it. Forever 21 do a massive selection of surprisingly pretty sports bras with all sorts of fancy backs. Not so good for exercising, but really the majority of people don’t wear sports bras to exercise.
F A N C Y
PARTYING: this will depend a little on where you attend university. For me, going out outfits are high-waisted jeans, a fancy-ish crop top and flat shoes of some description. Club floors get hella slippery. More casual dresses are fine too, but make sure you gauge what your friends are going to be wearing so you don’t look too overdressed.
EVENTS: bring a nice dress or trousers/shirt. There will be fancier events (sports balls, end of term balls, society balls). They don’t always require black tie, so a cocktail dress is a good choice. Boys, bring a suit jacket. It doesn’t have to be tails or a tux, but bringing a tailored blazer that’ll match or compliment a pair of trousers you own will come in handy. And absolutely NO JEANS. Along the same lines, bring at least one pair of smart shoes/heels. Ladies, flats are more than acceptable for fancy events. Just make sure they’re cute.
BUSINESSWEAR: “But Isabelle!” I hear you cry, “I’m in college! I don’t need businesswear!” Yes, my friend, yes you do. Interviews happen. You might need a part-time job, or get a spontaneous interview for an internship. Bring an office-appropriate skirt/trousers and a blouse/shirt, and some simple, smart shoes. You don’t have to go full-on Olivia Pope, but make sure you have one suitable outfit in your repertoire.
Q U I C K T I P S
Accessories make an outfit: bring a choice of belts, scarves and miscellaneous wraps or shawls. By throwing on a buckled belt and a cute layered necklace, you can go from meh to a-meh-zing.
Sign up for student discounts: British students, that means unidays. Register with your university email for discounts ranging from 10-25%. They’ll notify you when retailers that don’t have a permanent discount (like H&M) run promotions as well. Make sure you use your discount for eating out and going to the cinema, too!
Quality > quantity: the capsule wardrobe trend is real, folks. I’m an advocate of having a smaller, but better-made and better-fitting, wardrobe over one that’s overflowing and filled with cheap, low-quality clothing that’ll last a couple of wears. If you’re wearing pieces day-in day-out, make sure they’re flattering and of good quality. Having a smaller wardrobe makes moving in and out easier, too, and you’ll spend less time staring at all your clothes trying to mentally piece together something cute.
Expensive =/= good quality: along the same lines, just because something is pricy doesn’t automatically make it of good quality. You can get really good basics at affordable shops. Feel the material (and make sure it’s relatively opaque), make sure the stitching is solid, and that it doesn’t have pulls or piling or holes. I like New Look and ASOS for simple pieces.
Make an effort: it sounds silly, but lecturers and tutors do appreciate it when you don’t turn up looking like you’ve just rolled out of bed. Looking presentable makes them feel like you want to be there, which can make them a) like you more and b) more inclined to want to help you out if you need it. It isn’t that hard to put a pair of jeans and a blouse on instead of throwing a pair of joggers on under the T-shirt with ramen stains on that you slept in the night before, is it?
That’s pretty much it. University is a place to explore your own personal style, and you’ll see a massive variety in how people dress. Express yourself, learn what you like on, and don’t feel under pressure to dress a certain way! Style is definitely a creative outlet, so if you want to - use it and enjoy yourself!!
some immortality talk but mainly just malec fluff (aka my weakness).
“Alexander, hey,” whispered Magnus, softly stroking the hair out of Alec’s eyes. “It’s time to get up, come on.” Alec fluttered his eyes open to the beautiful sight of Magnus crouching at the edge of the bed. He groaned in protest but decided to keep his eyes open, soaking in the sight of early sun rays sweeping over Magnus’ face. His hair had blonde tips today.
Alec sighed. “It’s too early…” he complained. Magnus chuckled and climbed over Alec so he could sit cross-legged on the empty side of the bed. His shirt was sheer and buttoned low, just above where his belly button would’ve been to reveal his bare chest as well as the layers of necklaces that adorned it.
“I invited everyone over for breakfast,” stated Magnus. A small smile remained on his lips as he knew Alec would make a fuss.
Alec squinted on eye in suspicion. “Who’s everyone?” he asked slowly.
Magnus’ smile widened. “Clary, Isabelle, Simon-” Magnus cringed. “And Jace.” Alec further buried his face into his pillow.
“Why?” he groaned. Magnus laughed at his boyfriend and buried his hands into Alec’s hair.
“Because we need to make time for the people love, Alexander.” Magnus but his lip to try and contain his smile, failing miserably. It was a reaction that was now triggered by the simple mention of the word ‘love’. It reminded him of how much he loved Alexander. And how much he loved him back. Magnus leaned over Alec’s body and rolled him over to see his face, his hands remaining on the Shadowhunter’s chest.
Alec was pouting. “I don’t love Clary!” he exclaimed, dumbfounded. “Or Simon!” Magnus let out an endearing laugh and Alec joined in. They stared at each other, laughing at the statement at first but later in admiring each other’s smiles. Magnus leaned over and placed a short but intense kiss on Alec’s lips. Alec’s hand reached out to clasp Magnus’ face, pulling him closer in order to relish the feeling of his lips. Magnus smiled into the kiss, pulling away before they got carried away.
“Alexander, we are alive right now,” he whispered, Alec still in daze from the kiss. Memories of the past week, of Valentine’s attack on the Institute, of so many fellow Downworlders dying flashed through their minds. “And we have the opportunity to be together. Not everyone has that luxury.” Magnus cast his eyes low and Alec immediately felt guilty for resisting Magnus’ idea. Alec reached a hand over and squeezed Magnus’ fingers, his thumb tracing circles on the back of his hand. Alec softly tugged on his fingers so that Magnus would look at him and smiled.
“Do you miss your friends?” he whispered.
Magnus smiled and shook his head fondly. “Deeply,” he replied warmly, but not sadly. Alec was glad that Magnus wasn’t upset. He slid himself over to Magnus who was still seated next to him and laid his head on Magnus’ lap. Magnus’ hands went to Alec’s hair and face almost instinctively, feeling every inch as if he were to disappear at any time.
“I’m sorry,” Alec said, gripping Magnus’ wrist.
“Don’t apologise for my immortality.” Magnus scoffed as though it was the most ludicrous thing Alec could’ve said.
Alec shook his head. “I’m sorry that I won’t be able to stay.” Magnus felt his heart swell. He couldn’t believe that the boy in front of him was real, that he cared as much as he did.
Magnus leaned down and placed a kiss on Alec’s forehead, burying his face in the boy’s raven hair, inhaling his scent as if it were a drug. “I will always love you, Alexander.”