Our friends across the pond certainly know how to throw an outfit together. Whether it’s our favorite British actresses strolling through Edinborough or a couple of young professionals parading the streets of London, there’s an undeniable elegance of British fashion that’s only evolved throughout the past few decades. Perhaps it’s the gloomy days that inspire such expressive fashion choices, or the chilly weather that allows for sweeping coats and long leather boots (which is a look that’s great on everyone). Whatever the reason, we can’t get enough of the Brits’ spiffy style. Without further ado, here are 10 tips we can learn From British fashion.
1). A Little Houndstooth Won’t Bite
While the eye-catching houndstooth pattern was originally worn by Scottish shepherds, the design has well incorporated its way into modern British fashion over two hundred years later. The chic jagged edges add personality and detail to an otherwise elementary template, and makes the perfect foundation for a fall or winter statement coat. If you happen to find a great houndstooth piece the next time you’re consignment shopping, experiment with fun elements such as messy hair or colorful shoes to complement the sophistication. Stunner!
2). Simple Pieces Are Simply Brilliant
British beauties like Emma Watson know that you don’t need ten pounds of makeup or seven-inch heels to look your best. Investing in a few statement pieces (such as a brown leather jacket) that you can use in several outfits is one of the best fashion choices you can make. Just make sure that your piece complements your personal style and color palette perfectly, so it won’t clash with your other clothes when you wear it. All you’ve got to do to put together a lovely ensemble like the one listed below is to roll up your favorite pair of jeans, put on a button-down shirt, and add your accessory of choice. You don’t even have to worry about anything matching; if done properly, putting together an outfit like Emma’s will wow the world as is.
3). You Can Wear A Pencil Skirt Anywhere
Emilia Clarke enchants both on-screen (we can’t wait to see Last Christmas) and in real life, with her feminine mystique adding charm to her personality as well as her wardrobe. One thing we love about Emilia (and lots of British women in general) is their ability to completely embrace their girly side without fear of being perceived as powerless. If anything, dressing to the nines will only make you more confident about yourself! We love this particular look (shown below) because the skirt and blouse flatter Emilia’s figure without baring all, making the outfit appropriate for the office or for brunch. Don’t be afraid to mix a pattern like vertical stripes and a floral skirt, as long as there’s a similar element about the two (such as being in the same color family). The perfect accessory? A bit of makeup and an ear-to-ear smile.
4). Red Lips Are Ravishing
The French may be credited for incorporating the red lip into their daily style, but the British don’t shy away from the fashion statement, either. Wearing the right color red for your skin tone can make your teeth look whiter, your eyes look brighter, and add a whimsical element to an otherwise humdrum outfit. We’re digging Karen Gillan’s look below, where she full-on embraces the retro aspect of the red lip, pairing it with red nails, a classic striped shirt, and swingy black skirt. Don’t know where to start? Head to your local drugstore for a tube of Maybelline New York Color Sensational Made For All Lipstick, which is sure to be flattering for any skin and hair combo.
5). Paging Doctor Marten
If there’s one item that’ll get you through walking a couple miles around town, it’s a sturdy pair of Doc Martens. These boots provide the perfect amount of structure and edge to your flowing cold-weather outfits, but their utility doesn’t stop at accessorizing your warm ensembles. Take your sweet spaghetti-strap maxi dress to the next level this upcoming spring by adding a classic white tee underneath and topping it all off with your sturdy Docs. Feeling creative? Try adding a personal touch to your shoes by decorating them with some metallic permanent markers.
6). A Crisp White Shirt Can Be Your Best Friend
While Kate Middleton’s got the dressy-casual look down to a tee, non-royal British women are rocking a classier piece all of their own. The crisp white button-down isn’t just for 60-something lawyers; British girls have adopted the item to go perfectly with almost all of their ensembles. To start, invest in a white button-down that fits you impeccably (look to high-quality brands such as Madewell) and take care of it. Don’t be afraid to use a little bleach if you have to! When you’ve got your nice white shirt, pair it with some khaki or black cigarette pants, pretty shoes, and a voluminous hairstyle. Style tip: If your pants are more modest, you can complement the conservatives by undoing one or two buttons on top.
7). Peter Pan Collars Aren’t Just For Wendy Darling
Despite the connotation with the literary character and perpetual childhood, grown-ups can wear Peter Pan collars and totally rock them. British women are often see rocking the trend out and about, pairing the sweet detail with appropriate shoes and accessories. Many times, we’ll see a white Peter Pan collar against a black dress. This is a great look because 2) the white collar has a nice contrast against the black base and b) the darker color helps to balance out the cuteness of the collar. Try pairing your Peter Pan collared shirt or dress with a leather satchel or pumps and tights to look totally Peng ting.
8). Turtlenecks Are For The Cool Kids
Remember that artsy guy in high school that wrote poetry during class and always wore a black turtleneck? He may have been on to something (with the sweater). As proven by the glamorous Victoria Beckham below, the Turtleneck sweater is a great way to keep warm and elongate your neck this season (or any season that isn’t sweltering). Copy this effortlessly cool look by pairing a turtleneck tucked into boyfriend jeans and some darling ankle boots.
9). Have Fun With Hats
That buyer’s impulse you get whenever you see a slick leather fedora may not be entirely wrong (just make sure you have the budget to get one). The British are fearless when it comes to headwear, and will often put one on to top off their outfits. We’re drawn to the look below because the warm brown picks up the hints in the young woman’s coat (very classically British, too), shoes, and purse. All in all, just make sure when you do buy a hat that it flatters your face shape and complements what you already have, so you have a great statement piece at the ready whenever you are.
10). Mix Any Of The Elements Above For An Amazing Combination
If you own any or all of the timeless items already listed, you have several impressing ensembles just waiting to be assembled. Houndstooth with Doc Martens? Awesome. Turtleneck, red lips, and fedora? So vogue. Don’t shy away from mixing and matching, or from putting your own twist on these British-Inspired pieces. Voilá!
Which British fashion tip are you going to take to heart? Tell us in the comments below!
featured image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/y8NwnDn5494
Anna Livia is a Junior Communications student at John Paul The Great Catholic University. Her hobbies include reading how-to guides on being an adult, exploring the many pockets around North Country (San Diego) and attempting whatever new pasta recipes appear on Pinterest. She hails form Los Angeles but aspires to live in Houston one day for a career in Magazine Editing (not to mention the low housing prices). Her perfect afternoon would include cats of any kind, hot cider, and Malcolm In The Middle.