• Sophie

Law Student Style

While law students are not typically known for their sartorial savvy, there’s no denying that they possess a distinctive style. Just as fashion changes with the seasons, so too does law student style as the semester progresses. Growing ever more eclectic as the weeks roll by, here’s how law students coherently combine fashion, Federalism and functionality.

Stage 1: The First Few Weeks

Buoyed by the dizzying combination of excitement at seeing friends again and wanting to “do things differently!” this semester, the outfits you debut in the first few weeks of semester are perfectly, effortlessly stylish. You dress to impress. The clothes you bought online in a fit of revision-induced desperation during the last exam period have seamlessly integrated themselves into the rest of your wardrobe and every morning you arrive at uni looking like the love child of James Bond and Carrie Bradshaw.

Stage 2: The Plateau

While your initial fashion furore may have diminished slightly, you’re still dressing pretty well halfway through semester. Sure, jeans and jumpers have replaced the wittily accessorised on-trend dresses you sported in those first few weeks but you’re still coherent enough to know ugg boots are not acceptable outside the house.

The only downside of your more sensible approach to dressing is the acknowledgement of the need for a much bigger bag to carry around the notebooks, laptops and 4kg textbooks that have become your constant companions. I would suggest a bowling bag.

Stage 3: The Downward Spiral

That heady rush that comes between mid-semester break and the last week of semester hits without warning, leaving you oblivious to just how much your study delirium will affect your outfit choices. Suddenly, overalls and glitter fake eyelashes don’t just seem like a Nikki Minaj bad dream, they seem like a really practical, well thought out daytime ensemble.

When study-induced delirium leaves you incapable of discerning between a proper outfit and putting three more items on over the clothes you’re already wearing, regardless of colour, texture or butt coverage, it’s time to pull back.

Stage 4: Study Sloth

Mercifully, the self-imposed house arrest that exam period demands ensures no one will see your creative fashion choices except you, your friends and family, and they’re supposed to love you for who you are anyway.

The amount of energy you’re directing towards revision leaves no time free for creative dressing; but don’t be fooled – your alternate study persona comes complete with a horror wardrobe of its own.

Five days without showering while you hunch over a computer is fine because you’re wearing the same grubby trakkies, sloppy jumper and fuzzy socks that you’ve worn all week – and it’s not like they could smell more. In any case, on the unlikely chance you encounter another living person, chances are they’ll be wearing something very similar to you, looking like the only other survivor of a very comfortable apocalypse.

Stage 5: Despair

While the comfort you’re feeling from your study outfit choice may be the one thing sustaining you through exam revision, arriving at your first exam leaves you feeling decidedly uncomfortable. Everyone else there is well dressed, put together, WASHED.

Standing there in your sarong you feel inadequate and start to despair. You see yourself for who you’ve become: a sweating, sagging, studying mess. You immediately resolve to better yourself (because you wouldn’t be a law student if you didn’t feel some sense of inadequacy every single day) and after the exam, fly home to online shop in a desperate frenzy borne only by the desire to look like the person you were before exams started.

Your packages arrive a week later and, once your exam persona is put safely away, your sanity levels and your wardrobe revert to normal. You remember that while what’s on the inside counts, regular bathing only helps people to see you as the charismatic, funny person you are, so there’s no real downside.

Content in the knowledge that you’ll “do things differently” next semester, you shower and put your trakkies and socks back on for a solid night in front of Law and Order.

Author’s note: on the day I wrote this article, I wore a red paisley op shop jumper and a purple anorak to uni and when I came home changed into trakkies, my boyfriend’s jumper and yellow socks. It is week 10 and I am firmly wedged between stages 3 and 4.

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