Exploring English FashionEngland, Spa & Beauty — By Mary on January 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm
When it comes to fashion, seasonal transitions are always an adventure. Big jumps are made when we swap out our skirts for corduroys and our tanks for pea coats and when adding a suitcase to the mixture, packing can become Everest, especially if one has no idea what styles to expect abroad. When all else fails, pea coats and boots will do the trick. But I anticipated the city of London to be filled with street fashionistas. The first thing I noticed was that English fashion could easily resemble American fashion—to a degree of course. For example, many major stores there are also in the U.S., Clarks, H&M and Top Shop are a few that come to mind. Both these men’s and women’s fashion retailers have made their way through both cultures and with success.
Let’s start with staples: boots. In the fall and winter months, every foot you see in London is sure to be clad is a fashionable leather boot. A favorite boot design is the ankle suede boot—easily found at Clarks under the type name “Dessert Boots.” Various designs of these boots can be found at many other retailers as well. If you’re in London, be sure to check out the boot department at the famous department store, Liberty, even if your budget is tight, a half hour perusing the shelves will leave you rife with sartorial inspiration.
Alongside boots, the cool fall weather allots opportunities for headgear. Think: wide felty fedoras, and ivys. If you’re unsure about how to adopt these classic looks check out this English couple, they first caught my eye with their carefully chosen bold-colored items atop their basic black outfits.
Another fashion trend I found abroad were tights. This is no newsflash, but tights are a girl’s best friend during the cold season, simply because it allows a gal to layer without looking bulky and remaining warm enough when outside and cool enough when indoors. And what best pairs with these magic leggings? Over-sized sweaters and thick-knitted cardigans. There were plenty of women I found combining thick and thin layers, creating a balanced and classy look. The beauty of these sweaters and cardigans is that it’s usually lighter and less hassle than a coat and they also provide more opportunity to show off more articles of your fashionable clothing/accessory items.
The majority of people I ran into, spoke with, and observed, all had common answers when asked, “Where do you shop and where does your style come from?” Often their best clothing items seemed to be found outside of London and in smaller, second-hand and vintage type shops. And interestingly enough, when it came to where they found their inspiration, they either answered with a natural rise of the shoulders and followed with an “I don’t know, myself I guess” or found favor in the opinions of their best friends and/or significant other.
After some painless research, I made note of my observations and by the end of my trip, I felt confident no one could pick this American up out of a Londoner line-up. Rules to follow to simply blend in? Layers are key, boots are essential, take off the sunglasses and put on that hat, rock minimal accessories and fashion those tights or Cigarette pants if you can help it.
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