Although you may not realise it, fashion can be a very distinct identifier of where people are originally from and the kind of cultures that influence them.
Obviously, each country has its own form of traditional dress, for example Native Americans are known for wearing tunics and feathers. There are parts of England where morris dancers are the native outfit of choice, particularly when it comes to May Day. Who can forget the hats, sticks and bells around their knees – it wouldn’t be a celebration without these men and their handkerchiefs.
However, apart from the traditional and lesser-spotted clothing that both countries are occasionally known to wear, there are lots of differences between English and American fashion.
Why does this matter? Essentially, it doesn’t, people are free to dress however they please but it’s certain that there are in fact lots of differences between what is typical British style and American style. This is particularly true, when we consider that each of these continents houses a fashion powerhouse. England has London and America has New York and, as most of you will be aware, both of these cities are famous for their fashion weeks and the size of their fashion industries.
Magazines, and particular British and American Vogue, spend a huge amount of time celebrating the street style of both London and New York. In particular, they don’t make light of how different the fashions between the two cities are.
So, if you are an American – say, a New Yorker – and you’re going to London, and want to fit in with the so-called London look, there are five things that you need to know about this city and its fashion.
British style basics
According to colllegefashion.net, the key – from an outside perspective – to British fashion is never look too polished.
Day-to-day most people in London prefer to look effortlessly chic and many strive to attain the perfect bed head hair that’s paired with an outfit that says they’re not trying too hard but they still look good.
Festivals in England and throughout London are very popular, so if you’re looking for inspiration having a gander at what people wear to these events is an excellent place to start.
They portray a mixture of bohemian countryside with vintage pieces that can do a lot for a person’s ensemble. Although this is a popular look, it isn’t always about being fashionable, as the weather tends to dictate fashion choices in London.
As a city in the south of England, London tends to get better summer weather than places in the north. However, you’ll notice that women who are wearing shorts and flip flops will tend to pack a pair of tights and shoes in their bags, in case the weather decides to take a turn.
There are several weeks in the year when you will find that men and women are also carrying around both sunglasses and foldaway macs in their bags or light jackets. These are excellent tips for you to get used to the change of seasons and the summertime in London.
Typical British style pieces
As we mentioned, people in Britain are used to either carrying around extra clothes or wearing layers due to the effect of the weather.
For this reason, you’ll find that Londoners are adept at mixing and matching all of their clothes. An example of this is to wear a floral dress with a leather jacket and biker boots, not just to toughen up an outfit, but it’s also a great way to stay summery but keep the rain off at the same time.
Quite often, summer and winter outfits are quite similar, as light dresses are paired with thick tights and big coats with scarves and hats. When people are going shopping, they’ll be looking for things that are perfect for switching between the seasons.
A lot of people will buy several light jumpers, so these can be worn in spring and can have a shirt added underneath as it moves into autumn and winter.
Choosing a high-quality leather jacket, boots and a trenchcoat is a really good way to make sure that you’re covered all year round. The best thing is that lots of British shops, from the high street to designers supply a huge range of these pieces of clothing.
If you are keen to be close to the shops that have all of these fashionable items, then you should look at accommodations in London that are on Oxford Street. Luckily, all hotels in The Shaftesbury Collection are walking distance from this famous shopping area.
We have everything from business accommodation to family hotels in London, all you have to do is take your pick and get ready to have a great day out with your family.
British style figures
As London is home to a global fashion industry, you shouldn’t be surprised to know that there are hundreds of stylish people who are from and live in the city.
The best thing about London is that fashion can span all different tropes, just one look at Keira Knightley in her beanie and black skinny jeans and another glance at Vivienne Westwood’s fluorescent hair and belted shoes will show you just how varied clothes can be.
Carey Mulligan has also been named as Harper’s Bazaar’s best dressed woman due to her mix of 1950s vintage with her knowledge of modern designers.
Famously, Carey turned down Anna Wintour’s fashion advice when she went to the Oscars and she made a huge splash. Don’t forget that even though British people like to be comfortable, they also like to rebel now and again – look at bands like the Sex Pistols and Florence and the Machine.
Shops you can’t miss in London
If you have a serious fashion addiction but don’t necessarily have the budget to go wandering the houses of Versace and Vera Wang then you don’t have to worry, because there are great places on the high street that you can turn to.
The most famous is Topshop, which has made its way over to America in recent years. Why is is so popular? Mostly because it has an eclectic range of clothes that will suit most people’s fashion and style preferences. The store also has excellent sales and the flagship Oxford Street store has personal shoppers who will be glad to help you with your London look.
Also keep an eye on All Saints, River Island and New Look, and of course, don’t forget how great markets like Camden and Brick Lane can be the best way to pick up clothes that Londoners love to wear and bag yourself a bargain too.
Be brave and have fun
British style dictates that Londoners in particular aren’t afraid to have fun with their fashion, so you can wear bright tights or a loud scarf with a black dress.
Look in vintage stores for outlandish and one-of-a-kind pieces and, if it suits you, incorporate some of your own American fashion into classic British style – you might find that you’ll get a lot of compliments if you do!
As we mentioned, London Fashion Week is a huge deal for the entire city, so it’s a really good time for you to visit. Explore the Big Smoke through the different fashion across lots of venues and find yourself something quintessentially British to take home as a souvenir.