For/Against: Making an Effort for Lectures

We go head to head on that vital style issue: should you make an effort for lectures?

dressing up for/against Lectures


“That girl who’s always really dressed up in lectures” is how my friend described a fellow student of ours during a conversation. It’s quite telling that we all immediately knew who she was referring to. “Haha” we collectively giggled, in a poor attempt to conceal the fact that we were really just jealous haters.
How tempting it is to grab the nearest items of clothing of your bedroom floor and dash to a lecture, without so much as a fleeting look at a reflective surface along the way. After all, no one cares, right? Everyone will be too hungover or tired to notice? People wouldn’t appreciate your incredible style anyway if you did bother?  So I may have thought, but after religiously practising the “making NO effort whatsoever for lectures” approach, it eventually dawned on me that I just looked like a complete mess on a daily basis.

I pondered this sad revelation as I sat in a 9am lecture. Wearing a clashing mix of unwashed stash and trackies, with remains of makeup smeared across my face and bedhead hair (unfortunately of the unkempt, not sexy, variety), the answer dawned on me : some sort of effort is just necessary.
Making a bit of effort (usually proportional to either lack of sleep had or amount of alcohol still in system) will make you feel more human and ready to face the world. Really. You don’t have to suddenly become high maintenance at 8am (who has the time?) but honestly, making the time to curl your eyelashes, spritz yourself with perfume, or wear something other than skinnies and stash might make that 9am more bearable. Ladies, it’s like wearing amazing underwear: just because no one else notices it doesn’t mean you don’t feel ten times better for wearing it. And that confidence boost, my friends, may be the difference to between your faculty hottie seeing them or not…

Not making any effort at all for lectures leads to a snowball effect of bad consequences. Obviously you will probably look terrible, and feel even worse as a result. You might end up not speaking to people in an effort for them not to notice your hideous state. This could lead to you gaining an anti-social reputation, and all because you couldn’t be bothered to make a token effort in the morning. Even worse is a rare sighting of an occasional fittie around your faculty. Quel dommage if this happens to be on a day when you haven’t made an effort… while your friends bat their mascara’d eyelashes all you can do is hope for your UGG boots to swallow you whole.

So what’s the solution? While it would be impossible to meticulously plan perfect, photoshoot-worthy outfits for every day, taking even five seconds to settle on a vaguely coherent selection of clothes means you won’t be paranoid when you step outside  Having a wardrobe well stocked with classic basics is useful for quick, low-risk mixing and matching. Glance at the mirror before you leave your room.
I’m probably mostly preaching to the converted as well as those rare but aggravating people who can’t help but look good at ALL times (in lectures/out of lectures/having made no effort/having made a conscious effort to look bad…) But to that minority group who makes no effort at all for lectures? Please make an effort, even the tinest token effort will do – it’s for your own sake.


I have a sneaking suspicion that I am the wrong girl to be arguing for the opposition in this one.  As many of my fellow English students will confirm; I (and we as a species) DO (although we’re unlikely to admit it) make an effort for lectures.
On many (let’s be honest, several) a term-time morning, I lethargically stumble through the Downing Site; wishing that, at least with regards to time spent getting ready; my spiritual home was the Department of Pathology, rather than the armchairs of my own faculty library.

The medic/vet/natsci girls (and guys) DO look good.  They look good at Fez, The ADC and The Maypole.  They look good at Formal, Weekend Brunch and the College Bar.
At 9 o’clock lectures, they look ok. Boys in MedSoc Stash, Girls in MedSoc stash; Boys in loose jeans and trainers, Girls in loose jeans and trainers…
Furthermore, I’m told by a very good college husband, and an extremely reliable source, that it gets even more relaxed in exam term.  Apparently, both boys and girls regress swiftly into pyjama bottoms and, well, whatever shoes they can find.  Also, I hear that the population of glasses-wearers increases ten fold, and make-up is not even an option.

By no means though, do they look bad.  But nowhere to be seen is the meticulously-back-combed-hair; or the thoughtfully-applied-eyeliner; or even the bobbly-charity-shop-jumper worn with such super-skinny jeans that Noel Fielding would, literally, run for his life.
And that’s only the real-mccoy-artsy-types who call Sidgwick home.  The lawyers are an entirely different breed altogether.
One sunny morning last April, myself and two other similarly whimsical English types made the mistake of dreamily drifting into the Law Faculty.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love lawyers, some of my best friends are lawyers…BUT, not only is one forced upon entrance to hide from a stampede of career-driven-stash-clad-generally-purposeful-people; but now and then, they are in heels…with skirts!
And what’s more, my fashionable friends; I am not talking nice, normal, distressed denim/ bodycon/ floral print; I mean pencil, with a blouse!
In dressing for the job about two years prematurely, the lawyers seem to have forgotten what uni should really about.  That is, of course, getting a good degree; but in the three years between start and finish, we should also take the time to rough it a little.  At least three times a term we should find ourselves being dragged out of bed, pushed blinking into the sunlight, and wishing we were back in the warmth of our quilt with every-head-splitting-step to lectures.

The nub and the gist of my argument is, there is no point looking good before lunch, and if you have time to look that good in the morning – you’re doing something wrong.  In fact, if you are making it to the Sidgwick before 9am at all, you should have been doing something more fun the evening before!
Do yourselves a favour; make like the medics and save your killer outfits for the sociable hours (any time after 3pm).  Not only will you gain some valuable sleepy time, but you will lift some of the pressure off of my shoulders too.