First off, what does British style really look like? We're an eclectic bunch, to say the least, and trying to pick apart the codes that fasten our country's outfitting outlook together is tricky. However, here at Who What Wear, we spend an inordinate amount of time poring over street style looks (there's no denying London street style remains among the most inspiring in the world) and investigating the daily getups of our favourite influencers, editors and industry girls.
All that research has led us to believe that there are some key factors the cool girls of Britain share in common. Our findings show that while they may not wear the exact same piece or trend, the way they approach dressing is similar. Certain tricks come up time and time again, and you can spot a stylish Brit girl's attitude a mile off. Keep scrolling to see what we mean, and shop some suitably British pieces to boot.
1. NO TREND IS TOO HARD TO TRY
Style Notes: This is the nation that birthed the infamous "Hug a Hoodie" campaign, so is it any wonder we've been styling out the idea way before the whole athleisure craze took hold? We've been hugging our Fruit of the Loom sweatshirts for years now.
2. YOU'VE ALWAYS WORN YOUR BOYFRIEND'S CLOTHES
Style Notes: Way before boyfriend jeans were a thing or bomber jackets were best when they were oversize, British girls were stealing the wardrobes of the men in their lives.
3. YOU HATE MATCHY-MATCHY
Style du Monde
Style Notes: There's only one girl who really loves matchy-matchy in this country, and that's the Duchess of Cambridge. The rest of us prefer a more casual approach day-to-day.
4. HAIR-BRUSHING IS NEGOTIABLE
Style Du Monde
Style Notes: Every outfit looks cooler with scruffy hair. And that is basically science.
5. YOU VALUE CLASSICS, BUT YOU DON'T WEAR THEM 24/7
Style du Monde
Style Notes: White tees, trench coats, ballet pumps… these all go a long way in the UK, but it's all about using these classics to offset something more exciting.
6. YOU DON'T MIND SOMETHING SCRUFFY
Style Notes: Being a bit dishevelled in clothing as well as in hair is key to the true Brit girl. Nothing says I've got a life beyond clothes, and I'm naturally, achingly hip quite like looking a little rough around the edges.
7. YOU'RE THE FIRST TO TRY SOMETHING NEW (AND POTENTIALLY WEIRD)
Style Notes: Ankle cuffs that resemble some kind of posh security monitor? Yup, we've already made these Attico creations sell out in the UK. This just goes to show that no crazy creation is off the menu for British girls.
8. YOU WEAR THE DRESS; THE DRESS DOESN'T WEAR YOU
Style Notes: Dresses are great—we can all agree there—but in the British Isles, it's all about YOU styling the dress up or down, and not letting it overwhelm you. Forget uncomfortable or difficult frocks; hip girls here know that they're best worn casually, and preferably over jeans in 2017.
9. SNEAKERS ARE THE SOLUTION TO EVERYTHING
Style Notes: Just where would we be without our humble trainers? Commuting would be a nightmare, we wouldn't wear dresses as much and our feet would never stop hurting. Long live sneakers.
10. YOU HAVE AN UNCONTROLLABLE URGE TO WEAR LEOPARD PRINT
Style Notes: When in doubt, this favourite roars loudest. Print trends come and go, but since Kate Moss—the Brit icon to end all icons—has been wearing leopard spots nonstop for decades, we don't see why one would ever question it. Whether head-to-toe or just via a simple accessory, this classic is never far away.
Shop some of our top Brit-style pieces in the gallery below…
Every Brit girl knows how to remix a pretty dress.
Stolen from the boys but perfect for the girls.
The old-school style has come back for good.
You just saved yourself 10 minutes every morning.
Don't wait until summer to tote this around.
Statement shades, because the sun is out as we type…
The demi-tuck here is beyond perfect.
Dedicated fashion fans will wear these with socks.
A masculine classic you'll love forever.
The London way to jazz up an old pair of jeans.
Next up, your 2017 shopping list has arrived.