The history of London style is dotted with a roll call of fabulous it-girls—Kate, Naomi, Alexa, Sienna to name a few—who are so iconic that they need only be referred to by their first names. They're women who possess an intrinsic swagger that simply cannot be duplicated or manufactured and who look just as good in a white tee and jeans as they do in the latest hot-off-the-press designer gown. It's this ability to balance the old with the new which is at the heart of London's fashion scene—a mashup of decades, cultures, traditions and tastes blended into one glorious melting pot.
As every fashion-lover worth her salt can attest to, there are certain pieces in every wardrobe that transcend seasonal trends, and the same can be said for a city like London. We might be an eclectic bunch, but there are motifs that crop up again and again in street style snaps and Instagram feeds. From '40s tea dresses to aristocratic heritage fabrics, these trends are all united by their ties to history, but in true London style, they're also pieces that are constantly innovated and updated by the cool girls of the capital. Scroll down to shop the looks.
When Kate Moss launched her first collection for Topshop, it was the tea dress that became the star of the show. Fast forward 10 years and London girls are still in a full-blown love affair with the '40s-inspired style, beloved for its flattering fit and ditzy floral print. For a 2018 update on the classic look, try New Look's polka-dot iteration.
Whether it's paired with ripped denim or thrown over a floaty summer dress, we can safely say that (almost) everything looks good with a leather jacket. Championed by punk and rock subcultures in the '50s and '60s, it may have lost its anarchic connotations, but it still has the same ability to toughen up an outfit. Luckily the high street is getting better at creating faux versions for those on a budget (see the Zara look below). However, if you want one that will age gracefully and stand the test of time, you can't go wrong with the real thing.
There's something very timeless about the flamboyant ensembles of '70s rock n' roll icons such as The Rolling Stones and The Who. From skinny scarves and jumpsuits to aviator sunglasses and flared trousers, it's a decade that might come in and out of style according to the runways. But as all London girls know, it's a look which is universally flattering and agelessly chic.
Heritage fabrics may have roots in the English aristocracy and Saville Row, but over the last decade they have shaken off their fusty associations thanks to the creative visions of Brit designers such as Burberry and Vivienne Westwood. Whether it's tweed or Prince of Wales check, heritage fabrics now come in all manner of guises. We love the '60s vibes of Enis Wardrobe's checked coat and skirt combo. Leomie Andersen has also created a modern mash-up with a nipped-in blazer, patchwork jeans and box-fresh trainers.