How to ‘actually’ make a quarter-zip look nice

Since there isn’t an item of clothing that Cambridge loves to see more, here’s how to make sure you’re wearing it right


Now, I don’t know about you, but before I came to Cambridge, I was completely unaware of the sheer importance of owning a quarter-zip. There I was, thinking that hoodies and sweatshirts were the way to go when it came to athleisure and looking cute whilst staying comfy.

Turns out that this just isn’t the case in Cambridge. You see, in Cambridge you’ll hear things like “Woah, did you see that quarter zip?!” or “I don’t know what I’d do without my quarter-zip.” I don’t know what it is about them, but there’s something about the quarter-zip that gives the average Cambridge student a fashion-boner like no other.

I vowed to my friends back home that I wouldn’t let Cambridge change me – that I wouldn’t give in to the quarter-zip wearing life – but alas, here I am. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, but join ‘em doing it better than they do.

Here’s four ways to style a quarter-zip, to make it actually look nice. Featuring: some faceless modelling in Downing College accommodation.

1. Dressing it up

If a quarter-zip is just too casual a look for someone as put-together and productive as you are, why not pair it with a blazer and trousers?

Image may contain: Human, Person, Coat, Overcoat, Clothing, Apparel

Add a blazer to dress things up a bit (Photo credit: Leila Lawrence)

But to make sure that we know you're not completely uptight, pair this look with a pair of slightly beat-up New Balance trainers.

Image may contain: High Heel, Human, Person, Shoe, Footwear, Clothing, Apparel

Trainers make everything better. (Photo credit: Leila Lawrence)

2. Keeping it casual

Here's a classic fleece quarter-zip look, which some of you may have even worn a few times yourselves. Over a T-shirt and with some straight-leg jeans, this is certainly a low-effort but stylish look.

Image may contain: Denim, Jeans, Staircase, Long Sleeve, Person, Human, Sleeve, Pants, Apparel, Clothing, Banister, Handrail

What better way to keep warm than with a fleece? (Photo Credit: Leila Lawrence)

And once again, don't forget to add trainers!!

Image may contain: Face, Sneaker, Person, Human, Footwear, Shoe, Denim, Jeans, Clothing, Pants, Apparel

Those beat-up Air Force 1s just add to the student vibe. (Photo credit: Leila Lawrence)

3. Mixing it up

If you really want to challenge your quarter-zip-wearing abilities, it might be time to wear a quarter-zip with items of clothing you never thought it went with. Lo and behold… a quarter-zip… over a dress. Paired with some custom Air Force 1s, I don't think that there's a more comfortable look than that.

Image may contain: Woman, Skirt, Robe, Evening Dress, Fashion, Gown, Pants, Sleeve, Flooring, Dress, Female, Human, Person, Footwear, Shoe, Clothing, Apparel

Dress-down a dress with a quarter-zip. (Photo credit: Leila Lawrence)

Image may contain: Coat, Overcoat, Fashion, Sweater, Human, Person, Long Sleeve, Sleeve, Apparel, Clothing

The contrast of texture and pattern adds another dimension to this simple look. (Photo credit: Leila Lawrence)

4. Add some leather

Throw a (faux) leather jacket over it. That's about it.

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A simple way to make it look like you put more effort in than you actually did. (Photo credit: Leila Lawrence)

It'll come as no surprise to you that we paired this with trainers (Air Force 1s) again. Plus, some black satin cargo pants to keep up the theme of 'comfortable but put together'.

Image may contain: Pants, Leather Jacket, Long Sleeve, Sleeve, Human, Person, Footwear, Shoe, Jacket, Coat, Apparel, Clothing

The quarter-zip adds a pop of colour to break up the outfit. (Photo credit: Leila Lawrence)

Now there you have it: four fun ways to wear a quarter-zip.

So please, for the love of Cambridge stash, stop solely wearing your quarter-zips with leggings and joggers. Life's too short for boring outfits.

Cover photo credit: Leila Lawrence