Words and Photos by Anna Kerslake
While Freshers is going to be a very different experience for those going to Cardiff this year, there is still a need to brainstorm outfit ideas that will give people you meet a good first impression of you and your style. As a third year looking back at what I choose to wear to Freshers week, I’m slightly disappointed in my choices. While the outfits were nice, there are a few things I would have done differently, namely being more expressive of my personality through my clothing. I stuck to quite bland clothing during freshers.
When I first moved in to my first year flat, I opted to wear a Primark top with a Friends slogan on it, as well as some jeans and trainers. While I now personally think the top I wore was hideous, it was a great conversation starter that gave me and my new flatmates something to talk about (and led to the discovery that I was living with one Friends fanatic who I still live with now)! I’d definitely say comfort is key when moving into your new flat, as you’ll have a lot of boxes to carry up potentially a lot of stairs. I’d recommend some kind of jeans or joggers combination, with a top that expresses a little something about you.
Going Out Out / Cocktails
Now for the all-important going out outfits. While clubbing is off the cards for the next few months, it’s still lovely to get dressed up and take some Instagram worthy photos. One important thing I must stress is that heels is the worst idea possible for going out. Cardiff requires you to either shell out for a ten-pound taxi or walk for thirty minutes, both of which are not ideal. Trust me when I say that your trainers are the best option, no one will be looking at your feet anyway. If you want to feel a little taller I recommend going for some heeled boots – they’ll provide some comfort and height to your outfit. A bodycon/tight fitting dress is a classic choice for a night out, although I would advocate adding a suit or leather jacket to go along with it. It adds a bit more style and thought into the outfit, while also giving you some protection from Cardiff’s changeable weather.
By far my favourite outfit I wore during freshers was a red dress with a white T-shirt underneath which I wore on the first time I visited Blackweir Tavern. The outfit was, for me, the right amount of comfort while also still being fun. I may have also worn a leather bum-bag to go with it, and I’ll be honest, it was a look! It was practical and did fit the outfit I was wearing. I’d recommend going for a small over the shoulder bag instead, it’s more fashionable and has enough room to hold other people’s stuff as well (trust me, someone will ask you to hold onto their phone at some point, especially if the night turns into a boozier night than initially anticipated). If you’re not a dress person, the classic jeans and a nice top combination will work well also. In the photoshoot I had for this article, I opted for some paperbag-style jeans with a monochromic patterned top. I feel that this gives a bit more interest and excitement to the outfit, rather than it being plain.
Meeting your course mates for the first time and getting to grips with university work is a scary prospect, so you better be dressed for the occasion! While you will probably end up going to lectures hungover in pyjamas towards the end of the year, that doesn’t mean that you can’t start with style. I find it’s easier to focus on work when you look the part, so I would advocate for some smart-casual styling.
Overall, I would honestly tell freshers not to worry too much about clothing choice for freshers! The most important thing is that you feel comfortable enough to have fun and chat openly with the people around you. If you spend too much time worrying about how you look, you’ll forget to have fun. Just make sure you feel good, and try to be as sociable as you can for the first week or two. Good luck, and I hope you have a good first year!