Manchester freshers street style: Winter knits, smart casual, and university nights on the town

By Alex Bysouth

Manchester freshers are back.

They’re streaming into the city centre and have been let loose with their student loan for the first time while their parents fret about the brisk Northern winter ahead.

MM investigates three ways to keep the student fashion police at bay without blowing your bank account.


For many freshers moving to university is a huge transition – at home you were constantly battling your parents for the right to buy your own clobber while surreptitiously ditching the vests your nan bought for you.

Now you’re battling for the best outfits against your hall mates to impress that fine filly (or stallion) on campus.  

But whether it’s baked beans or a new jacket you’re on a tight budget.

For lectures, seminars and occasional FIFA sessions we’re thinking a smart, relaxed looked at an affordable price – couple some chinos with an oxford shirt and plimsolls.

Primark and H&M are great for cheap finds, offering a wide range of colours to suit your particular chino needs, while New Look offer two-for-£20 on shirts (plus NUS discount). Bargain.

For affordable footwear look online and search the likes of ASOS, Topman and Next for plimsolls in a variety of shades.

If you’re feeling flush with your pre-rent bank balance you could mix it up with a more expensive option from brands such as Vans or Nike.

Sam Howe, student, 18

Wearing: Shirt; Primark, chinos; River Island, Plimsolls, Vans

Winter knits

Technically it’s autumn, but even at this early stage of October winter is rearing its ugly, cold head.

Now’s the time to delve into your collection of woollies and sport last season’s winter knitwear to keep warm.

Chunky cardigans and oversized knitted jumpers worn over a print t-shirt works well with faded jeans.

To keep the look cool but cosy, dig out a pair of boots to keep the frostbite at bay.

And it’s not just new threads we’re talking about, vintage knitwear and jeans scored from the Northern Quarter and ASOS Marketplace will score you some serious fashion points.

If second-hand boots aren’t your thing, most high-street stores have desert boots in stock that should do the trick.

Andrew Lorimer, student, 19

Wearing: Jumper and skinny jeans; Topman, jacket; TK Maxx, plimsolls; ASOS

Uni nights out

It’s your first year of university, you want to be exploring Manchester’s nightlife scene without looking like you’ve never seen a pint before – look smart without going overboard.

As you may already know, there aint no party like a fresher’s party , so match a print or patterned shirt with coloured chinos or darker jeans, and finish off the look with some tasselled loafers.

River Island has hit the nail on the head for this look with patterned shirts a-plenty and smart loafers coming it a fairly reasonable price.

As we looked at in the smart-casual category a wide range of coloured chinos can be found in Primark, Next or H&M.

Matt Tear, 19, student

Wearing: Shirt; Primark, jeans; Topman, loafers; Zara



From left to right:

Heather blue smart shirt, £20, Topman.

Black leather look satchel, £30, Topman.

Two-toned navy chinos, £22.00, New Look.

Socket Suede Plimsolls, £28, River Island

Burgundy chinos, £20, Next.

Suede hi-tops, £65, Nike.

Winter knits

From left to right:

Chunky knit Nordic-print sweater, starting price £4, eBay.

Burgundy snowflake cardigan, £44, Topman.

Blue mid-wash Dean straight jeans, £30, River Island.

Dark blue suede boots, £29.99, H&M.


Uni nights out

From left to right:

Blue pheasant print shirt, £28, River Island.

Camel cord chino, £28, Next.

Brown leather wallet, £12, Topman.

Dark brown tassel loafers, £45, River Island.

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