Establishing yourself as one of the connoisseurs of the Oxford clubbing scene is doubtless one of the priorities in the opening weeks of our university careers. This, of course, cannot be achieved without the support of those essential killer outfits. The enduring question uttered amongst budding friendships from the first evening of freshers’ week well into the third year is only ever going to be: ‘what shall I wear tonight?!’ A health hazard we are all desperate to avoid (especially the freshers amongst us) is sticking out like a sore thumb when it comes to checking out new venues and music scenes. Managing to look good whilst wearing what is appropriate for the night out we have chosen to grace with our presence is a difficult line to tread. So how do we negotiate this Scylla and Charybdis of the clubbing world? I confess that it is something which racks me with anxiety daily…
Everyone is going to be hitting up Park End this term. Hard. As a club-land haven, body con will never go amiss and it is certainly impossible to feel self-conscious in any of the three floors wearing a mini-skirt or short shorts. Expect an assault an the eyes with plenty of glitter and neon on display: anything effervescent to pull the club’s official photographer. In this relaxed ambiance, promoted by the numerous excitable sports teams often festooned in fancy dress or egg and flour post-initiations, vibrant colours and pumps will make you feel more at home than smart garb.
Bridge is where we all find ourselves after a crew date, of course. It’s nice to dress up for these and everyone else there is similarly attired in shirts and jackets (for the guys) or a classic LBD and heels (for the gals). Even if you lose your fellow daters amongst the darkness of the dance floor you won’t look out of place against the backdrop of stylish blouses or shirts.
Fresh from the Union or OUCA debauchery, descend the droves of Camera clientele. Heels are everywhere as is the customary lack tie stained with red wine… Although, not exclusively, as no one anywhere ever bats an eyelid at a seemingly anomalous black tie in the Oxford clubs. Looking smart at chocolate and champagne evenings courtesy of lawsoc and business guild is imperative. The more unconventional side to the Oxford night life is accompanied by exciting music and innovative ‘looks.’
The Cellar often plays host to the university’s alternative fashion gurus. Most dress to impress with certain statement items in mind such as bold and clashing patterned shirts and oversized faux-fur coats. Vibrant jewellery and makeup is dazzling left, right and centre across the dance floor. A feast for the eyes: hard core house lovers take on the style icons of the Oxford fashion scene making for a melange of materials and vibes ranging from tie dye, red velvet, grey matter and black jackets. You may even be snapped for numerous ‘best dressed’ competitions…
At Babylove we all like to look trendy yet casual. Leggings and boots, shirts and jeans would still be in keeping with the groovy atmosphere. No easy feat on the more popular Supermarket nights when it’s seriously tempting to throw all caution to the wind in favour of anything that will keep you refrigerated, such as a loose blouse or baggy tee, in the stifling underground dance floor; jam packed with exuberant undergraduates all throwing some serious shapes. But when you break free from the sticky masses, you will want to sparkle and illuminate in attention-grabbing colours and prints as you take to the podium, complete with (greasy) pole.
So, following our future success as club-night specialists, a lot will be owed to the crucial fashion choices made earlier in the day before the greatly anticipated night out. Of course, nothing is simply ‘thrown on’ without due consideration. We all would admit to seeking an idealised projection of ourselves and a certain degree of compatibility with the vibes of the club night attended. Paying great attention to what we wear on a night out is a must to any genuine clubbing scene enthusiast.