Return of the Rahs

Beth Humphreys asks the question we’ve all been wondering: why does everyone look the same?!

30th November 2015

Walking in to a bar down Osborne road last week, it became apparent when stepping through the door that I seem to be a rare breed in Newcastle. It appeared to me in that very instant, I was the only person in a 50 metre radius that didn’t own one of the following three items: New Balance trainers, an Eastpak rucksack or a feather down jacket.

I feel as though I am somewhat out-dated; that this elite club that I was not invited to, nor pre warned about, seem to have the upper hand, purely by the clothes that they wear. Make no mistake, I am by no means suggesting that the people that wear the aforementioned items of clothing put themselves into a superior bracket, but when I walked in to Osborne’s wearing my 2011 leavers hoodie and a pair of UGG boots, it was clear that back in 2013, I was perhaps the only one who didn’t receive the memo in my Fresher’s pack on what I should and should not be clothing myself in.

What happened to individuality? I seem to be drowning in a sea of Canada goose, Northface, New balance and Nike when walking through campus. Fashion is relative to time and place - I don’t think ripped jeans and oversized shirts were all the rage in the middle east back in ‘08, but the pair do seem to have got the residents of Jesmond in a vice-like grip.

“Ironically, hours are spent generating a statement that screams ‘I can’t be arsed’ ”

While I find it rather odd, Newcastle University does in fact seems to have adopted its own sense of style. Wander over to Northumbria’s Campus, Bigg Market or down Pilgrim street and the odds of seeing other people of the city wearing the same get up as a Newcastle student are extremely slim. The university churns out thousands of students who get carried away in the herd of ‘rah’ and who make a large effort to look dressed down, when ironically hours are spent generating a statement that screams ‘I can’t be arsed’.

The point I suppose I’m trying to make here is that maybe, following the herd is not only expensive but also unbelievably predictable and a little boring. It feels as though people are purchasing staple items to wear to become accepted, to be a ‘Uni of’ student, to be picked out amongst a crowd as a red brick attendee and well, it all seems rather false.

Fashion shouldn’t be about earning acceptance, it should be a personal representation of your own identity and creativity. I’m not suggesting you stick feathers in your hair and wear beads from head to toe, but why should we all look and dress the same?

Everyone seems exhausted by the constant need to try and fit in, be accepted and feel like part of some posh elitist community.

Don’t worry readers, if your memo also got lost in the post and you too don’t own the staple ‘red brick’ items, I’m sure it won’t be long until we start a trend of our own. After all, as soon as one leads - everyone else will follow.

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