If you don’t own these 10 clothing items you can’t say you’re Fallow Fashion
As someone who currently wears pyjamas more than actual clothes – I thought it would a nice blast from the past to have a look back at all the things we used to wear. All the trends which subsequently got the piss taken out of them, and all the things I may still wear, even after I’ve graduated and left the bubble of Fallowfield.
From the Big Saino’s to Tzatzikis’, New Zealand Wines to Friendship Inn, your silverfish-infested house to Platt Field’s Park – Fallowfield spans a small stretch of South Manchester while holding a big space in our hearts. With the self-conscious cringe of embodying what it means to be #ThatsSoFallow, we all given in to the fashion and lifestyle cliches of what it means to be a student in Fallowfield sometime or another.
Dubbed by the Urban Dictionary as an “Unbelievable shithole in South Manchester where stoooodents dwell”, the term “Fallow” was used as a synonym for edgy or alternative. To be “Fallow”, the Urban Dictionary also states that you must be “a member of the vast quantity of students who live in Fallowfield in their fresher year of university, each of which thinks they are ‘unique’ with their ‘edgy’ lifestyle (e.g. stripy flared trousers, pastel coloured hair with a short fringe, and vibrant footwear).
So here are the 10 most iconic ‘Fallow Fashion’ trends every single Manc student needs:
Platform Buffalo trainers
Coming up at number one has got to be these clumpy bad boys. While they may now be swapped out for New Rock shoes or cowboy boots, platform Buffalos were all the rage back in 2018 when I started my first year. They were the perfect halfway house between my creased Nike AF’s and the platform knee-high boots I wear now. Accompanied with zebra or cheetah flares and a backless top and you would fit in at any Oak House flat party. Like it or loathe it – you can’t deny its popularity.
In my first year, everyone had a puffer jacket, “Northies” were the most popular. My student loan wouldn’t stretch that far so I ended up with an awful bright silver one I nabbed at a car boot for £2. I’m glad I moved on from that particular garm. Now, it’s normal to see a load of Penny Lane-lookalikes gracing the seats of magic buses with some Depop-does-the-1970s flair.
These seemed to be the most popular in my second year. While the accessory of first year was definitely little clips worn with a low bun and the big claw clip in third year, the second year sandwich filling of these hair accessories was 100 per cent the bandana. And apparently, the only way to wear one was with two little pieces of hair pulled out at the front to frame your face.
Long leather jackets
This was, and continues to be, a look. A long leather jacket, preferably vintage, looks good with anything. From low rise jeans to stained trackies – this will instantly elevate your outfit and make you seem more put-together than the state of your bedroom floor may reveal. I’ve had my vintage one, à la eBay, for over three years and I’m not giving it up anytime soon. Maybe we’ll look back one day and cringe about how much we all looked like Neo from the Matrix.
While flared jeans were definitely the most common style of bottoms worn around Fallowfield – something about the midi skirt is so resonant with the summer of my first year. I remember slowly curating my collection of these grandma-style skirts. I’d wear it with a huge t-shirt or an oversized hoodie to make it look like I wasn’t trying too hard.
What was actually wrong with me when I genuinely thought I looked sick in a camo (yep, I haven’t forgotten our shared obsession with those camo trousers) bucket hat, a leather halter, and bright blue flare jeans. It was something out of the 80s, and not in a good way. While I still see these floating around Manchester, they seem to have been left in the Warehouse Project, Parklife, and 2018.
Gold hoop earrings
This has been a fairly consistent trend all throughout my time at uni. Even after leaving the sphere of face-to-face teaching and converting all my tuition onto Zoom, I still saw my classmates wearing chunky gold hoops, albeit, alongside messy morning hair. Name me one person who lives in Fallowfield who doesn’t own a pair. Go on, I’ll wait.
Even reading that word brings me back to first year pres in dingy hall common rooms, mad-dash runs to New Zealand back when it was two bottles of wine for £5 rather than £5.50 (piss off inflation) and pissed-up ramblings on the 142.
Not the most fashionable choice of footwear but all throughout my time at uni, I’ve seen just about every subculture of student wear sliders. Whether that’s for a hungover morning pop to the big Sainsbury’s or a late-night garden cig break with your flatmates – the slider was always a constant. Now potentially getting replaced with Crocs, I wonder if I’ll still be wearing sliders as a young professional.
While tote bags are still everywhere, especially when people actually used to leave their homes to go to university, mini bags will always remind me of Fallowfield. While I know they are a trend everywhere, and not just in this niche part of south Manchester, I will forever associate them with the 0161. I remember being in club toilets and watching girls dive around in their 10cm-long bags, somehow miraculously crammed with their house keys, lip balm, phone, cigs, wallet, and a wodge of crumpled bus tickets.