When it comes to street style, London had no rules. Living in the magical city last semester, I was refreshed by the creativity and wackiness of the outfits I witnessed. Brunch became a battleground for sparkly tights under ripped jeans. After class coffee came with a side of glamorous earrings paired with band T-shirts. People looked careless yet chic, daring, and intelligent. London street style had a major weapon, which I lacked at the time: confidence.
PHOTO: Lex Kelly
This liberation in dressing wasn’t always the case. Not too long ago in London, people dressed as their social class told them to dress. Society deemed whether you wore sneakers or heels, cardigans, or leather jackets. That was until London decided to give birth to punk, bestowing some fashion chaos and splendor that discouraged following the rules and instead encouraged dressing for no one else but you.
I quickly realized that my black-on-black ensembles made me feel uncreative, and not really, well, me. As I spent more time out and about, witnessing new ideas in every outfit I encountered, I slowly began to ditch my trusted black T-shirts (I have four of the same kind) and began playing more with layers, cut, and fabrics. I wore turtlenecks under dresses, bought cheetah platform shoes, and went out in sweatpants for the first time, adorning layers of jewelry and loving it.
PHOTO: Kelly Rogowski
It wasn’t until London did I realize the impact fashion can have on our confidence. And as a student, confidence is key. If clothes are our armor, then style is our secret weapon. It reveals a little bit of who we are, where we come from, and where we might be going. Wearing a glittery top with a tweed jacket and loafers might make some feel uncomfortable, but it makes me feel like I’m dressing for the best version of myself—the self that I am proud of and, ultimately, love.
PHOTO: Cassidy Clark
Perhaps it is due to the melting pot of culture London has to offer, but the British capital’s ability to mix, match, and beyond gives its street style some serious flare. It’s as if the fashion of the people represent the multicultural dynamic that exists in the city.
If you want to dress like a Londoner, my advice would be the following: dress how you want your best self to feel and nothing less. Politely disregard other people’s opinion and any rules you’ve been told to follow. Stick your nose up at those who criticize and keep on keeping on. Whether it’s tweed trousers with a faux-fur jacket or a velvet blazer and jeans, wear what you wear with the same pride that Londoners have for their city. Wear what you wear with the pride you should have for yourself.
How does your best self dress? Show us on social media! Don’t forget to tag @Cfashionista.
Featured photo by Kelly Rogowski.