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middle class uniform

(321 Posts)
southeastastra Sat 11-Jan-14 23:57:21

st albans today was like a boden/joules catalogue

why do the middle classes have to follow such uniform? it's all very samey, those designer welly boots and colourful rainwear

don't get it myself, surely if you have ££ to spend on wear why pick fatface/white stuff boring brands

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 00:00:28

YABU Why are you assuming these people are middle class?

ouryve Sun 12-Jan-14 00:00:38

I'm sure people tend to pick whatever is most prominent in their town. That's like asking why working classes all wear trackie bottoms, really. Slightly insulting, when you think about it.

QueenThora Sun 12-Jan-14 00:01:25

Same reason as unemployed people on housing estates wear sportswear and hoodies, and toffs on shooting parties wear tweed and cravats.

Of course they don't all and not do middle class people but a lot of people like to dress to fit in and/or send out a signal about what kind of person they are.

I like to think I have my own style, but I could still probably be identified as middle class - even though I deliberately try to avoid looking like a joules/boden clone.

What do you wear? I bet it reflects your class to an extent.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 00:02:07

BTW.. that's my home town and I have never worn colourful rainwear in my life. Suspect the people you saw were Watford chavs on a day-trip smile

Upcycled Sun 12-Jan-14 00:04:21

I need to see these catalogs to have a picture in my mind.
I buy random stuff when I see a good deal on eBay or charity shops and never owned a single Boden/Joules/Fatface/WhiteStuff item.

But I am clearly not MD and averse to spend on fashion, even though I would really like to if I could.

southeastastra Sun 12-Jan-14 00:04:52

well it's pretty easy to spot the mc in st albans. insulting really?

i just think that if you have better dispoable income there are tons of shops you could pick from but the mc tend to have a uniform. ie barbour jackets but only if they have barbour branded on them and the youngsters have jack wills tops but only if they are branded.

just an observation

Upcycled Sun 12-Jan-14 00:09:22

People use clothing to send out a message of who they are or who they want to be, which group they think they should belong to, like queentora said.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 12-Jan-14 00:11:27


I totally agree. There aren't those type of shops round here and I heard about Boden and that white shop/company on here and had a look.
It is a boring load of plainness which all I can think is because the mc have no imagination and want to look the same.
I can't think of anything worse than paying to advertise branded goods for companies who turn over millions. Maybe people are a bit thick and can't see this grin

jonicomelately Sun 12-Jan-14 00:11:38

I've just realised I've no idea where St. Albans is confused
I thought was ok at geography but I couldn't tell you which county it's in. I feel a bit thick to be honest shock

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 00:12:55

Hertfordshire darling!

Daykin Sun 12-Jan-14 00:13:59

It's got something to do with tribal identity or something. Everyone follows a uniform to some degree and it probably looks more samey when you are on the outside looking in.

ohmymimi Sun 12-Jan-14 00:14:19

It makes it easier for them to identify each other as apparent 'social equals'? No different to other social groups using clothes, and how they wear them, to flag up how they view themselves/wish to be perceived, I suppose.
Or maybe they just like

JassyRadlett Sun 12-Jan-14 00:15:41

Well, it's clearly not 'just an observation' - you're judging how they dress and spend their money, and you cared enough to start a MN thread.

People are tribal and tend to dress to fit in with their 'tribe', whether they realise it or not. You yourself probably do it to a certain extent. I know I do with my own tribe/s. And for some, those clothes will be to their taste (though taste is of course very open to external influences). What makes your judgement of good/bad taste and ways to spend money superior to anyone else's? What should they be wearing?

Disclaimer: I do not and never owned a Barbour jacket or 'colourful rainwear'. But the way I dress is influenced by a lot of external factors, which is true for most folk.

jonicomelately Sun 12-Jan-14 00:16:39

Thanks Cogito

JassyRadlett Sun 12-Jan-14 00:17:13

Out of interest, OP, fancy sharing the shops where you think people should spend their money, rather than the places you loathe?

PedlarsSpanner Sun 12-Jan-14 00:17:18

to be fair, Boden clothes don't have the name emblazoned on, morethan

<buttons up Santorini cardi> grin

The whole concept of nailing your colours to your mast, socially, using non-verbal cues is v interesting (verbal cues are obviously more overt)

southeastastra Sun 12-Jan-14 00:21:34

i find it an interesting subject, like mnetters would judge people who wear brands as being 'chavs' yet they wear brands themselves and don't see the irony

jacks365 France Sun 12-Jan-14 00:22:45

I like fat face and it suits me so I wear it. Can't stand boden. Joules I like some things but I really don't care about the labels I just like to look good and be comfortable currently wearing thick, warm Falmer cardigan and jeans

I have a Barbour jacket. The branding is so discrete you would not know it was Barbour unless you studied my right pocket with a magnifying glass.

