Dickinson College Humanities Program in Norwich

Shopping on Oxford Street – English or just Urban?

September 9, 2010 · 2 Comments

So I went through a few shops today on Oxford Street, and I noticed a few differences in fashion tastes between what I’ve seen in the US versus what I see here. I should also say – I’m from a relatively small town in central PA, and sometimes it’s hard for me to differentiate between what is a characteristic of a city and what’s characteristic of London specifically.

So in women’s fashion particularly, I noticed that both in stores and on the street, women seem to dress up much more. Skirts and dresses are very common, possibly more common than blue jeans (hello? winter’s on the way, ladies). I don’t see many sneakers. Fabrics for women are much more feminine – I tried on a few chiffon skirts, and most of the tops and cardigans are thin, clingy knits (again – WINTER). And where are the colors? Sometimes I’ll see a bright accent on a garment, but for the most part even the colors other than black, white and charcoal grey are muted. When we see prints in stores, they’re usually elaborate florals in muted colors – think 50s housewife. Professor Qualls told us yesterday that we might stand out as Americans when we get to UEA in our t-shirts and jeans…from what I’ve seen in London fashions, I think that’s true, but I can’t be sure when I’ve never lived in a major city before.

I’m wondering if anyone else has noticed this, and if it might mean something about English womanhood – are women here required to be more quintessentially feminine than we are in the States? Are urban fashions just more chic generally than the clothes I’d find in the Capitol City Mall, for example? Is it a combination of both? Anyone have any thoughts? Just thought I’d change up our blog topics to something a little less intellectual – hope no one minds 🙂

The first picture that came up in the women's section of uniqlo.com

Picture taken from http://shop.uniqlo.com/uk/store/clothing/cashmere/women/

Categories: 2010 MaryKate

2 responses so far ↓

  •   guya // Sep 9th 2010 at 17:10

    I would argue the ‘chic’ fashion trend is more a symptom of the stores being in a city than them being in London. Englanders definitely seem to dress more nicely than Americans, but any major city I’ve been to is filled with upscale clothing shops.

  •   Karl // Sep 10th 2010 at 13:11

    If you go to Paris or Moscow you will see that Londoners, especially women, dress much more shabbily.

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