This is, very obviously, in no way a fashion blog, and I am in no way an “influencer” (I’m more of a trend-follower than -setter; even then, a friend recently told me, “I think we could push you more sartorially,” which was maybe the funniest thing anyone’s ever said to me), but I’ve been thinking a lot about trends lately. The last time I wrote a post about what was trending in my part of London was nearly three years ago, so don’t expect this to turn into THAT sort of blog.
After spending half the summer in London and half in the States, I found myself mentally comparing/contrasting what was trending here vs. there.
It seems there is always some new product that my friends are talking about when I go home, something I’ve never heard of because it’s just not a thing over here. Last summer it was cooking with Instant Pots; a couple years ago it was doing self-manicures with Color Street nail stickers (I’m a fan); people going on about the Keto diet and “counting macros” as they put butter in their coffee (not a fan); and this summer it was drinking White Claw hard seltzer.
I did enjoy the mango flavor at the pool in Sunriver, but from the looks of things, we won’t be getting White Claw over here anytime soon.
(Pink gin drinks were the trendy tipple in London this summer—Aperol Spritzes are sooo 2018.)
When it comes to fashion trends among the masses, there is quite a lot of transatlantic overlap, thanks to the era of globalized social media and everyone following the same influencers or whatever. ’90s fashion, for better or worse, is very in this year in both countries: ripped, unflattering jeans; jean jackets; F·R·I·E·N·D·S tees; fanny packs/bum bags (worn cross-body); puffy knot headbands; velvet scrunchies; Birkenstock sandals.
But if you are visiting London soon and are worried that everyone will look at you and immediately know that you’re an American (it’s true, it’s usually pretty obvious), here’s a London-ready “capsule collection” for you to pack. Just some essentials, to help you blend into the crowd and look like less of a tourist. You’re welcome.
1. Flowy midi-length dresses and skirts
And in particular, THIS dress from Zara, which 1 in 3 women in London bought this summer.
And midi dresses/skirts are usually worn with:
2. White “trainers” (sneakers)
Superga, Adidas Stan Smith, and Veja are all acceptable footwear in London. But because we do a lot of walking in this city, they will of course get dirty immediately.
3. ’90s fashion, as aforementioned. Some distressed jeans, a jean jacket, and a headband will do the trick.
4. Leopard print is everywhere this year, on every item of clothing or accessory you can think of. Pick up some animal-print accessories (or, even better, a leopard-print midi skirt) and take a walk on the wild side (that’s the left side to you, Americans).
5. Black leather moto jacket
Do any of the women I know ride a motorbike? No. If they’re not walking, they’re driving Range Rovers, which I recently learned are nicknamed “Chelsea tractors,” which I found pretty amusing. We live south of the river from Chelsea, but it still very much applies here.
And moto-style leather jackets are a staple in this set, regardless. Because you’re a mum, but you’re still cool.
6. Sweaty Betty athleisure wear
Move over Lulu Lemon, London is Sweaty Betty’s home turf when it comes to athleisure for the affluent. For being on your way to/from pilates class, or at least appearing like you are. Order a croissant and flat white in the café and look like you earned it.
7. Daunt Books tote bag
Sure, you see a lot of flash-your-cash designer bags around here, thousand-pound Louis Vuitton and Goyard totes and the like, but you will look like a true London hipster when you’re carrying this £7 tote bag from the independent bookstore, on your way to spend £10 on avocado toast.
So there’s your edit. Not that I have all of these items myself. My London lewk is more classic trench-coat-and-Burberry-scarf than cool leather-jacket-and-leopard-print. Then again, I could be pushed more sartorially, so I’m told.
Now, true story: This afternoon I had finished writing this post, but hadn’t yet published it, when I did the school run and happened to spot this little vignette at the school gate:
Nailing it, ladies. You too, Wren.
Also, I guess I should note that this post is not sponsored by any of these brands; these are just my observations. If anyone would like to pay me, please feel free!