I have been totally convinced that Barbour is the Quintessential British jacket made for a British climate. I have not been uncomfortable at all since I got it this automn. I am neither too hot nor too cold, it is perfect. I wear in the city, on the school run, and out walking. I wear it with jeans, with North Face mountain trousers, with black or brown leather slip-ons and with Salomon Goretex walking boots.

I love my Barbour. It is the best all round Jacket. I dont care if it is MC or not, it is just a GOOD jacket.

Boden is shite.

PedlarsSpanner Sun 12-Jan-14 00:24:48

ah now, I think you'll find, SEA, that times have moved on, and chavs is really not an acceptable descriptor, quite rightly, and you'll have your arse handed to you on a plate

[here is your arse, on a plate]

JassyRadlett Sun 12-Jan-14 00:24:51

That's fine, OP, MN is an openly judgey place a lot of the time. Just don't, er, dress it up as a disinterested observation, eh? Judge away and be proud of it. grin

southeastastra Sun 12-Jan-14 00:25:47

i don't think i own anything that is branded

WitchWay Sun 12-Jan-14 00:26:57

I hate the Boden patterned skirts - urgh! - like 70s wallpaper

Have a few of their plain tops though.

My boobs are in the wrong place for their dresses.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 12-Jan-14 00:27:50


I had a Barbour jacket once, because it was in the sale, lasted for ages and what I needed at the time. I agree with you it serves a good purpose, but some people just buy/wear things for the label not quality or purpose and I think this is sad.

WallyBantersJunkBox Sun 12-Jan-14 00:30:31

Where are your boobs Witch? In Primark? grin

ouryve Sun 12-Jan-14 00:31:16

I will admit I bought DS1 some lovely soft Joules jammies, heavily reduced in a sale. The labels make me snigger. One says something like "dreamt up in the fields of great Britain." The one immediately underneath says "made in China"confused

I think I care much more about purpose than labels. I want good clothes that do what they are supposed to do. I dont care what my clothes are called.

I love H&M! grin Their childrens winter clothes are perfect for wet cold climates. I keep coming back to H&M for my kids because I know that their fleeces are great, their softshells are great, their wind and waterproofs excellent, and winter jackets and salopettes perfect.
So yes, I have brand awareness, but only in terms of the purpose, not the name.

JassyRadlett Sun 12-Jan-14 00:31:37

Yes, but where are you suggesting the Boden Brigade should shop instead?

I'm pretty sure there's a brand visibile on my jeans, not keen on visible brands (personal preference) but if a piece of clothing is otherwise perfect I won't avoid it because of a tiny logo or whatever. Everything is a 'brand', regardless of what is actually written on it.

NigellasDealer Greece Sun 12-Jan-14 00:32:40

"I have a Barbour jacket. The branding is so discrete you would not know it was Barbour unless you studied my right pocket with a magnifying glass*
nope I can spot a genuine Barbour at 20 paces

EnianShelZman Sun 12-Jan-14 00:33:13

I think Barbour jacket is not "middle class" anymore, same with Hunter wellies...

Nigella, LOL! I wouldnt!

But I have a friend who buys second hand barbours, restores and repairs them and sells them on. He tipped me about the quality, so I bought one.

Incidentally, I had a chat with one of their marketing team through my work, she said "our jackets are so good, they last for ever, people dont need to buy new ones as much as we would like. Our good quality might be our financial ruin". Or something to that effect.

That also sort of convinced me it would be a good purchse.

NigellasDealer Greece Sun 12-Jan-14 00:35:51

bloody expensive though enian

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 00:36:19

Interlopers from Luton. Strays from Stevenage. The confused of Welwyn Garden City. Such people wear fancy wellies... Us Snorbans MC types stick to our M&S cardies and variously saggy jeans.

NigellasDealer Greece Sun 12-Jan-14 00:36:54

really quintessentials would he sell me one? I am looking for a suitably battered Barbour Bedale specifically.

ouryve Sun 12-Jan-14 00:37:08

Anyone who was serious about pricey wellies would buy Dubarry, rather than Hunter, surely? £300 wellies, anyone?

