University of Edinburgh

The resurgence of Gap hoodies – a worrying sign that Edinburgh’s vintage clothing trend has gone a step too far

Please leave ‘Gap girls’ in the 90s

Over the last few years, students lucky enough to have any spare cash to spend on clothes have been leaning increasingly further away from mainstream high-street shops like Topshop and more towards ‘indie’ clothing outlets that sell vintage and one-of-a-kind wavy garms.

Long gone are the days of colour-coordinating your outfits and dressing up to the nines to impress your ex in the lecture for the module you unfortunately share. Nowadays, the more fashionable students among us prefer to wear flared jeans, printed headbands, oversized vintage hoodies, and a fur coat from a thift store, all at once in a bold, mismatched montage of clashing hipsterness.

Yeah Lizzie’s peng but that hoodie is nasty – sorry babes.

That said, individuality is key, and coming from a generation of youths who all wore the same uniform look of head-to-toe Hollister, Abercrombie, or Jack Wills, it is refreshing to see such a variety of eccentric, individual looks. Vintage clothing, whether it be sourced through Depop or ya da’s old wardrobe – trust me, I can guarantee there are some golden oldies in there – is your best mate at this point. It allows you to dress completely uniquely: leaving you with nae chance of rocking up to your tutorial dressed the same as a fellow student – an always awkward fashion faux pas.

Popular brands that have experienced a revival as 'vintage garms' in recent times are Ralph Lauren Chaps, Adidas, Fila, and Reebok, to name a few – all very cool and acceptable clothing brands that can stand the test of time. However, it is important to note that a distinction must be made between garments that are vintage, and those that are just plain old. Sometimes this vital difference can be overlooked, which has led to some very questionable fashion choices.

Charlie channelling childhood vibes with what appears to be a bib pinned to the wall? All kinds of questionable

One of the more alarming situtations that has arisen is that a number of Edinburgh students have recently been spotted on campus wearing, of all things, a Gap zip-up hoodie.

The uniform outfit of the 90s and noughties for children up to age 12 – sometimes even older for the more unfortunate – consisted of this ghastly Gap zip-up hoodie, poorly fitting jeans, and a dirty old pair of trainers or Lelli Kellys for the more extra or just plain spoilt kids among you. I’m sure by this point you will have already cringed several times and wondered what on earth your mother was doing letting you out the house in such foul attire. Jealous of your youth, seemingly, and looking for a means to take revenge.

After a quick internet search it appears that ASOS Marketplace is now selling Gap hoodies – at only £24.99 for those interested – which indicates the beginnings of this resurgence of the insult to fashion that is wearing Gap hoodies. They are not vintage. They are not ‘indie’. They are plain ugly and should remain firmly in the past. You wouldn't hit George Square in your old yellow crocs, so why put yourself through the shame of wearing a Gap hoodie.

A childhood Gap hoodie is one skeleton that should most definitely be kept in the closet – quite literally. Sorry Nicole.

Admittedly, these hoodies were practical back in the day when no child knew their M&Co from Moncler, cotton from cashmere, let alone cared one bit about the difference. However, that was then and this is now, and this is definitely an up-and-coming vintage clothing trend that must be avoided at all costs – unless, of course, you want to look 19 going on nine.

That is not to say you must only follow the trends and sacrifice comfort over style and what you personally like to wear. By all means, feel free to sport whatever funky attire you fancy, be it clashing prints, bold colours, some feisty leopard print, a fedora … the list is endless. But, the one thing you must NOT do, in terms of fashion, is wear a Gap hoodie past the age of 12. An influx of Gap Girl hoodies into institutes such as Pollock Halls could lead Edinburgh student fashion down a very dark path indeed.

Decided to try out the trend myself but ended up looking like a playground bully from 2006

So rock your Kappa trackies, wear your Champion tee, dabble in whatever vintage attire you fancy. But trust me, you do not want stare at your reflection in the mirror – brainwashed by the desire to dress as indie and hipster as possible – and witness a Gap hoodie – the hallmark of everything that went wrong in children’s fashion over the last few decades. You will look neither cool nor indie, but instead like some creepy, overgrown nine-year old off to the Meadows playground for a mad morning on the monkey bars.