Friday, April 15, 2011
wradrobe transition 360
If there's one thing that I've truly seen transform since I've been living in the UK, it has to be my fashion sense.
Sometimes it's hard to tell the wood from the trees when you move abroad.
I'm cycling to work, sure. I know how to take the correct bus. I know where to get a good pint. I say 'yeah' instead of 'ja'. And I know the difference between Spotted Dick and Toad In The Hole.
I'm 'settled in,' one might say. But for me, the most startling change I've made is how I dress. I am porous when it comes to fashion trends in other countries, especially Europe.
When I holidayed in Berlin, I found myself wearing neo-communist leather boots, for example.
Here? The bandwagons I have jumped on, clothes-wise, are thus (and admittedly, it may verge on the edge of being a bit 'Sloaney'):
Shorts with stockings
I can't remember the last time I wore shorts without them. Frankly, everything looks better in a stocking.
I have over 30 pairs now.You could get away with pants everyday in a cold climate, but it does get boring. So birds wear tights. All the time. With everything.
Unless you want to Die By Bunion, or break your ankle, you don't wear heels unless you plan to sit all night and take cabs from door-to-door.
Jane Austen style. When the sun shines, you dress like someone in the 1950s. It's normal.
I haven't quite embraced this one yet. I don't really 'do' large dresses. But then, I said I'd never wear ankle boots. And now own three pairs.
Never thought the female version of David Hasslehoff in the 80s would kick off, but it has. And they're hanging in my wardrobe.
If there's one thing I don't leave the house without, it's a blazer. (In winter, it's a blazer under a coat). I have tweed, classic blue and....god dare I say it....seersucker. (American in an elevator: "Oh my God, that is one amazing seersucker jacket, lady.")
Seersucker is an old school word for stripes.
Drown me in silk, people. I could have a yard sale solely based on scarves.
No nation has ever publicised the humble cardie as much as the British. You were a cardie buttoned up under a blazer, and you always wear one with a summer frock. Cardies for me, historically, were always a bit naff.
Cardies in South Africa, to me, were worn by grannies, nurses, chicks who spent evenings in the library.
Here, I have known to go clubbing in them.
If you like black, or are a goth, you'll like London fashion. In winter, everything is a whiter shade of black and grey. In summer? It's Jamaica.
People wear them like boots. On the streets, jeans tucked in, or with stockings and a skirt. By far my favourite transition. Everyone kind of looks like they're from a farm on the shires, but could rave at the same time.
I have completely changed my wardrobe since arriving. It's sad, in some way, I have no remembrance of what South Africans wear these days.