Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Old Smoke

I was told when I arrived in London that I would want to blend in because I would not want to stand out as an American. I agreed. In the way of fashion, there were a few simple guidelines to follow: 1 - British do not wear bright colors 2 - British wear practical things 3 - British are always put together. In a city notorious for its rainy days and cloudy weather, London's fashion choices seemed appropriate. I prepared to mesh by packing more dark clothes than usual, but am happy to report that rules 1-3 have been dispelled. 1 - A trip to Spitalfield Markets, Brick Lane, and Sunday Up Market proves that color is a popular choice with a variety of Londoners. Black may forever be chic, but there's no denying that neon pink or green is simply more fun. 2 - London women love heels. And I'm sorry but there is nothing practical about trekking around the city in 4 inch heels...though it does mean said women have killer calves. 3 - Perhaps the only rule that is truly debatable. Though I've seen plenty of Brits who dressed to the nines on a Tuesday morning for no apparent reason, I have also seen many who seem to have taken the more boho, messy approach to getting dressed. Hair tousled in short layers or long tresses, girls in leggings under over-sized dresses or shirts, with sweaters falling off their shoulders, and long strapped purses across their chests look far from put together. But in their chaos there is something calculated. Maybe rule 3 still applies. But for now I am happy to pull out my green acid wash v-neck and bright purple State Radio shirt without feeling too foreign. I feel as though I'm starting to properly blend in. If only I could walk 5 miles in heels...

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