After a crew date, formal, bop or as a celebratory ending to an essay crisis, everyone’s heading to ‘The Bridge’ on a Thursday night. This much you already know. So what are the major fashion clans in Bridge, and which will take dominance as Trinity Term rolls around?
So, you’ve finally heard the solemn ‘ping’ as the essay is safely emailed off… straight out to the club, then? If you’ve been planning the night-out and are looking for a streamlined quick change, go for a sheer shirt like this pretty floral one from Missguided, or a simple staple like this one from New Look to experiment with a monochrome look. The most important thing here is to make yourself club ready from the waist upwards – there won’t be any photographic evidence of your outfit that will capture those tatty jeans, but please remember to leave all cardigans, blankets and other assorted granny accessories at the door. Unless, of course, you’re majorly quirky and can pull off that kind of thing. Accessorize with an air of wilful denial in the face of essay deadlines, if applicable.
Club staples such as bodycon and cut-away dresses are prevalent in this group. I’m hoping for a resurgence of floral and other summery patterns in Trinity term as a progression from the tribal prints I’ve seen recently – pieces which have the added benefit of an easily achieved day-to-night conversion, as well as providing enough interest that one need not stress over accessories. Crew-daters aptly adapt this classic outfit into one more friendly for the double-venue nature of crew dates by wearing a tube skirt matched with a detailed (beaded or patterned) top. I also love the acceptability of flats in Oxford clubs right now – my feet have never before had such endurance for dance. Maybe I occasionally miss the glamour of a high court shoe, but I’m swiftly disillusioned every time I wear them.
For the gents, it’s more a case of stepping it up a gear without having to make too much effort: the answer seems to be something with pretentions of being a shirt, and the shame of being a t-shirt. Guys, how many times? Fix up. Look sharp. Again, just like their female counterparts, this kind of club wear is done best when it’s executed with simplicity – if any piece of your outfit isn’t completely necessary (i.e. performs the task of preventing nudity) then lose it.
This past term I’ve seen a dominance of sporting wear – and not in the fashion pretence at sport kind of way, either – we’re talking full rowing lycra (St Hugh’s men’s team, spotted in Bridge, out in force after an intense training session, I was semi-reliably informed) or pinstripe blazers emblazoned with boat club college crests. And, oh, how we love to see some fancy dress: only really acceptable in hordes, there’s definitely some fun in freeing yourself from fashion consciousness and have a one-night stand with the girlish, garish or gaudy. Just because Freshers’ week is over, doesn’t mean we need to give up all our sense of fun, now does it?
So, what to wear? Well, clubs have (and should have) a certain standard of decency to uphold. Having a little fun changing and smartening up before heading out can make your evening all the more enjoyable – that little bit of effort provides a sense of separation between work and play, helping you to leave all that tute work at the door.