An anthropological look at how Cambridge students dress by subject
Or, enjoy this reporter low-key indirecting people she doesn’t know too well
Every student has had a moment of looking blankly around their lecture hall, buttery, or packed out subject library, and silently judging their fellow subject-takers for their choice of daytime apparel. It is in these times that this reporter has noticed a certain stylistic tendency adopted by all her fellow English students – and, following from this, has further realised that this extends to other subjects as well (this reporter is me, by the way, just trying to sound like I’m writing for some kind of gossip column from the 1950s). In other words, within each subject, everyone basically dresses the same.
Yes, at night, the vast majority of us blend into one homogenous group walking the narrow tightrope of “how close can I get to wearing pyjamas to the club without looking like I’m actually wearing pyjamas” – and you would therefore be hard-pressed to tell apart say, an Engineer and an English student in Cindies.
Come the ‘morrow, however, and we fall back into our subject-dictated fashion bubbles – and today, I am here to dissect those bubbles and give you this handy ILLUSTRATED (I spent two hours walking around gyps asking bewildered and confused people for photos, it was really embarrassing, please appreciate my efforts) guide to dressing for your subject, as well as recognising a Mathmo from twenty yards (hint: it’s in the jeans).
So, without further ado…
Not to sacrifice my journalistic integrity for internal biases or anything, but English students are definitely the best dressers at all universities, ever.
Watch out for: LAYERS (in particular: dungarees, on everybody, with rolled up socks and a nonchalant “this is a normal look for me” attitude – see photo), stripes (see photo), wavy garms (see photo), interesting accessories (see photo).
Also, if we’re honest, the entire current collection at Topshop at any given time, because we are actually much more basic than we think we are. Seriously, if Topshop are listening and want to sponsor my lecture hall on a Monday morning, please contact me immediately.
I can’t actually do this one because the boys I took photos of were all so nice that I feel really really bad. I would say that you can spot a Mathmo by the ill-fitting jeans, but also, superficiality and Western beauty standards are a societal construct and it is what is within the Mathmo’s heart of gold that counts.
Engineers love fleeces. They do! They LOVE them. I don’t know what the appeal is? Like, warmth or some other practical concern? The point stands, though, I have never EVER EVER in the forty-two minutes I spent trawling around college looking for Engineers, seen an Engineer wear anything but a fleece as outerwear.
Then again I am starting to think that when it comes to your choice in degree, you have two choices which are mutually exclusive: employability or a fashion sense. So like, yeah, whatever, you’ll all get amazing high-paying jobs while us Humanities students waste away as trainee baristas in Costa, but WE’LL LOOK REALLY GOOD DOING IT!!!!!!
One word: wavy. You can spot a social sciences student by their general vibes – expect cool trousers, those really wildly oversized jackets which are maybe actually shirts, looking like they exclusively shop at vintage weigh-and-pay markets but actually it’s probably River Island, and (in the case of this somewhat bemused looking model/representative for the entire HSPS cohort) a general attitude of being ready for the sesh.
As it turns out, the rest of you do not seem to have any particular sense of internal uniformity within your subjects, and thus you do not rate a place in this guide. Also, this intrepid reporter got very embarrassed about the amount of people she kind of knew that she was about to mildly insult in one of the biggest student newspapers in the world, and so decided to go back to her room and stop taking photos of people she had only known for two weeks.