Nine ways to style your Cambridge puffer jacket this term

Featuring both pre- and post-pandemic outfits to help you live out your Cambridge dreams

Let’s face it, these past few months haven’t turned out how Cambridge students intended them to. Yet, one loss which stands out, even above the closure of Fez, is the opportunity to wear our puffer jackets relentlessly – or so you thought. Whether you miss sipping cheap wine at formals, are lamenting that Crushbridge which you never got, or just want to imagine Cambridge life in the pre-covid era, then we have the outfit for you to reminisce being in Cambridge and get the maximum use out of your beloved puffer. 

Whilst some of the styles will remind you of when life was a blur of clubs, socials, and lectures, others offer a way to spice up your virtual degree. And stay reading for the outfit that just screams Cambridge (whether you’re in a pandemic or not).

So have a look, recreate this at home, and check out the TikTok version: 

1. Catch yourself a Crushbridge

Don’t forget that main character energy (Credit: Poppy Robinson and Sebastian Ballard via the Creative Common’s Licence)

Remember when those (non-) assuming humanities students in their bright attire would get all the Crushbridges that their hearts desired? We miss it as much as you do. You’ll need a pair of brightly coloured trousers (to stop that admirer in their tracks) and an even brighter tote bag (just in case they don’t notice the trousers).

2. *Spice up* those online lectures

Surely there’s no way for the supervisor to tell that you’ve just rolled out of bed? (Credit: Liberty Leonard-Shaw)

Nothing says academic rigour than wearing your Cambridge puffer to your lectures. Not only will it keep you toasty warm, but it will show your supervisor your college commitment.

Vital to this look are pyjamas as the beauty of zoom classes means you’re only ever visible from the waist up- why bother getting dressed? You’ll also need some form of entertainment. Yes, I know the lecture itself is supposed to be entertainment, but you need something to do in the breaks you take on your phone every five minutes (TikTok or online shopping anyone?).

3. Virtual Halfway hall

Why not have a virtual formal with friends in your puffers? (Credit: Poppy Robinson and Geograph via the Creative Common’s Licence)

Along with most of my work ethic, my college gown was left in Cambridge, however, the puffer can be an appropriate substitute. You’ll also require a wine glass (any glass will be an upgrade from those tiny college ones) and a penny (an innovative way to make your sibling down that soy-sauce cocktail you made them ). Now put on that spectacular formal attire and tell me you don’t feel fabulous.

4. Mainsbury’s from home

Never underestimate the amount of bags you might need (Credits: Liberty Leonard-Shaw and Geograph via Creative Commons License)

There is no adventure that can quite live up to going to the ‘big shop’. Seeing that every usual realm of fun has been shut down, we’ve had to get creative with entertaining ourselves. Why not shock your local Tescos by rocking up in this outfit? Or challenge your friends to find the cheapest ingredients for a three-course meal? The possibilities are truly endless. 

Firstly, you’ll need lots and lots of bags. Bonus points if they’re reusable so everyone knows how *environmental* you are as you hover near the hummus section. Also, given the chances you might be buying alcohol, don’t forget that ID.  Lastly, a face mask combines safety with an opportunity to wear more college stash!

5.  Reminiscing the Fez dancefloor

Did I ever think that I would miss the mosh pit? Probably not (Credit: Poppy Robinson and Tripadvisor via the Creative Common’s Licence)

Oh to dance the night away under some stranger’s armpit, belting out Mr Brightside and sipping VKs like there’s no tomorrow. Though most puffers are immediately put in the cloakroom upon entry, you can’t deny their ability to withstand near artic temperatures on the walk home.

We may have lost Fez, but it will be in your memory as you don that lightweight cute top or shirt with sweat absorption in mind. As there’s no point wasting a nice pair of shoes on that extra yager bomb you dropped by accident, you’ll also need the shabbiest pair of shoes you own. Why not take it further and add a fanny pack just to get that festival feel? 

6. Stash on stash on stash 

Nothing screams fresher like wearing all your stash at once? (Credits: Liberty Leonard-Shaw and Geograph via Creative Commons License)

What better way to make up for your lost sense of identity this year by living and breathing stash? (freshers we see you). Plus, it’s a great way to remind your family, neighbours, and everyone on that socially distanced walk, that you go to Cambridge- just in case they forgot. Simply chuck on every single item of stash you own. Puffer, check. Mask, check. Towel? Why not. 

7. To be edgy once more

Are any other art students having an identity crisis or is it just me? (Credit: Poppy Robinson and Wikimedia commons via Creative Common’s Licence)

Like many humanities students, I miss the fashion shows that were my in-person lectures. Although I can’t drink my organic latte at Hot Numbers or attend  Art in the Dark, I can still re-live my arty dreams through my outfits (and going to Queen’s virtual Art festival of course).

You’ll need as big a pair of earrings as you can find (how else are you going to make a statement?), loose flowing fabrics in as many prints as you can muster and a hand painted mug that begs the question: did you craft that yourself?

8. Re-live a slightly grim Grantchester walk

Test out your puffer by pitting it against the Beast from the East (Credits: Liberty Leonard-Shaw and Geograph via Creative Commons License)

Nature: the perfect antidote to staying inside your bedroom all day in your pyjamas. Grab a hat, scarf, and about twenty layers of jumpers and go for a freezing cold walk. We suggest layering the puffer and (college) jumpers for maximum college pride and warmth. Bring along a hot drink to ward off that Beast from the East (bonus points for a stash thermos) and don’t forget wellies because it will be muddy.

9. The staple Cambridge outfit (pandemic or not)

Yes those are the new KFC crisps and no they are not worth the hype (Credit: Poppy Robinson and Wikimedia commons via Creative Common’s Licence)

With or without a library to go to, the essays and worksheets still reign down upon us. What better way to cheer yourself up before an impending deadline by making yourself as comfortable as possible? You’ll need comfy clothing to soften your supervisor’s comments, a hoard of snacks, and a delightful pair of fluffy socks to show high fashion who’s really in charge.

Lockdown has taken away many of our choices at the moment, but one way to make yourself feel better is by playing dress-up. Whether it helps you relive the past or reminisce over the memories that you never made, it’s certainly the most fun that we’ve had in a while! 

Feature image credit: Camfess, Poppy Robinson and Sebastian Ballard and Liberty Leonard-Shaw and Geograph via Creative Commons License

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