Students spending habits on clothes are top priority, new Topman survey shows

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University students around the UK are increasingly spending more of their maintenance loans on clothing, which came top of the shopping list after essentials, even ahead of nights out. Topman has conducted a national survey of 1,000 students to see just how much they are spending on fashion and whether the big move to university influences a costly style reinvention.

Three quarters of students that participated in the survey felt that going to university has influenced the way that they dress, and have taken the experience as a chance to rethink their personal style, especially to fit in amongst their peers. Results indicate that one third of students across the UK do in fact spend over a third of their loan on clothing, with only a quarter of the students asked having part-time jobs to help fund their style transformation. Students choosing to study in the North West came out as top spenders, with 50% of their student loan being cashed in on new garments.

Forty one per cent of students feel that it is very important to dress right at university, and it has been identified as a key part to attending University. When asked where most of students’ online browsing was spent, a quarter answered ‘shopping online’ or ‘looking at fashion sites’, further proving  the importance of style to students today.

Dressing to fit in amongst university peers is a key aspect of student life. The ultimate style essential for today’s students, with 50% of the vote, is a pair of black skinny jeans. But this need to fit in is not something new. Students have created and evolved trends for years, from the types of dresses and trousers, to hats and bags. With this in mind, students were asked what they considered was the biggest student faux pas and nearly a quarter asked stated ‘baggy clothing’ and ‘ill-fitting clothing’ as the biggest faux pas. In contrast, students in the 1990’s would have all been sporting baggy clothing in order to fit in amongst their peers. Certainly not a pair of skinny jeans in sight.

With 75% of students claiming to have changed the way they dress by the time they graduate, style is clearly top priority. Gone are the days of the stereotypical student spending all of their money on beer and take-aways.

Emma Galpin, digital marketing manager at Topman, said: “The misconception about students is that they blow all their student loan on partying, when in fact they prioritise fashion over bar crawls and believe that looking the part is just as important at university as making their grades.

“It’s interesting how student fashion has evolved in recent years, with the grungy look being traded in for a more tailored and form-fitting style. No doubt in another 10 years’ time they’ll continue to lead the way in the style stakes.”