How to tell what someone studies based on their clothes
University is full of trendsetters and those who follow fashion religiously. We’re now well and truly into the new term, and you’ve walked into enough lectures to notice that everyone on your course sort of looks the same. Walking around campus, you notice that the Business students look very different from those who study Fine Art – can you really tell what someone studies based on their clothes?
Art students are one of the most noticeable students on campus. Stereotypes are usually just that, but sometimes they are based in truth. Art students can be picked straight out of a crowd by their paint-splattered clothes, usually an old baggy shirt they’ve stolen from their dad and a pair of Doc Martens with ribbons for laces. There also tends to be a lot of clashing colours and patterns from clothes that they’ve potentially made themselves or have scrounged from a charity shop from the city centre for a pound.
They also tend to have brightly coloured hair in an avant-garde style that stands out in a crowd. If their fringe (again, another telling sign is a fringe) is a different colour to the rest of their hair – you’ve got yourself an Art student. If you need to be able to tell at a closer range, piercings are always a good shout – if they’ve got over six and at least one in their nose, you’ve got yourself an Art student.
You’ll mainly find these guys wrapped up in a warm hoodie and joggers so they don’t freeze in the cold labs. They’re too stressed about collecting NMR spectra to care about fashion. Also, if you walk past them and they smell a bit funny, then just keep walking away and don’t say anything, please. It’s not their natural smell (probably), it’s just the compilation of all the different chemicals they have been around that day.
It can be sometimes quite difficult to identify a Classics student from a History student – they are pretty similar in terms of donning a large woolly jumper and/or shirt and cardigan that swallows the entire body. What tends to be the most defining factor is the presence of large, round glasses that practically hang off of their nose. Add an unorthodox hairstyle or colour and you’re there.
Drama students refuse to be labelled or put in a box, but if you were to tell if someone was a Drama student based on what they were wearing, it would be a leisurely walk in the park. This is because Drama students love to dress to stand out.
Drama boys love to wear scarves inside. I think this is so that they can always dramatically flip their scarf over their shoulder, at a moment’s notice. They normally wear black turtleneck pullovers, too. And ripped jeans.
Drama girls normally have their own unique sense of style. However, all of them like wearing baggy jumpers that are obviously too big for them. Drama girls also have a tendency to wear weird trousers that have some sort of strange pattern or feature on them i.e. stripey or sequinned or polka dot.
And Drama students don’t care about matching their clothes, because they don’t follow “restrictive” rules of fashion. Most Drama students own a pair of Doc Martens: brogues or boots. One thing that all Drama students have in common is that they all love to shop in charity shops for the most outlandish clothes that are guaranteed to make them the centre of attention as they walk around campus.
English Literature students can be spotted a mile off. Not as brave as Art students but still keen to dip their toes into the wonderful world of tote bags, an English student can always be seen stuffing their many, many books into a canvas bag of some kind. Bonus points if it’s one of those Penguin totes with the title of their fave book on it.
All the time spent in front of books and huddled over JSTOR takes its toll on the eyes and so naturally most English students have glasses of some kind – it’s likely that even those who don’t need them still wear them to fit in. Round tortoiseshells are usually the style but there’s always one guy massively into the ‘Angry Young Men’ literary movement and as a result, favours chunky Buddy Holly-esque specs.
Other staple pieces in an English student’s wardrobe include: Doc Martens, midi skirts, oversized T-shirts, corduroy (in any form), oversized jumpers (oversized anything tbh) scrunchies, PIERCINGS (especially a rogue one like lip or eyebrow), Nike Air Force 1s, denim jackets, turtlenecks, culottes, funky earrings. We tend to prioritise comfort, hence the volume of oversized items. No one wants to be curled up reading for hours in uncomfy clothing. And just as we value the freedom to pick one module on Chaucer and another on contemporary American poetry, we value the freedom to smush about five different styles together. Combat boots with a pretty midi skirt paired with a dirty vintage jumper and pom-pom earrings? That’s what I’m talking about.
Our style summed up? Granny chic meets basic uni student meets charity shop meets VSCO girl meets edgy uni student. Doesn’t make sense? Neither does half the shit we read. It follows.
You’re an English student, you’ve got to look smart and academic.
For girls, the look is super innocent; you can deffo picture her reading a book in a café along the canal in Venice. As for their clothes, they tend to adopt a pair of mom jeans rolled up at the ankles with a chunky belt or culottes cut at the ankle (basically, showing your ankle is key), with a blouse, jumper or polo neck tucked in and loathers or brogues. Let’s not forget dangly earrings and a mass of rings.
Meanwhile, men often steal Louis Tomlinson’s X Factor audition attire which consists of a shirt with a jumper over the top (top button done up, of course) and chinos. And a boujee signet ring that’s been passed down the men in the family for generations. They also have to wear those round glasses that make them look like fuck-boys (but let’s face it, if he pulls them off you’ll let him break your heart).
The major accessories for everyone are a stack of books and a satchel.
If you study History, there are a few quick tells: a jumper with a shirt underneath, probably baggy; a pair of old trainers that could probably do with a wash (they like them to be old just like the course they study) and jeans that they’ve probably worn all week. For girls, they’ve probably got their hair in a ponytail and minimal makeup.
It’s also very easy to tell between a modern and a medieval historian. Modern historians are the type you’re more likely to meet on campus, and they’re typically the one described above. Medieval historians, on the other hand, tend to have messy, unkempt hair and sometimes, if they’re really keen, they even wear big capes and cloaks (not a joke).
Law students are really easy to pick out on campus. You can often spot them by their carefully polished shoes and suit, or at the very least some nice tailored trousers and a pressed shirt that seems better suited to prom than a lecture. Their hair tends to be carefully styled, and if you’ve watched Friends, or at the very least know of it, you can picture something a little like Ross’s over-gelled mess.
I’ve even known some Law students to carry briefcases around with them on occasion, which is always a big tell. Add a tie to this, often with an odd pattern or print to suggest a ‘fun’ side – watch out though, they’re sometimes indistinguishable from Business students.
If you are looking for a Music student and they don’t happen to be carrying an instrument with them, there are a few ways you can spot them by their clothes. Checked shirts are a general must and usually accompanied by a cardigan. If they don’t have an instrument, they’ll likely have headphones in (or Airpods if they’re rich – which is more than likely if they study Music). Add some scruffy trainers that have probably seen better days and the baggiest jeans or cut-off trousers you’ve ever seen, and you’ve got yourself a Music student.
Want more worryingly accurate stereotypes? We bet you can tell what uni someone goes to based on what they’re wearing.