Our first week here, a group of about eight of us went and sat in a circle right in Russell Square park. A friend from W & L was on her way, but did not know the area and was worried about finding her way and picking us out in the park. She spotted us from the street before the entrance to the park and took a panorama picture. It showed from left to right people in all dark colors, kind of blending in before a sudden shock of color hits the screen. There was no need to worry about finding us. Yes, W & L is as a whole very preppy, but in London it is laughable how much our group stands out. It did not take long for us to realize that we stood out as Americans before we even said “Hello”.
As a whole, Americans generally wear colors British people wouldn’t. Different brands are popular, which is obvious but worth mentioning. We wear shorts, they really don’t. Haircuts are wildly different. As Fox pointed out, summer fashion here is less important, because summer isn’t really as much of a thing. One thing I have noticed about European fashion in general, however, that I find amusing, is the fixation on the U.S. People in London who have a hippie-type, trendy-look wear clothes that have American cities written on them, most often New York. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen someone, clearly not from the U.S. wearing either an American sports jersey or again, a shirt that simply reads “Los Angeles”. My personal favorite was a guy wearing a tank top that said in giant letters, “New Jersey”. That was it. Nothing else. Just New Jersey. I would have taken a picture but I think the guy could have eaten me. While wearing clothes that reference America are cool, being American is not. Talk about disappointing.
I found it interesting that the British are not supposed to take dressing seriously. In America, it is taken very seriously. It is an interesting cultural difference that only begins to make sense after gaining more experience here. I have found that the more time I have spent in London, the easier it has been to understand why certain things like this are.