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As Seen on Campus: Style Spotting

Would you rather fit in or stand out? Law student Nathan has been out and about the campus looking for the coolest and most sustainable style.

Three students showing their outfits
Just a few of the looks served on campus recently.

Clothes can hold so much meaning to a person. Whether it’s a pair of heels you’ve wanted for years and finally bought or a Goose and Gander sweatshirt your mum bought you for Christmas. We love to express ourselves with what we wear!

Fashion in Queen's is so diverse, there are people who wear the finest avant-garde pieces created by Rick Owens or Yohji Yamamoto. There are students who love to wear the latest in-fashion sneakers, like the Air Jordan Travis Scott 1s, and of course, we have a multitude of Doc Martens lovers over here.

Style is something personal to everyone. I enjoy dressing androgynously, I love a pair of thick heels, avant garde silhouettes and fashion that most guys probably wouldn’t be caught dead in. But that’s my style!

For others, a simple hoodie, cargo trousers and sneakers combo is their go-to. To exemplify this philosophy I have picked 4 people with unique fashion tastes to pose for a few photos and to discuss their take on what fashion and style is to them.

Nathan showing off his outfit


Up first- it's me! Fashion is a massive part of my self-expression. I got into fashion during lockdown, and since then, my style has evolved from more street wear-oriented, to avant-garde fashion.

I research any fashion interests I have to the full extreme. I watch the runways and note down looks that I've fallen in love with then read the show notes and really dig deep into the philosophy behind the designs.

For my personal fashion tastes, I love the non-conforming, androgynous works of Rick Owens. I feel like I’m walking a runway even though I'm just nipping to the shop for milk.

When it comes to fashion, a lot of people may think I’m doing too much but my style choices give me confidence so why not? Fashion is a huge part of who I am.

I put a big emphasis on buying sustainable and long-lasting fabrics. I despise fast-fashion. The coat I'm wearing in that photo was thrifted and is around 30 years old, and my heels are faux leather. I’m particularly against the exploitation of animals for fashion.

Sophie showing off her style


Next up, we have Sophie. Sophie loves long skirts, leather jackets and feeling incredible in what she wears. As you can see from this photo, she feels good, looks great and radiates positive energy and confidence!

For Sophie, being comfortable is the key to enjoying an outfit. Usually spotted wearing Doc Martens or Buffalos, Sophie is a huge fan of platform shoes. Sophie also loves her jewellery, particularly statement necklaces and rings.

Sophie and I have a similar ethos with fashion - wearing what we like, regardless of what everyone else thinks.

Sophie is anti-fast fashion, and believes in sustainability, shopping on platforms like Depop and Vinted.

Niamh wearing a green fleece in the library


Next up we have Niamh! Niamh enjoys being comfy and cosy, she values that especially when she's studying in the library, as you can see from her over-sized fleece, grey sweats and fluffy socks. Niamh can throw together a great outfit with low effort, and she always has a fresh pair of trainers on.

Niamh describes herself as quite lazy, saying “I just threw this on because I couldn’t be bothered finding anything else”. Despite her insistence that this is “not stylish”. It is! It’s her very own brand of fashion. For her, being comfortable and warm takes priority. 

She’s not massively into certain brands or fashion houses, instead looking at individual pieces and how they would fit in her wardrobe. If she likes the look of it, she'll buy it, and wear it to death.

Niamh demonstrates confidence in her fashion sense, and couldn't care less what other people think. As long as she’s happy and comfortable, that’s all that matters.

Niamh also stressed that she hates fast-fashion and mainly shops on Vinted and Depop - finding steals on vintage hoodies and shirts. She’s a responsible and sustainable shopper!

We’re all a bit like Niamh, whether we wear Raf Simons or a big fleece, we just wanna feel good and be comfy.

Student Alex showing off his black outfit


Next up we have Alex. Alex is a bit shy and didn’t want his face in the blog, but wanted to show off his outfit and tell me a little bit about his fashion interests and his style.

He always struggled with confidence, and body-image issues. However, when he became interested in fashion, and started to develop his own tastes, he began to gain more confidence.

He said he would have never rocked a tote bag with his outfits until he came across the one in this photo. He says he uses it everyday, and absolutely loves it. Alex enjoys a monochromatic look, seen here in all-black. He told me that he enjoys wearing black because it goes with everything in his wardrobe, which is all black.

Alex also enjoys a pair of black combat boots, particularly these ones from Bottega Veneta. He told me that he would spend a lot of money on shoes, and find basic items to pair them with in both charity shops and online vintage sales. He's big into sustainability, despises fast-fashion and would much rather have something preowned than something new. 

Everything he is wearing was found in a charity shop on Botanic!

Alex enjoys the character that clothing builds when it's been worn by someone else. For instance, when you buy a pair of Levis from the charity shop, they have been worn by someone in a particular way, that’s unique to their body - and the fading on the jeans will be unique, because of that. For Alex, it’s this character that draws him to a more sustainable fashion-sense.

Final thoughts

Overall, the fashion styles of Queen's students are certainly diverse, even from this small sample group. However, one thing that unites us all is to look and feel great in what we wear, and to do so with as little carbon footprint as we can. Sourcing our style in a sustainable and long-lasting way.

Find out more

Blog: Best Vintage and Retro shops in Belfast

Blog: Best Second-hand and Charity Shops Close to the Main Campus

Shopping in Belfast

Nathan Bell

Law | Undergraduate Student | North of Ireland

Hi, I’m Nathan and I'm interested in fashion, music and writing about passions that lie outside of University, and how they enrich my University experience!

 Nathan Bell