How to nail your uni style from someone who knows

28 June 2018
By Fashion Quarterly

As Miss FQ’s associate editor (and a University of Auckland graduate), Phoebe Watt knows a thing or two about collegiate style. Here she shares her tips for places to shop, what to wear and cool finds to nail your uni look – no PJs required.

What would be your ideal outfit for the first day of uni?
Your first day is all about attracting your tribe, so wear something comfortable that really represents you. Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak (thanks Rachel Zoe), but clothes are also a great icebreaker!

What was your personal style like at uni?
Relaxed but put-together. My go-to was kind of a riff on Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face — black skinny jeans, black jumper and ballet flats which I would’ve liked people to think were Repetto (cool at the time) but were from The Warehouse.

What would your number one accessory for a uni student be?
A good, sturdy bag that can take the weight of all your textbooks. I foolishly lugged mine around in a studded Alexander Wang tote which itself weighed around 4kg. It looked great but I’ve basically had shoulder spasms for the past decade.

Where do you think are the best places to shop for students on a budget in Auckland?
Zara! The new online store ups the convenience factor and is full of studying incentives. A new pair of earrings for acing that test? Don’t mind if you do! Just don’t get too distracted…

What would be your advice to a student who’s keen to experiment with their look?
You have 45 years of dressing conservatively to look forward to once you’re part of the workforce, so make the most of the loose dress code. FTLOG though, leave the onesie at home.

Fush ‘n’ Chups tote bag by Daffy & Yarn, $25, from The Bread and Butter Letter; Chuck Taylor All Star high top sneakers by Converse, $100, from PLatypus; Jacket by Rains, $160, from Father Rabbit.

Backpack by Herschel, $150, from The Iconic; Cubanos sunglasses by Le Specs, $69.95, from Smith & Caughey’s; 2-pack socks, $12.99, from H&M.


Auckland has plenty of thrift stores to keep your bank account happy – try the iconic Paperbag Princess on K’ Rd or Savemart in Northcote.

Basic tee shirts, priced from $18-$32, from AS Colours; 8oz KeepCup, $32.50, from The Coffee Company; Vintage Levi’s denim jacket, from Tatty’s.

Photos: Rebekah Robinson,  Supplied

This article was brought to you by the University of Auckland. 


Sign up & Join
FQ Insider

Unlock exclusive content, behind-the-scenes insights, and special offers by becoming an FQ Insider.

Fashion Quarterly Winter 2023 Cover
Fashion Quarterly Winter 2023 Cover

Sign up & Join
FQ Insider

Unlock exclusive content, behind-the-scenes insights, and special offers by becoming an FQ Insider.

Sign up to the Fashion Quarterly newsletter.

*Ts&Cs apply.
Find out more at