Now that I’ve lived in London for about 2 months, I’m settling into my adopted city comfortably. I know the major tube stops by heart and have a mental list of what times to avoid the crowds in major shopping districts. I’ve discovered a favorite tea spot and a go-to vintage store. I even visited the Christie’s headquarters to see the Audrey Hepburn exhibition. But perhaps the most exciting thing is that I’m really beginning to embrace British fashion.
Everyday when I meander around London’s winding, cobbled streets, I can’t help but notice what Londoners are wearing. As one does, I had all these preconceived notions of how Brits dress (wellies, anyone?). With the abundance of British heritage brands, it’s hard not to conjure up images of tweed and trenches. While some stereotypes aren’t all that common in reality (I haven’t seen many tall rain boots in London—apparently they’re spotted more often in the countryside), some certainly hold true.
In my experience, these are 5 luxury goods by British brands that aren’t just stereotypes; Brits actually wear them—I see them on the street everyday! Read on to see my list. I can’t wait to hear to what you think.
1. The Trusty Burberry Trench
If someone asked me to pick one item to define British fashion, this would be it. Popularized in the First World War, trench coats have been a staple of Brit style ever since, and no one does British heritage like Burberry. Classic, tailored, and refined, the trusty Burberry trench is a must. It’s impossible to walk around London for the day and not spot these.
2. A Classic Mulberry Bag
While London is a trend capital, it’s no secret that Brits love their staples. Mulberry is the quintessential English handbag brand. Mulberry bags are simple, structured, and elegant, tending to come in neutral colors. I see Mulberry satchels and crossbodys all the time, recognizable by their central oval hardware—especially on the arms of professional women.
3. The Ever-Practical Barbour Jacket
It’s no secret that London is, well, a bit grey… The city is stunning, historic, and thoroughly lovable, but it also might as well be called Rain Capital. On windy, rainy days, the ever-practical Brits often reach for their waxed Barbour jackets. While this trend has definitely reached the U.S., and especially New England, it’s still as popular as ever here. A Barbour is a go-to for a casual day in the city, as well as the countryside.
4. The Trendy Burberry Bridle Bag
Earlier this year, we already had an inkling that the Burberry Bridle Bag would be a bit hit. (Read: Burberry Finds Success in “See Now, Buy Now”) Now, walking around my city, I know this is the case. I personally love this bag because it combines tradition (Burberry, saddlery, structured lines) with innovation. It’s a new, trendy bag drawing on English heritage, which is probably why the Brits are huge fans themselves!
5. Cutesy Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats
Okay, okay. I know Kitty flats don’t exactly call to mind “London.” But I see these almost everyday. Charlotte Olympia is cutesy, quirky, and fun—the brand loves bold designs and bright colors (sounds more American, right?). The thing is, Brits don’t always stick with staid classics and muted colors. Charlotte Olympia embraces another side of British culture, as the abundance of Kitty flats on the street shows.
...& Additional Brit Fashion Eye Candy
Now that you’ve seen the British staples, what do you think? Does London fashion fit with your own style? Do you identify your sense of style with any particular country or tradition? And for you Brits (and people who have lived in the U.K. at any point!)—is this list missing any major players? Let me know in the comments xx
Read related articles below:
London Calling: PurseBop’s New European Correspondent
Audrey Hepburn’s Personal Collection (Handbags Included)
London Exclusive: A Shopping Day at Harrods
Tough Summer for UK Fashion Market
Burberry Finds Success in “See Now, Buy Now”
Updated: February 28th, 2019