You’re not fashionable, you’re unoriginal

Who else got Topshop vouchers for christmas?

argument birmingham fashion topshop UoB

An epidemic is sweeping campus.

It’s everywhere you go. Chances are, it might have already gotten to you.

This, my friends, is an epidemic of fashion: you know, the look that pretty much every girl on campus is trying to achieve right now?

You know the one. Big scarf, big coat, big brows, and black boots.
Yeah, that look.

You know "the look"

‘You know, “the look”‘

I’ll happily make the confession that I too have fallen pray to squandering my student loan to achieve this uber-fashionable look.

When checked scarfs, black skinny jeans, and black boots started to creep into high street shops, I rejoiced that I could finally display my super-cool-edginess without having to relive the disaster of my former emo days.

I’d wrap myself up in my tartan scarf and pleather-trimmed oversized coat, don a pair of jeans blacker than hell itself and strut around campus like I was the coolest, edgiest girl in Birmingham. Until one day I realised that I wasn’t – because everybody else was doing the same damn thing.

It hit me quite suddenly during a dreary Wednesday morning seminar. I looked around my seminar group, then down at my new tartan scarf, then back up at my seminar group.


I think all but two of us were wearing pretty much the exact same outfit. And all of a sudden my unique, edgy feeling drained away. It was almost as if River Island had opened the door and vomited all over the room. Gross.

Sure, the point of fashion is that it’s popular. And popularity means that more than one person likes something, right? But when consumerist culture has literally got us all wearing the exact same thing, it’s kind of a little bit embarrassing.

Well one of us is going to have to get changed…

In fact, a Dutch photographer spent 20 years documenting just how embarrassingly unoriginal we are.

So with the 160 shops in the Bullring alone, and a huge campus full of diverse and interesting people, what ever happened to originality?

Sure “the look” that we all seem to be going for is pretty cool, and those oversized coats are definitely keeping us warm, but I can’t be the only person feeling just slightly guilty for buying into clothing conformity after walking past 20 girls with the same scarf as me.

For all we know, our complicity is just the beginning of some Orwellian nightmare controlled by those in Topshop Towers.

All those with Chelsea boots say "aye"

All those with Chelsea boots say “aye”

But alas, I am no fashion guru. I am no pioneer. And I, too, am outrageously unoriginal.

We’re probably all going to continue wearing “the look” until the next cool thing comes along, and I’m not going to say we shouldn’t.

Maybe we should just question why we want to in the first place? Is it because we want to be cool? Or do we secretly just want to fit in?

Who knows, but I guess until we figure it out, we’ll all just have to continue in our insanely unoriginal ways.