Freshers’: A Guide to Clubbing and Clothing


For veterans of the student clubbing scene in Southampton, what to wear in certain places on a night out has been ingrained in their memory forever. From Jesters shoes to fancy dress, drunken youths can be seen stumbling around Portswood and Bedford in a whole array of clothes. However, don’t be put off! The Wessex Scene is here to give you a low down on what to wear, and more importantly what not to wear, in your Freshers’ Week and for the rest of your time at Southampton.IllustrationWessexLifestyle

Pulse @ The Cube

The Cube is your Student’s Union club and will most definitely be a popular watering hole in your Freshers’ Fortnight. With several organised events being held there, including your Welcome Party and Freshers’ Ball, it’s the best opportunity to impress.

With regards to clothing, it’s a chance to dress up a bit, especially for the Freshers’ Ball. Dresses and suits are often worn for the ball, but smart-casual is probably best for the year round.

Having spent the majority of my summer before first year celebrating my freedom from school in teetering heels, I was so ready for my first night out at university to involve my highest pair. However, when I saw that I was miles taller than everyone else I rushed back upstairs and changed to flats. So ladies, even if you are used to walking in heels, stick to flats. It’ll be the best decision you ever made.



I’m almost 100% certain that many of you would have heard of the infamous Jesters already. Known for its own cocktail the “Jesticle” and for the ridiculous amount of hidden steps inside, it is certainly a must see in your first week!

If you have heard of it before then you will know its notorious reputation for being – how to put it discreetly – the less formal establishment of Portswood. For this reason, as far as clothes are concerned, pretty much anything goes as long as you don’t mind getting beer, Jesticle or sick chucked over it (personally I haven’t experienced sick…yet). Casual attire is usually best, with the addition of sensible shoes. Even so, I’ve seen someone wear a suit there once. Suffice it to say, it did not end well.



Ah Sobar, one of the classics. Only a few doors down from Jesters, this establishment is an improvement on its neighbour.

Being a popular place for faculty and society socials, there is rarely a week where you won’t see people dressed up as animals, army people or even someone as a lone banana. Feel free to experiment with fancy dress in this place, they’ve probably seen it all before.

If you want a normal night out here, it’s a little more upmarket than Jesters but casual is probably still the better option.



Situated near the train station in the centre of Southampton, this is a chance for you to dress up. Suits, dresses, heels, the lot!

As it is further away from most student areas, the opportunity to ruin outfits or fall over in heels is taken away with the use of taxis. Also, as it is not a student specific club, most attendees will take the opportunity to go formal. Smart-casual at the very least, but no trainers allowed!


Bedford Place

This is a selection of bars and clubs only 5 minutes from the city centre and accommodation Liberty Point.

I would say this is somewhere in between Sobar and Oceana in terms of dress-code, with many people choosing to use taxis or buses to get there. However, there are a few clubs that will allow trainers. It’s safe to wear heels, but, depending on how drunk you get, you might struggle getting to and from each bar (or Subway).


Pitcher – Winchester

For those of you who are part of the Winchester School of Art, the Pitcher is a popular joint in Winchester that I’m sure you will get to know in great detail.

Our Head of Design, Amy Harwood, suggests you go casual or smart-casual. Girls, you can get away with heels, and they’ll even let you in with jeans and trainers. As Amy said, “my ugly shirts have made many appearances there,” so feel free to go casual!


Whether it’s your first outing to Jesters or a special night at Oceana, make sure you look great and enjoy your Freshers’ week!


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