Since I’ve been here so far, I’ve definitely experienced the “good” weather London has to offer (and by good I mean actual sunshine in the sky on a mild day, yet still around 65 degrees… not my ACTUAL definition of good, but it’s good enough for here). However, the bad weather has probably been outweighing the good recently. The first week I was here, and for all of Freshers week, the weather was actually pretty good… meaning no rain the whole time (but still pretty chilly)! Once Freshers week ended, it’s been pretty rainy and cloudy most days. The rain here is a lot different than the kind I’ve been used to in Wilmington the past two years. In Wilmington, we are all prepared to expect a torrential downpour lasting anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours, and then the sky clears up and the sun comes out like nothing happened… it’s so weird, but I love it. Here in London, I cannot say that the rain only lasts an hour. When it starts raining, it doesn’t stop for hours. But it isn’t that crazy downpour that Wilmington is known for, the rain is pretty calm and steady here. Each week the temperature seems to drop a few degrees colder so I am gradually adding layers to my outfits and definitely rocking my Ugg boots already (I know some people from Wilmington will be jealous that I get to wear fall clothes now, but trust me I’d rather be wearing shorts and tank tops)! Well I guess that brings me to my next little category…
The general fashion here is quite different than what I’m used to back at UNCW, and in America in general. It seems that everyone dresses up ALL the time… to class, to hang out, to go out, to walk around… people are always (generally) looking really nice. For girls, boots and scarves are really popular. Those are the two essentials for outfits apparently. Girls also really like oversized sweaters and LEGGINGS. Lots of leggings (for a bit more of a casual look). I bought another pair already because I find that I’ve been wearing them a lot too! When it comes to jeans, they are ALWAYS skinny, and a lot are printed with a pattern or some cool color. While a lot of these items sound really typical for American fall clothes too, I’d still say the fashion is a little different than how we would wear things.
One really obscure item that I’ve seen a lot of girls wearing that I just cannot ever bring myself to wear is something I like to call “galaxy leggings.” I don’t actually know what they’re called, so that’s the best I could come up with. They are sold in plenty of stores and I see girls wearing them all the time. Basically, they are just printed leggings with different galaxy designs (like outer space). They usually have a black base but also have tons of other colors on them with like stars and planets and stuff. It’s so strange to me! But I guess these leggings are a really popular trend that I will probably never try…
Being in London makes me want to dress nicer all the time. As much as I want to roll out of bed and go to class in a sweatshirt and leggings, I know I’ll look like a scrub and then reluctantly put on a pair of jeans and a nice top. I also am tempted to try wearing stockings with more things, like skirts and dresses. As much as I hated stockings before, the weather here is getting colder so if I wear something with my legs showing, I may freeze to death eventually. And I have to admit, I think stockings under something a bit more casual really dresses up the outfit a bit… we’ll see if I can rock it! To go out, there is a wide variety of things that girls wear. A lot wear clothes similar to our (American) going out clothes, but I feel like everything here is a bit more shiny and sparkled! Also, apparently high heels are essential if you want to get into the really nice bars/clubs in Central London. As much as I hate wearing heels because they hurt my feel, I guess I will have to suck it up when I eventually go out in the city (and I will make sure to report back on that)!
The main difference in the girls dress here is that they wear TONS of makeup. So many girls have caked-on foundation, fake stick-on eyelashes, and huge gashes of eyeliner (top and bottom) applied to their faces. And that is just for class… imagine the next step up when they go out at night! Something that I have tried once is red lipstick for a night out. I can admit that I did like the vibrant color it added to my face, so I’m actually looking into buying some kind of red lipstick for myself to take home! I’ve also noticed a lot of girls also like to dye their hair really blonde or really dark… and its always done looking nice, straight, and down. Just some observations.
There is even more of a difference in style for the guys here as compared to their style in the US. While skinny-ish jeans are becoming more popular for guys in America, the guys here wear those all the time. They are definitely not as jock-ish as the ones I’m used to, so they hardly ever wear sweatpants and a t-shirt to class like the style I’m used to back home. Also, colored pants are a little more popular here than at home. So it’s really common for a guy to be wearing jeans or pants with a nice button up or something. I do have to say I like that guys look nicer here, but sometimes it takes away from their masculinity. I don’t know, I haven’t decided which I prefer more!
SO IN CONCLUSION… I am pretty content with all the clothes I brought from home. I wear my combat boots a lot, and try to add on a scarf to my outfit when needed. However, I’m still looking for a knitted, chunky scarf to keep me a bit warmer when it gets freezing out! And as for the rain, we definitely try to cope with it the best we can. And there ARE the occasional nice days with sunshine which I make sure to embrace when I get the chance. And to look on the bright side… here’s 35 reasons rain is better than sunshine: (TAKE A LOOK!)
(favorites: #1, 25, and 35… obviously.)
That’s all for now. More London observations to come!