Aug 30

20 Things We Regret Buying at Uni

by Florenne Earle Ledger and Nona Dimitrova

With uni students about to start another year of living in a strange limbo of going out, staying in, and doing a course they *hopefully* enjoy, we’re thinking back to the hay days and the items we thought we really needed, that we really didn’t.

It's no surprise uni is a time when we make purchases we regret as we're still learning who we are and what our style is, as well getitng to grips with the true impact of fast fashion. Before uni, I had no idea of just how bad fast fashion really was. We're sharing things we regret buying to help those of you about to start university, to save you some money and reduce your impact on the environment.

We asked our followers what items they regret buying when they went to university. There were some interesting responses:

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to give your two pence when we ask questions like this in the future.

Items We Regret Buying at University

Before we share a few things people bought that they no longer love, we want to make it clear that we celebrate anyone who has their own personal style. If any of these items are things you enjoy wearing, we love that for you. These are just the items submitted by our users.

1. Going Out Top

This one is a unanimous experience. We’ve all been there thinking we need loads of new going out tops for freshers and beyond, and suddenly we stop wearing them.

Your style changes so much at university, half of the tops I bought thinking I’d wear them to death I now look at and cringe. It’s simply not giving.

There’s no doubt you might be going out a lot, but we suggest borrowing from friends or outfit repeating. It saves money and you can still look cute- and mother nature approves.

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2. Culottes

Why did I think these were such a look? Very glad that these are finally out of fashion- although they were comfy.

3. Random Vintage Clothes

My uni city, Sheffield, had so many vintage stores with absolute bargains. Once I’d decided I was boycotting fast fashion, I’d buy random vintage bits thinking I liked them, but actually they were just cheap. I regret making impulse purchases in vintage stores without trying items on and actually thinking about how I would style them with the rest of my wardrobe. The same goes for charity shops too.

4. Low Quality Platform Shoes

I think I went through 4 pairs of ASOS own brand platform lace up boots. The kind with a huge sole that made me 5’6 instead of 5’2, were worn down unevenly in a matter of months after I basically didn’t take them off for weeks straight until they broke. In some cases the shoe became detached from the sole. Since uni, I’ve invested in a quality pair of Doc Martens that I’ve been wearing most days for a year and half. They are still going strong.

5. Tie Dye

I think it was only my tapestry that was tie dye by the time I went to uni, it was more of a sixth form college vibe, but why was tie dye the coolest thing ever at one point and then seemingly overnight it became something I’d never wear again?

6. Too Many Plates/Crockery

It might be an unpopular opinion, but people who turned up with 20 plates and a full set of crockery to feed 40, never seemed to do their washing up. When you have endless clean plates you just take another one from the stack, but when there’s fewer to choose from you actually stay on top of cleaning because you have no other choice.

7. Trainers

People might not agree with this one, but definitely sports shoes and sneakers. I think a couple everyday pairs and one for the gym is enough, but now that I’m a little older I just don’t gravitate towards them at all.

8. Cropped Jackets

So many cropped jackets (leather, bomber, etc). The silhouette just doesn’t serve me anymore and makes most of my outfits look like I’m trying to look like a teenager.

9. Poor Quality Knitwear

So much poor quality knitwear. I wasn’t in a position to afford expensive sweaters and cardigans, but I wish I had prioritised getting a few 100% wool or cashemere pieces with a timeless silhouette, over 20 polyester jumpers that have lost shape and feel over the years. Now I feel like I need to re-buy everything.

10. Jeans

JEANS! I bought so many different shapes and ugly colours of cheaply made jeans (most of them were probably not even denim). If I could go back now, I would probably buy a few different washes in a couple silhouettes which suit my body and style.

11. Short Shorts

Super short shorts. And I’m not just saying this because jorts are in style now. The lower part of your body needs oxygen too! And I just think they were wildly unflattering.

12. Cheap Jewellery

Earrings are fine, if you’re only wearing them every once in a while, but there’s literally no point in buying rings and necklaces and bracelets which will make your body green and lose colour over time. I’d rather wear no jewellery than wearing a copper or nickel necklace.

13. Fake Designer Bags

This is so embarrassing but I think fast fashion bags / purses, as well as knock-off designer bags, are definitely something I regret buying at university. I went to uni when logo-mania was kinda huge, and I regret it now, I’d never leave the house with any of those bags. If I could go back in time or give someone a word of advice, it would be to either shop vintage, if you can, or opt for classic shapes which are good quality from cheaper brands. No matter how mature you are, your brain is still very much developing, and your style will change without a doubt (even if you’re certain it won’t).

14. Urban Outfittters

Most things from Urban Outfitters. Sure, they’re not the worst of the worst, but I think they’re one of those stores where everyone goes for hyper trendy pieces- they don’t really focus on basics at all. And yes, all of them go out of style within a few months. I can’t think of a single piece I’ve gotten from Urban Outfitters which I still wear now.

15. Occasion Dresses

Occasion dresses, especially if they’re all quite similar (colour, length, all that). My university had a handful of black-tie events and now I have all these fancy dresses and gowns that are just not my style at all, and I haven’t reached for in years. This kind of goes for when you’re an adult too- I’d rather rent every single time, or borrow from a friend.

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16. Fast Homeware

This one is not fashion related, but any homeware from Primark. It’s cheap, yes, but take it from someone who did it- don’t. That includes, pillows, bedding, decorative cushions, throws, all of it. The pillows are thin and get thinner over time. The bedding looks awful after a few washes. A good bed set up can last you a lifetime and it just increases your quality of life so much!!! Not sustainable by any means, but John Lewis, or even Ikea, make great bed-wear which will last you a lifetime.

17. The Full Reading List

Might be niche depending on what you’re studying but you absolutely don’t need to buy every book on your reading list. Especially if you don’t even like the book. I studied English Literature & Linguistics, and let me tell you- so much money spent for me to just be hauling boxes of bricks- uh- books, every time I move flats. Just use your uni’s or your local library or get a kindle! And I know, I know, a lot of people like writing notes in their books, but writing it down on paper or on a document will help you remember and develop it 10x better, and you’ll wish you hadn’t scribbled over the books you actually liked. Not to make this an essay, but I’ve started reading books on a Kindle and I will only purchase a hard copy if I loved the book a lot and would want to reread it in the future.

18. Cheap Makeup

Not really clothing related, but large quantities of cheap makeup lol. Nothing wrong with not opting for the high-end brands, but in my case a cheap product means I’ve accumulated so much useless products which I’ll use once, and then never again, and it’s a complete waste, just because it’s ‘not expensive’. Also I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you don’t need 10 different eyeshadow palettes.

19. Hoodies and Uni Merch

For me it was hoodies and uni merch in general. At the time I just wanted every possible free piece of clothing I could get my hands on, and now, a few years post graduating, I’d probably wear one or two of those items. “But I can just use them for the gym,” take it from a girl with 35 ‘gym t-shirts’ which say “[UNIVERSITY NAME] VARSITY VOLLEYBALL 2015" on them, you don’t need ’em all.

20. Uni Poster Sale

A lot of unis have a poster sale, don’t fall victim to it! They sell the same few prints, and you’ll find much better posters and prints in vintage and charity shops, on eBay, or directly from smaller artists.

Is there something you regret buying that we've not mentioned? Let us know on our socials @Whering__ on Twitter and Instagram.

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