If you’re reading this, then you’ve unknowingly survived the first half of the college year. As the situation unfolds, and reality dawns on you, you begin to understand a few things: exams aren’t that far away; the Main Rest is much better than the Student Centre; and you don’t have to try that hard to be fashionable in UCC. I mean, yeah, if you’re on a night-out or if you’re the Chairperson of UCC Fashion Soc, you might want to throw on the uncomfortable glad rag or two the odd time, but day-to-day? Nah, you don’t need to wear your sharpest stilettos or double-breasted waistcoat to go to that Sociology tutorial in Connolly. Here is your Byline guide to the limits of social acceptability of the most comfortable options in your wardrobe.
You’re in college; one of the most stereotypical things to do is to buy those hoodies with the university’s name in a Romanesque font. And to buy a lot of them. Honestly, one of the best parts of getting involved in clubs or societies is the fluffy hoodies with your name on them. Hell, even order a size or two too big: you can use it as a dressing gown when Lavish deliver the 3 pizzas you ordered for that party you’re totally having, or pass it off as a gift from your new not-imaginary boy/girlfriend. Plus, if you put the hood up – maybe add some sunglasses – no one will notice that you didn’t wash your hair or finish your make-up. It’s the perfect accessory to hide some well-earned laziness.
Don’t get me wrong, I like wearing boots & high-heels as much as the next beardy man, but sometimes you just need to prioritise comfort & usability. Runners, trainers, tackies; whatever you call them – though they may sometimes stop you from getting into the Old Oak, they will get you from the Western Gateway Building to the Enterprise Centre in record time and comfort. As we move closer and closer to the more rainy seasons you’ll need the grip & usability to get up and down the many hills of Cork. Plus, when you arrive in late to that 9am lecture in the Connolly sporting your flashy Adidas sneakers people will think you’ve just come from the Mardyke (that’s the big gym-like place).
This is where I see myself getting the most flack, abuse & negative feedback (all of which can be sent to Editor@Motley.ie) but I stand by my opinion: it is absolutely perfectly acceptable to wear your pyjamas to college. Ignoring a lot of the classist undertones in most arguments against it, the main argument against it is that it’s a bit gauche. My answer? Fuck that, dude. Pyjamas are comfy af. They’re literally designed to be warm, comfortable and relaxing to wear, and they’re snug enough to be worn under your everyday clothes. Look, I’m not saying you should walk around wearing your finest Shark onesie (though if I had one I most definitely would do that) but if you wear your PJs under your clothes to a 9AM, you can slump home and get back into bed quicker than you normally can.
The poncho owes its invention to an area in South America that’s now a part of Peru, and if there’s only one thing we can thank the Andes for, then let it be the poncho. Ponchos are warm, soft, and can make any thrown-together outfit look like planned, postmodern chic. I was stunned when I discovered that people mainly associate it as a garment meant for women, which makes it the perfect accessory to buck gender norms while looking like an extra from a Spaghetti Western. For clarification’s sake, I’m not talking about the plastic rain ponchos seen at festivals all around the world, but damn – rock those too. Ponchos of all types, forms & shapes are cool.
Wooly Hats, Gloves & Scarves
You’d think this was an obvious one, going into December – but Jesus Christ, people, wear warm things. The other day I bought a warm coat & socks while wearing several layers, a scarf and gloves, and walked out of the shop to see a dude wearing a tank top, shorts and flip-flops. Let me tell you, no matter how cool that Hollister t-shirt is, you’re not going to look too cool while hacking up a lung and leaking more fluid from your nose than a dam made of fishnets. Go to Penny’s or Dunnes, buy some warm, woolly accessories, and stay healthy this winter.