What to wear: ARCSOC’s Pic N Mix

Outfit inspiration for the most delicious night of the term

You’d better get over that ‘non-covid cough’ real quick and start raiding your wardrobe because ARCSOC returns to Cambridge on 18th October with Pic N Mix, their sweetest night yet.

For those unaware, the Architecture Society’s reputation for the artiest, edgiest nights out in all of Cam is fuelled mostly by the vaguest dressing up themes money can (or cannot) buy. Pic N Mix, ARCSOC’s grand return after more than a year, is no exception. 

Like the dodgiest of Instagram poets, ARCSOC writes: 

“All outfits must be tooth-achingly colourful – eye wateringly wacky – mouth-wateringly sweet.”

Though the prospect of the entire architecture student body in attendance seems too edgy to be true, never fear! With the help of this list and a little DIY magic, even the most basic NatSci will find themselves looking good enough to eat.

You just Pick. Then you Mix.

The beauty of Pic N Mix is that anything is up for grabs as long as it’s as confusing as physically possible (this principle can be applied to all ARCSOC events, to be fair.) As such, we’re starting off with the absolute bare minimum of expectations. Easily achieved through a bit of thrifting or communal wardrobe raiding, this approach is best summarized as ‘create the stupidest looking outfit you can find… and then proceed to rock it.’ 

We’re looking for clashing textures, weird colour combinations, and the ugliest and most garish patterns. I’m sure the most committed among you could find yourselves rivalling Gucci with very little difficulty. After all, high fashion is just looking so wrong that it’s right. 

Ignasi monreal’s Gucci SS18 campaign, Gucci AW20 campaign

Pic n Mix – the remix

For a nod to some fashion-forward musicians consider those who have Picked and Mixed before us: Doja Cat, Harry Styles, and Tyler the Creator, to name a few. 

Note the sheer abundance of accessories; Maybe it’s finally time for the Claire’s on Market Street to shine?

Tyler the Creator – Lumberjack, Doja Cat – Tia Tamera, Harry Styles – Watermelon Sugar

Iconic Pop Culture 

Aside from the music videos already mentioned, you have a treasure trove of iconic, candy-coated pop culture moments to choose from. Any single second of Katy Perry’s California Gurls video has enough going on to give you a sugar rush. My personal favourite moment is the ‘candy girl scout with cookie beret’. 

On the flip side, any of the characters from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are up for grabs, bar Charlie himself who is disappointingly bland in the sartorial department. And, of course, the classic chic of Cristina Aguilera in her Candyman video is probably the classiest you could dress for an ARCSOC night. 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) California Gurls (2010) Candyman (2006)

Wrapped up

Think outside the box, consider textures too! Get crafty with a glue gun and create a cellophane ‘fit, or channel that mars bar wrapper with some reflective clothing. Perhaps you could staple together those Sains bags you’ve been saving for a rainy day or get even more adventurous with your housemate’s tin foil. The key is to make an outfit so audible that everyone on King’s parade knows exactly where you’re headed. 

Tim Rice photography, Jellie jacket by Cyberdog, Craig Mcdean editorial, Grazia

Good enough to Eat 

Finally, taking the theme literally might just be the most mouth-watering means of getting snapped by the ARCSOC paparazzi. Nothing says commitment more than a candy-covered fit. Perhaps you might consider which sweet treat best exemplifies your personality. Are you a yummy gummy worm or a mysterious parma violet? A perfect Percy Pig or a lowly sour skittle? Why not risk it all in some edible underwear! (note: this move is not by ARCSOC.) The goal is to look as delicious as humanly possible to pull in some sweethearts – it’s cuffing season after all! 

Nerds and Gumball Costumes, Katy Perry in California Gurls (2006), Jelly Bean DIY costume

Don’t be scared, grab a bag and get pickin’! You’ll have a suitably saccharine outfit in no time. And just remember, all plain black t-shirts will be barred from entry lest they ruin our sweet sweet vibes.

ARCSOC is the Cambridge University Architecture Society. If you haven’t already got your sticky fingers on a Pic N Mix ticket, there are limited tickets on the door from 11pm on the 18th. Follow their Facebook and Instagram so you don’t miss the next delicious event.

Feature image credits: ARCSOC Pic n Mix on Facebook