It’s finally September! After a long, trying summer filled with internship coffee runs and underboob sweat, we’ve finally arrived back in the Bubble, and all I can say is Thank God! I missed St. Andrews dearly - waking up and realising I spent too much money at Main Bar, writing six pages of an essay twelve hours prior to its due date, filling my fridge with half-eaten Combini - all truly heartfelt memories. And here we are once again, reliving them all!
As every St. Andrews student is well aware, the return to our little slice of Scottish heaven means not only getting back to our beloved bad habits, but it also marks the beginning of Fresher’s Week. Dear, sweet, vomit-and-headache-inducing Fresher’s Week. If you have your priorities straight, then your calendar this week will be chock full of house parties, Vic events, and good old university-sponsored fun, and to cap it all off is one of the most memorable scenes of the entire year: Starfields! It’s here that students truly let it fly, breaking out their brightest glitter face paint and highest (most regrettable) pair of platform boots. Starfields is the first event on the St . Andrews social calendar where you can showcase how very unique and interesting you are - it’s your chance to separate yourself from the flared-pants-wearing, pink-bespectacled masses! But how will you take your spot as one of this university’s fashion elites, especially in a crowd of those trying to do the very same? With a Starfields outfit, certainly much can go right, but equally, much can go wrong. When taking a fashion risk, yes, you could capture the perfect Alaska-Thunderfuck-meets-Kendall-at-Coachella vibe, BUT you could also wind up looking like you spent too much time in Jeffree Star’s pink vault. To help you avoid this conundrum, your favourite fashion editor is here to help with the perfect list of Starfields outfit Dos and Don’ts. With our help, you can spend the night actually enjoying the (admittedly incredible) setlist instead of wondering whether your space buns look too basic. Peruse below!
DO: Utilise glitter and neon. This one is fairly obvious, though you’d be surprised at how easy it is too miss the mark here. Instead of piling on every Forever 21 item you own, use these for statement items, and make sure when wearing a bold hue to colour-block. Lace up those glitter sneakers! Throw on a neon vinyl jacket! Put pink streaks in your hair and wear sparkly purple eyeshadow! Just try to avoid pairing the sequined jacket with the fluorescent bodysuit, or risk looking like a bad acid trip.
DON’T: Find your outfit on Pinterest. Please stop doing this! Every girl who’s been to an EDM festival this summer also wore those metallic spandex with ribbons crossed up and down their legs. We’ve seen glitter-streaked space buns 7,000 times already. H&M is well-stocked with mesh tee-shirts. That doesn’t mean you should be wearing them! Pinterest, while helpful for dorm decor and haircut ideas, isn’t the place to look for fashion tips. Go with whatever you think looks cute and out-there, not what’s been plastered across your feed for three months.
DO: Go for sometimes-strange pairings. Sure, on your average night out you might not wear a latex skirt with rainboots, but at Starfields, that could look great (and be more practical than your normal footwear)! Mix materials - mesh and feathers, vinyl and cotton, denim and sequins - mix styles - your baggy boyfriend jeans with a glittery bodysuit, your thigh-high boots with your printed denim jacket - and do it all at once! Especially in today’s fashion landscape, the avant-garde is celebrated, so with your Starfields outfit, try something you never have before.
DON’T: Sacrifice comfort (or safety). Someone has to say it: unfortunately the sexiest, most fun outfit is incongruous with our fair Scottish weather. Don’t get me wrong, showing skin looks sexy and fashion-forward, but women often make the mistake of going for an edgy look in the wrong place - i.e. the Fife coastline. But not to worry - you can still show off while not worrying about catching pneumonia. One guiding tip is to choose one feature you’d like to show off - legs, chest, abs, etc. - and cover up in other areas. Wear that super-short skirt that makes your legs look sky-high, but maybe pair it with a long-sleeve top. Throw on your bustier top, but wear it with jeans. Trust me, I wish we were in Ibiza too, but Starfields is here in St. Andrews, and as we've all had to learn the hard way, there’s no worse armour for the Scottish autumn than a tube top.
DO: Scour the vintage shops. St. Andrews is blessed to have lots of local charity shops and vintage sales, something most students already take advantage of. In addition to this, FS (the organisation that puts on Starfields every year) has made sustainability a focus of this year’s event, and what better way to support this than by forgoing fast fashion for secondhand finds? Sometimes you can find better things in twenty minutes at Oxfam than in three hours on Revolve. These stores are especially good for statement jackets, old tee-shirts, and accessories (I bought a perfect pair of pink cat-eye sunglasses at one the other day!)
DON’T: Buy something you’ll never wear again. Most students are painfully aware of the fact that funds aren’t endless, and with all the money going to event tickets and alcohol, little is often left for clothing. So why waste your limited cash on items that will languish in the back of your closet? Sure, Starfields outfits are ones that will hopefully be outside of your fashion comfort zone, but use that as an excuse to expand your palette a little! Buy an oversized jean jacket that goes with everything, or a pair of boots that you can dress up or down. Throwing money away on a pair of neon hotpants that you’ll put on Depop tomorrow would be a mistake, especially when there are so many better ways you can spend it.
With these principles as your guide, this year’s Starfields can be your entree into the St. Andrews fashion scene, one that is as discerning as it is sprawling. Of course, the best part about the fashion at Starfields is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously, so when it comes to your outfit, just make it fun, and remember to let your personality shine through. There’s nothing more stylish than knowing who you are.