I can’t really tell you why, and I’m certain I’m not the only one, but I’ve always been starstruck by the Brits, you know, our friends from across The Pond. I think it’s mostly the fact that they can wear absolutely ANYTHING, and sound so incredibly eloquent and smart. I can’t say I’ve ever really met many unpolished Brits, but then again, I haven’t met many Brits at all. I’m obviously making generalizations, but let me have this. Growing up, and when I first became interested in the world of fashion, I was in LOVE with Burberry. I wanted this Burberry bag so badly and my mom ended up getting it for me for Christmas, but it had some sort of defect and I wasn’t able to get another one after I already returned it. I still think about that bag to this day. Pathetic, I know. Even when Burberry had its identity crisis or fell off the high fashion wagon, I still had an infatuation with its heritage and culture. I even wrote a case study on how in the UK Burberry’s reputation was tarnished by Chavs, a UK stereotype of antisocial youths i.e. troublemakers. This subculture of youths began wearing Burberry, bringing the brand down a few pegs. I remember being so into that paper, I didn’t want to turn it in, I wanted to keep writing and help come up with ideas on how it can rebrand, get its classic image back. Oh, my sophomore year of college self…how naive.
Today, there are so many affordable UK retailers I find myself gravitating to, and it’s not just the styles offered. I always find the quality to be upstanding and the fit to work for me. ASOS, TopShop, Boohoo, Boden, to name a few. Recently, I started working for a UK company and had the privilege of going to London to meet my counterparts. It is as picturesque as I imagined and the streets were filled with stylish Brits (considerably more stylish than the streets of Boston, insert eyeroll). I kept seeing women walking the streets in powder blue wool coats. I instantly became OBSESSED, which is not uncommon for me. I’m not sure if it was an actual cultural trend, or just coincidence but I was mesmerized. When my mom asked how London was, I said how vast yet charming the city is and how I really needed to get my hands on a powder blue wool coat. That never happened. Instead, I brought back souvenirs from Harrod’s, how #basic, I know. I am not ashamed. However, I was pleasantly surprised to receive the perfect coat from my mom on Christmas. It fits like a glove and I love the one button closure.
After returning from London, I made it my mission to convince one of my British colleagues to teach me how to be British. I am certain that this is a lost cause, but I’m putting my best foot forward and giving it a shot. Right now, I can successfully say peanut butt-ah, in a British accent. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- Zucchini is called Courgette
- Eggplant is called Aubergine
- Pickles are called Gherkins
- It’s egg mayo sandwich NOT egg salad, and it’s quite honestly just egg and mayo
- Girl Scouts are Girl Guides
- Cookies are Biscuits
- Being obsessed with reality tv is SO not British
- Wearing a wool blue coat does not instantly make you British
I’m still in the early stages of training, but I’m clearly off to a good start!
See you for tea!