Skip to main content

Cardiff University ExperiencesStudent Life

Fashion Faux Pas: Dressing for Cardiff Weather

20 June 2024

Ah, Cardiff weather – a capricious blend of sun, rain, and wind that often leaves even the most seasoned locals scratching their heads. As an Indian student trying to navigate this meteorological minefield, I’ve had my fair share of fashion faux pas. Here’s a peek into my sartorial struggles, peppered with wardrobe malfunctions and a comedic clash of Indian and Welsh fashion sensibilities.

Back in India, the concept of layering was as foreign to me as a raincoat in Rajasthan. My wardrobe was a straightforward collection of t-shirts, jeans, and kurtas – simple and suited to the predictable seasons. Enter Cardiff, where layering is an art form I’ve yet to master. On my first chilly day, I naively piled on every warm item I owned, resembling a puffed-up paratha rather than a stylish student. By midday, the sun decided to make an appearance, and I found myself peeling off layers faster than a Bollywood dancer.

In India, an umbrella was my trusty companion during monsoon season. But Cardiff’s gusty winds had other plans. During one particularly blustery day, my umbrella performed an impressive acrobatic flip, leaving me drenched and laughing at my own folly. Determined to adapt, I invested in a raincoat – only to discover that it trapped heat like a pressure cooker. The result? A sweaty, rain-soaked mess that was anything but fashionable.

Footwear in India was a straightforward affair – sandals for the heat and sturdy shoes for the occasional rain. Cardiff’s cobblestone streets and unpredictable puddles introduced me to the world of waterproof boots. My first attempt at navigating these streets in impractical, albeit stylish, Indian juttis resulted in soggy feet and a newfound appreciation for trainers. Now, I strut in shoes that could withstand a hurricane, even if they make me feel like Nike’s brand ambassador.

Indian fashion thrives on vibrant colours and light fabrics, perfect for the sweltering summers. Cardiff’s climate is much like me- moody, which calls for muted, pastel tones and cozy materials. My first attempt to brighten a gloomy day with a hot pink sweater caught many glances. I quickly learned that blending in required a wardrobe overhaul. Out went the bright hues, and in came the pastels, blues, and earth tones. Yet, I couldn’t resist sneaking in a colorful scarf now and then, a nod to my Indian roots amidst the Welsh drizzle.

One fine day, I decided to channel my inner Bollywood diva with a flowy skirt – a decision I soon regretted. Cardiff’s winds turned my elegant ensemble into a Marilyn Monroe moment, much to the amusement of passersby. I clutched at my skirt with all the dignity I could muster, silently took a vow to save the flowing fabrics for calmer days. Lesson learnt: Cardiff winds show no mercy to fashionistas.

In India, fashion is an explosion of colors, patterns, and textures. Think sarees with intricate embroidery, salwar kameez in every shade of the rainbow, and jewelry that jingles with every step. Cardiff, in contrast, leans towards understated elegance – practical, warm, and weather-proof. The locals sport chic trench coats, snug scarves, and sensible shoes, ready to tackle whatever the weather throws their way.

I’ve always been a worshipper at the altar of “fashion over functionality,” but living in Cardiff has taught me to blend styles in a way that keeps me both chic and sane. My Indian wardrobe adds a splash of vibrancy to Cardiff’s unpredictable weather, while my newfound Welsh fashion sense ensures I’m ready for any climatic curveball, all while channeling my inner Victoria Beckham. It’s a balancing act – full of laughter, missteps, and the occasional fashion faux pas. And even if I’m sometimes struggling in a mini dress and stilettos at 8°C, it’s a small price to pay for looking fabulous.

In the end, dressing for Cardiff weather is less about perfection and more about embracing the unpredictability with humor and grace. After all, fashion is a journey, and sometimes, the best stories come from the quirkiest misadventures. So here’s to layering up, braving the winds, and strutting through puddles with a smile – because, in Cardiff, every day is a runway, rain or shine.