As for labels, I have berhgaus coats that refuse to fall apart, even though I'm everso slightly bored with them, now. I'd consider that money well spent, but one of them was a mumsnet freebie.

It cant be MC any more, when us forriners start wearing your good old brands....

NigellasDealer Greece Sun 12-Jan-14 00:38:34


EnianShelZman Sun 12-Jan-14 00:38:45

I've seen quite a few orange people with horrible bun thingies on their heads wearing them lately...

Nigella, I can ask if he has a Barbour Bedale. What size are you after? I think he is mostly into the vintage ones

NigellasDealer Greece Sun 12-Jan-14 00:39:57

ooh lovely! I am not sure how they are sized but I am size 18 across the shoulders (built like a rugby player)

Did you want the mens? I think he mostly restores mens jackets....

NigellasDealer Greece Sun 12-Jan-14 00:41:18

yes men's would be better, I think they might be kind of unisex anyway...

The Bedale is a mans jacket is it not? The traditional classic Barbour?

I will ask him. He has a real passion. grin

NigellasDealer Greece Sun 12-Jan-14 00:42:48

wow great, please do PM me! thanks so much!

Stinklebell Sun 12-Jan-14 00:43:37

I buy clothes I like, that suit me from the shops available to me. If I like something, I can afford it and it suits me, I'll buy it.

I've never bought anything from Boden, but there is a Fat Face and Joules in town. If they are selling something I like, I'll buy it in the same way as I'd buy something from H&M

I have a Barbour jacket but it has no visible branding on it and I got it in a sale from a factory outlet store near my mum's house. I liked the jacket and it's comfortable and warm

jonicomelately Sun 12-Jan-14 00:44:30

I got some Dubarry's for Christmas. They are lovely but I'm still breaking them in.

jonicomelately Sun 12-Jan-14 00:46:03

I've also never bought fatface or joules clothes. Not my cup of tea.

morethanpotatoprints Sun 12-Jan-14 00:47:15

When we moved from the country to town I gave my Barbour jacket to a friend as I only had it for purpose, it wasn't a good look on me.
Now I just wear short padded jacket or winter coat.
Labels are fine if the clothes serve a particular purpose my point is if you just want a plain jumper you can get them in most high street shops, going for the more expensive brands isn't necessary but shouts look at me, I'm wearing a uniform, from Boden, Joules, white shite or whatever its called.

EnianShelZman Sun 12-Jan-14 00:48:10

I don't like Boden. Teen clothes for boys are not trendy at all and look babyish. DS 11 prefers ZARA, H&M, River Island and Scotch Shrunk.

Bunbaker Sun 12-Jan-14 00:49:19

How do you know it is Boden?Joules? I wouldn't know how to recognise where an article of clothing came from unless I owned it myself.

EnianShelZman Sun 12-Jan-14 00:51:50

They got quite a distinctive look...

Belize Sun 12-Jan-14 00:55:10

I suppose it's clear when you know what you are looking for/at Those Boden patterns are bloody ghastly and so glaringly obvious. Their plain tops and jumpers are good though.

We do all wear a 'uniform' though as clothes are a great way to express yourself to the world whether you intend to or not. Even when people come onto these threads and say that they don't care about what they wear they are still sending out a message to the wide world.

I like that whole tribal thing, I've gone through many different tribes in my lifetime but I think the staples of your wardrobe character are what you keep coming back to.

Bunbaker Sun 12-Jan-14 00:55:58

Jeans are a form of uniform aren't they. I don't know anyone who doesn't wear jeans.

Bunbaker How do you know it is Boden?Joules? I wouldn't know how to recognise where an article of clothing came from unless I owned it myself.

Brightly coloured spots, stripes and "fun" linings - Boden.
Duck/dog/twee flower print - Joules.

Devora Sun 12-Jan-14 01:02:04

I like wearing a uniform. It means I don't have to think about fashion, which bores me rigid. (I like to look nice, but find thinking about clothes quite dull.) So at work it's jersey dresses, at home it's the suburban-mother-of-small-children look: jumper or tunic top, jeans, boots, padded coat.

I know I look just like everybody else at the schoolgates. But I am lifted above the hoi polloi by my dazzling repartee, incisive intellect and sensational good looks.

jonicomelately Sun 12-Jan-14 01:07:42

You sound like my kind of person Devora smile

Wherediparkmybroom Sun 12-Jan-14 08:35:47

I wear wellies all the time, but they are grey, as all the fishermen wear yellow. Would kill for a pair of hunters though!

