Across the Pond: Fashion in the UK vs the US

Should fashion make you fit in or stick out?

Upon my visit to England this winter break, I came to learn, among other things, why the UK is considered one of the fashion capitals of the world. I believe this is because trends in the UK are observed with as much conviction as Sabbath. As the saying goes, across the pond fashion is religion. While I was there I saw some of the best dressed women I have ever seen, ranging from aristocratic chic to casual hipster-geek. However, in the quest to remain current in the fashion arena by following trends, many women just appeared to wear the same clothing. This homogenization of fashion is what may defeat fashion’s ultimate purpose, which is to make one unique and stand out.  Also, notice I say females and not males. I don’t have much to say about male fashion except that all the British men just dressed like they were in either Grease, Pretty in Pink, or both.

One trend that I noticed quite a bit was the green parka jacket. Almost every girl and woman that passed me by in the mall and shops was wearing a green parka jacket. The distinct olive green color was unmistakable and at times I felt as if I was walking through a forest. Another trend that was quite prominent was white hi-top sneakers. These sneakers were worn with skirts, dresses, jeans and, unfortunately, with argyle knee socks as well.

With that said, I believe since the US is a much larger country than the UK, fashion here is a lot more spread out geographically. This allows for women to be individuals in a sense and not be reigned by fashion trends that may otherwise dominate a city like London. I’ve noticed girls and women here have their own style, with clothing pieces that may not necessarily be “in style.” I feel American women are less pressured to keep up with trends, allowing their style to be that much more unique. Seattle has very welldressed women but fashion trends in the city are followed scarcely. Instead ,I see more women with style that is a mixture of unique touches that just make me smile and become inspired.

Although it is not a sin to follow trends, it is important to not forsake personal style over the quest to remain current in the fashion world. Fashion is a form of expression that should be personalized and not shackled by the normative acceptance of trends. Basically, homogenization is boring so let’s mix it up, shall we? The next time you think of buying a green parka jacket, be weary there is an entire population of women in London that own one.

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