FORGET WHAT’S ACTUALLY TRENDING: Here’s what Cardiff University students would like to see trending in 2022

Words by Amy Wild

High street shops have been consumed with micro-trends and low-quality clothing. Cardiff should reintroduce old classic styles that are timeless and versatile to combat this era of fast fashion. One example of this is women’s pantsuits.

First popularized in the 60s, it was directly copied from men’s suits but tailored down to feminine proportions. There was confusion whether they were an insult to femininity or empowerment for women, which “disrespected men”, nevertheless women flocked to them. The power suit was introduced at the same time as the equal pay act in 1963, the civil rights act of 1964, the presidential act banning discrimination based on gender in 1967. By the 1980s, the percentage of women in the workforce had grown to over 50%, and the decade became known for the iconic “power suit”.

The pantsuit, to me, embodies the ambition to be taken as an equal force and shows confidence. To see the pantsuit walking down Cardiff Queen Street would bring new empowerment to women’s clothing.

To adapt the pantsuit to a modern audience, it could be seen in pinstripe or bright colours or add new textures like corduroy or linen. This new introduction could be inspired by 60s, 70s and 80s fashion, a high waisted silhouette with wide-leg or flared trousers, statement blazers and broad shoulders.

As Rhianna said when wearing a pantsuit to the Grammys in 2015, “There’s something sexy there because it’s about the intimacy: A woman is inside men’s clothes.”

I have introduced fitted waistcoats in my wardrobe, which I wear with mini skirts or flared trousers. It can be dressed up or down, to the club with a bralette or to lectures with a basic white T-shirt. I have also introduced suit trousers to my wardrobe. I pair it with a corset for clubbing or a crop top and leather jacket if I want to wear it more casually for lectures.

A pantsuit doesn’t necessarily mean wearing the complete set, but rather putting workpieces out of the context of the business place. It can breathe new life into seemingly mundane clothes in your wardrobe. Oversized or fitted suits can look stylish with everything already in your wardrobe, creating a classic yet chic look.

I would suggest hitting up charity shops for oversized men’s suits or Depop and Vinted for the more tailored style as the highest quality pantsuit doesn’t have to be expensive.

Words by Bryony Wright

2021 was the year of loungewear. In the aftermath of three lockdowns, nobody wanted to go back to dressing up in the tight jeans and uncomfortable workwear of the pre-pandemic era, and so joggers and hoodies crept out of the house and onto the streets. As well as this, we also saw trends such as utility clothing and yoga wear arise – combat trousers and heavy boots made a real comeback, alongside stretchy flares and leggings in calm, cool colours. Whilst these trends were great, they all had one thing in common. They were a bit…beige. More specifically, they were grey, brown, khaki, and black. What I’m saying is, they lacked colour. Enter – dopamine dressing.

Dopamine dressing sounds like a really scientific term, but in reality, it’s simple; it’s all about dressing with the intention of boosting your mood. Studies have found that colours, textures, and patterns can all have a major impact on our happiness– it’s why we cover our bedroom walls in our favourite colour as children and why, as slightly more reserved adults, we love funky socks. Dopamine dressing takes this one step further and suggests that we ditch the idea of boring, ‘grown up’ clothes in favour of dressing in whatever makes us happy.

The good news is dopamine dressing is surprisingly easy. You don’t need to clothe yourself head to toe in rainbow colours (although I’m not judging if you do!) – it really is as simple as choosing your choosing colours and designs that make you feel happy and confident, rather than with the intention of fitting in and following trends. A jumper in your favourite colour, a hat that reminds you of a happy memory, the socks you got for Christmas as a joke that still make you laugh – as long as it’s making you feel better, it’s dopamine dressing. It’s worth noting that dopamine dressing isn’t all about being bright and garish. If dressing in all-black or in a more subdued way is your style, go for it! The point is dressing in the clothes that YOU like, not the clothes that will make the world like you.

I think dopamine dressing is a great idea. As we get stuck back into uni work after Christmas, making getting dressed in the morning something to look forward to is a great way to motivate yourself for those 9 AM starts and beat the winter blues. Besides, a few jazzy jumpers and funky scarves are sure to brighten up a boring lecture theatre!