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Friend friday: Locational influences on dress


This is my first Friend Friday in aaagggeees… Nice to do one again! Today the topic is location and how it influences our style choices. And I’m straigh back into lengthy answers, hehe.

1. What part of the world do you blog from?

Edinburgh, Scotland.

2. If you had to describe the overall mode of dress for where you live what would you say?

It’s difficult to generalise of course, but I do think the UK as a country has got a distinctive style. When I compare it to Germany, a lot more people here seem to be interested in clothes and fashion, and to be willing to spend a good chunk of money on their wardrobes. And many of those that don’t spend money nevertheless spend the time and effort. When we were in London the other month, we had a morning shopping in Spitalfields and Brick Lane, and there was a girl with full scale updo hair, and what was basically an evening dress. At eleven in the morning. She did look a bit silly but I love the effort, people like that make the streets a lot more interesting to walk through!

It’s also a pretty diverse style, and people seem to be quite tolerant of others’ clothing choices. Sometimes US based people talk about how they wore a skirt and people looked at them strangely. That would never happen here, you’d have to really try very hard for anyone to bat an eyelid at anything, either for being over or under dressed. Though I must say that the pyjamas to the shops thing people are forever complaining about does not happen here… I’ve seen that precisely twice in my 12 years here, and once it was a group of girls clearly wearing it as fancy dress.

Also, I think there’s a sort of dishevelled quirkyness in the UK style. Luxembourg, in its moneyed way, has a French influenced polishedness that you see very few British people pull off. But I love that scruffiness, it fits with my own style. I have no chance to ever be suave and elegant, but I can do fun and quirky.

And Edinburgh, I don’t know if it has its own style. It’s more understated than Glasgow for sure, less shopping and beauty orientated. Glaswegians seem to get fully dressed up and beautified for going out even on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, whereas here you wouldn’t look out of place in jeans and tshirt. Though I may be overstating that, it’s not as if I regularly go out in Glasgow on weeknights, and I probably just don’t know the chilled neighbourhood pubs that are the equivalent of my Edinburgh haunts.

3. Do you fit in with the status quo around you or do you break the mold?

I do fit in in I think, like I said above, but as I also said I can think of few things that would be really out of the ordinary. There are so many styles based on social groups out and about as well, everyone will fit in somewhere. There’s the suited and booted people from the banks, the mini moshers with their black clothes and stripy socks, the yahs, the glamour girls, the indie buys with their beards and/or massive hair and the neddy guys in the tracksuits. I find clothing based social groups totally fascinating!

4. If you have lived or traveled to another part of the country/world did your clothing choices evolve?

I’ve never lived anywhere else (other than Luxembourg, obvs), so I don’t know. When I look through my wardroberemix set, the ones where I am on holiday don’t stand out at all (there’s a few in the mosaic, may you can spot them?). Though we do tend to go on holiday to places where I could basically imagine living (Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Barcelona). The last time I can remember dressing differently because of a place was when I lived in Belize for 3 months after my undergrad when I dressed very simply because it was so hot and I didn’t have very many clothes with me. Though now I really am very settled in my style and I can’t imagine it ever changing in a massive way. Then again it always does evolve of course and if I did move somewhere with a very strong aesthetic, I would no doubt pick it up eventually.

5. If you had to describe your style by naming a specific city, what would you be?

Berlin, probably, just because that is my favourite city ever. But it does have a nice artistic vibe, lots of thrifty outfits (Berlin: poor but sexy), people look offbeat and interesting but not as self-consciously so as somewhere like London’s East End.

What do you think? Does the place where you live influence your style? Do different UK cities have different styles? And what about the other European places I’ve mentioned?

See here for the roundup of this week’s posts.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • northwest is best 5 August 2011, 8:38 am

    Interesting answers… I too think the UK is quite a diverse, style conscious place. Although Liverpool is very close to Manchester it's such a different city. It's true that women go out in their pyjamas with rollers in their hair in the daytime, but only because they want to look glamorous at night.

  • Amanne Sharif 5 August 2011, 3:33 pm

    I love that people are tolerant of other's styles. I feel like that is how SF is. It's kind of a motivation to keep evolving your style.

  • Krystal/Village 5 August 2011, 10:06 pm

    this is such a great friend friday, i need to remember to do these!

  • Cate 6 August 2011, 2:13 pm

    "She did look a bit silly but I love the effort, people like that make the streets a lot more interesting to walk through! "

    LOVE 😀 we don't get that many stand outs in Boston, but in Trinidad there are definitely some…. curious dressers! and i'm not sure if i'm ashamed to say that we ogle them :s

  • byhillary 7 August 2011, 10:56 pm

    I'm too in Boston. It's pretty conservative but leans dressier than say 1 hour away in NH where I grew up. People do talk, often about how I dress. I think i am pretty darn modest and not too out there. Others don't agree. I never wear sleevesless or low cut but people still talk.

  • Veshoevius 12 August 2011, 10:27 pm

    I liked this post – I think you made a lot of very accurate observations about the UK fashion scene and lots of paragraphs written here about Edinburgh could just as well apply in London, the heightened fashion awareness, the anything goes and nobody bats an eyelid, the preference towards quirkiness and the slightly undone dishevelled chic – it is almost as if, at some level above the local nuances, there is almost a certain homogeniety in the approach to style across the UK.