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The University of Style: Clothing is students' biggest spend


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Clothes are the top thing that students spend their spare money on, according to a survey.

Topman asked 1,000 UK university students about their fashion-related spending habits and whether the lifestyle change of starting university warrants a wardrobe change.

The survey revealed that students spend a high amount of their maintenance loans on clothing.

75% of the students said that the way that they dress has changed since attending university.

Style is a big priority according to the surveyed students, a majority of whom said that moving to university has given them an opportunity to re-think and re-invent their style with the purpose of fitting in with their peers. 41% of the participating students also said that they believed it is essential to dress right whilst at university.

50% said that black skinny jeans are a contemporary style essential and that ‘ill-fitting clothing’ is the biggest fashion faux pas - highlighting the evolution of student style since the 1990s, when feelings would have been very much the opposite, with baggy clothing being a style staple.

One third revealed that they spend over a third of their maintenance loan on clothing, with a smaller amount of these students, a quarter, having a part-time job in-order to fund and sustain their style transformation.

The survey also revealed that students that have chosen to study in the North West are the top fashion spenders, with 50% of their loans being spent on new clothes.

Digital Marketing Manager at Topman, Emma Galpin, says: “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.”

The top 5 activities that are the most spent-on by students (after essentials) are:

Clothing - 34%

Nights out - 32%

Eating Out - 9%

Sporting Activities/Events - 5%

Gigs - 5%


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