A school P.E skort, a grandmother’s cheongsam, a vintage purple coat and a red knit scarf. What do these items have in common? Sentiment. Providing a nostalgic blend of comfort and familiarity, we all have pieces in our wardrobes that we refuse to part with. From the stories behind their acquisition to the memories they evoke when we wear them, the emotional value of clothing can be a powerful thing. In an ode to the beauty of sentimentality, Varsity’s Fashion Editors spotlight their most prized possessions and reflect on their significance.

Sarah Abbas

Being somewhat cold-hearted and overtly minimalistic, I rarely find sentiment in objects, viewing most things in life as replaceable. However, despite my mother’s protests to get rid of it, there is one piece I have always failed to part with. My school P.E skort. Possibly the most ridiculous thing to feel sentimental over. Entering a new private school, my matching sports top and skort allowed me to live out my Gossip Girl fantasies. It was so girly, so preppy. Putting on the set gave me a feeling that will forever remain unmatched. Dressed up all ready to mess around with my friends on the netball courts. Not worrying about deadlines or drama. Holding nothing but a water bottle. Wearing my school skort was the one of the rare times I felt complete freedom. So if you ever see me around college wearing my slightly-too-short-army-green school skort with my name embroidered on the side—keep walking.


Anna Chan

“Feeling both my family’s pride and my full In the Mood for Love fantasy”

My grandma’s cheongsam was pulled out of a wooden chest and given to me to try on. I thought I would suffocate when I put it on, as it closed in on me with each button I clasped along its winding path. It led me to the mandarin collar, kept stiff with a piece of card that I thought would suffocate me. “She must have a thinner neck than me,” I joked. I could feel her body in this dress, wrapped under the same seams and curves and swathed in the same gorgeous blue and green fabric. It fit me so well it was gifted to me, and somehow I got used to the tight neck and bound shoulders. I wore it for my matriculation photos (about a year and a term after actually matriculating), feeling both my family’s pride and my full In the Mood for Love fantasy.


Kasia Truscott

“It was a sign from the universe that I was going to be okay”

In the back left corner of my wardrobe, draping from one of Sainsbury’s finest wooden hangers, there is a coat. It’s a full-length vintage Escada number, made of beautiful violet leather with a fur trimming in deep purple. Does it obnoxiously scream Devil Wears Prada? Yes. Did it cripple me financially? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I first laid eyes on it back in February, when I spent a weekend in Durham visiting my little brother. I was struggling mentally at the time, and had hoped that the trip would bring me some peace. What I found instead, in a tiny little vintage shop that he was begging me to come see, was this coat. At the time, we joked that it was a sign from the universe that I was going to be okay. Call me naïve, but I truly believed that. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece that I know I’ll never find again. In a way, nestled in the warmth of its purple splendour will always feel like a warm, comforting hug from the universe; like a hug from my brother.


Emily Kelly


Mountain View

An ode to the tote

It’s a classic image: a grandma with her knitting, lovingly crafting the next hat or scarf for her grandchildren to wear. My grandparents have always been quintessential (in everything from the caravan trips to the extremely plentiful “rations”), and knitting has always been Grandma’s trademark: growing up, she knitted everything from jumpers to soft toys, and a trip to the nearby wool shop was always a highlight when my grandparents came to stay. She made me this scarf for Christmas a few years ago, and it’s still one of the softest and cosiest things I own. I’ve seen little of my grandparents of late because of COVID, but wearing this scarf has been like carrying a little piece of them wherever I go.