Everyone’s experienced the trauma of waking up in time for a 9am lecture. This applies especially to second and third years who live off campus and so have to wake up even earlier than the lucky first years who can simply roll out of bed at 8:50am and have a swift jog to Bowland North. Waking up is difficult enough, but your morning is complicated with the task of finding something acceptable to wear. Turning up to a 9am lecture too glamorous either usually signals that you fancy the lecturer (or someone on your course) or that you haven’t actually been home yet – let’s not lie, we’ve all been there on a Thursday morning. So the trick is managing to strike a balance; whilst we don’t want to look like we’re expecting to be scouted by Storm modelling agency, we’re also not quite sure that the pyjamas/onesie combination is completely acceptable (even if it’s the comfiest and most appealing option for first thing in the morning). But how can this look be achieved? Simply add one item to your usual 9am throw-on outfit and take your outfit from looking drab to fab in no time at all.
First we have the humble beanie hat. I personally believe that it’s a myth that not everyone can get away with wearing a hat: those who say “oh, I’m not a hat person” are simply usually too afraid of the dreaded hat-hair. If you look at a beanie hat objectively, it’s the most simple (and possibly unstylish) accessories out there: it’s pretty much a large knitted sock. Whether you like them or not, shoving one of these on your head just before you leave the house can save you the horror of remembering that you didn’t brush your hair this morning, as well as protecting your mane from the wind and rain which we have to battle basically everyday in Lancaster. Trust me; this will be your new style saviour.
Thrown over leggings or a slouchy t-shirt dress, an oversized jumper can rescue you from the “what do I wear?” panic that everyone (deny it if you wish) experiences on a regular basis. These knitted beauties also have the benefit of keeping you that extra bit warmer in the freezing winds of Lancaster – what a bonus! Whether gloriously patterned (no Christmas prints or 3D bobbles please) or simply plain, one or two oversized jumpers in your wardrobe will definitely help to diffuse the 9am panic. Remember that with jumpers, bigger is usually better – the more oversized your jumper is the more you can usually get away with the “I stole this from my boyfriend” look.
A budding best friend of the oversized jumper, the chunky necklace can help to take your outfit from “I’m slouching around my flat” to “I’ve got a lecture to go to” in a second. Coloured and jewelled or a plain gold chain, quickly adding a necklace to your outfit can make it look a lot more thought through, even if you did only add the necklace just before you walked out of the door. If you’re looking to buy two or three lovely necklaces to keep you going for the rest of the year, head to New Look – there’s plenty to choose from and the prices are low enough to be an acceptable addition to your wardrobe even on your student budget.
Whether you go for the classic ankle boots or the newer over-the-knee boots that have graced the high street stores, a staple pair of boots is a must-have for your 9am wardrobe. Either teamed with ankle-grazer jeans or zipped over leggings, a good pair of boots can be worn with pretty much any outfit. This is something I’d advise you to invest in; if you find the perfect pair, boots can last for years and be worn throughout the year. Waking up for a 9am lecture knowing that at least you don’t have to think about what shoes you’re going to wear will be such a relief – so choose wisely and buy a pair of boots that you can wear with anything and everything.
Next up is the classic black leather biker jacket: something that you really shouldn’t have to suffer without. Like the items that I’ve already mentioned, a classic leather jacket will pretty much go with anything and can be thrown over your outfit just before you walk out of the door, giving your outfit an instant edge. If you’re an avid ebayer like myself, have a search for the traditionally more expensive Miss Selfridge and Topshop ones – you’ll be surprised at what you might find! If you’re feeling daring, feel free to add some studs or a bit of fringing, but don’t go overboard as you have to remember that this has to be a staple item that can be worn with your whole wardrobe.
So, there you go! 9am lectures don’t seem as scary anymore do they? In fact… are you actually a little bit excited now? (Okay, maybe that’s too far…) Just remember, it’s all about getting the balance right: don’t try too hard, and don’t go too far into the “I don’t care” spectrum – you’ll run the risk of looking a bit too slobbish. Other things like scarves, frilly ankle socks under boots and an abundance of rings won’t hurt either; getting the 9am lecture look just right is all about adding the little things to an otherwise plain outfit that make it look like you’ve put just the acceptable amount of effort in. Another handy tip: getting your bag ready and printing out lecture slides the night before your 9am will save you at LEAST 10 minutes in the morning, which would allow you to snooze your alarm at least one more time… It’s all about the little things.