Objection Sun 12-Jan-14 08:38:26

I think in this day and age it's pretty insulting to define groups using an outdated class system and even more so to then follow it up with broad sweeping statements about that group.

gottodosomething Sun 12-Jan-14 08:41:41

It's also because people like what they see every day. If you live in an area where everyone wears tweed pleated skirts, eventually you'll find yourself wearing one.

Live in an area where everyone has a purple rinse, and eventually you'll start thinking about getting one yourself.

Dh works in a care home for the elderly and recently told me I'd look nice in a knitted bed jacket.

Simple, and nothing to do with class really.

HairyGrotter Sun 12-Jan-14 08:42:55

I live in St Albans, I see a mix of folk knocking about. BUT my DD's school is vair middle class, or they wish they were wink

uselessinformation Sun 12-Jan-14 09:00:30

I'm middle class, but the brands you mention are too expensive for me because I prioritise saving for holidays over buying clothes. I wear clothes from Matalan, Tesco and Next. My teenage ds isn't that into clothes and refuses to wear branded items so would not wear Jack Wills. In the street you would see me in Jeans, ankle boots and a walking coat or smart wool coat with my soon in chinos and Matalan hoody so which class would you put us in? By the way,I don't dislike the brands you mention; they're just to expensive for me.

newyearhere Sun 12-Jan-14 09:13:16

YABU. I've been to St Albans and am mc but you wouldn't necessarily know.

I don't agree that clothes are about "sending a message" to the world. I just wear what's comfortable and what I like, which may vary quite a bit. If other people think that's some sort of coded message then they're seeing something that isn't there.

JennyCalendar Sun 12-Jan-14 09:13:48

I wear a lot of Joules mostly because I like the colours, it suits my body type and I find it practical for layering as I spend as much time as possible outside. However, I have never bought a single item myself as I can't afford to. My birthday and Christmas presents from my parents and DH for the last 3 years have been Joules clothes.

Before then, my mum would be rather hit or miss with clothes she chose for me from M & S or Laura Ashley (many frumpy horrors!). Joules is a much safer bet!

I have tonnes of stuff from these shops, none of them have prints or visible labels. I will buy decent quality wherever I can as I hate shopping and expect my clothes to last.

softlysoftly Sun 12-Jan-14 09:21:24

I was thoroughly pissed off barbour hunter and cars like range rover have been coopted by the london set.

They were decent hard wearing brands which were functional for days covered in mud and horseshit. Now they are placcy branded useless stuff.

Sorry but if you are on the tube wearing hunter wellies you are a twat. Fact.

<<likes being judgey>>

softlysoftly Sun 12-Jan-14 09:23:11

Oh but you shouldn't make sweeping statements about class based on clothes btw.

<<also a happy hypocrite>>

Joules68 Sun 12-Jan-14 09:24:12

Primark all the way for me! grin

I buy BArbour and Berghaus for my back, Doc Martin for my feet, everything else comes from a charity shop.

Except knickers. Knickers come from Sainsbury's.

Oh yawn. Another inverse snobbery thread.

AndiMac Sun 12-Jan-14 09:31:33

Our village is the same at the school gates. Fat Face, White Stuff and Boden labels as far as the eye can see. And of course Hunter wellies if it's wet. I hate it as well, I know people are judged on these things because last year I bought a Barbour jacket (because I needed a new one and I agree with Quintessential about it being perfect for all temperatures) and I got nothing but, "ooh, very nice!" comments from all. But I bought a far more expensive but unknown here branded raincoat and nobody says a word.

I had a pair of Hunter wellies because I thought they might last longer than a year like my cheap ones. They fell apart within 6 months. Obviously one isn't meant to actually use them for gardening or anything where they might get used.

zizzo Sun 12-Jan-14 09:31:53

Clothes are hella ugly these days.

Handbag snobbery is even worse though, IMO.

Joysmum Sun 12-Jan-14 09:34:17

Who gives a fuck?

I would never be able to tell what came from where unless it had a logo on it. Why the hell does it matter? I shop in certain shops because they seem to cut for my body shape. I wear those clothes until they fall apart. I go to specialist outdoors shops for outer wear as I spend a lot if time outside so outer wear needs to be performance wear, not fashion wear. Most of the time I'm covered in mud and shit anyway.

watfordmummy Sun 12-Jan-14 09:37:18

I take offence at the Warford chav comment!! Shop in St Albans a lot, and have lots of clothes from the mentioned shops!!! Will have to ensure I don't wear any of it when in St Albans as obviously I'm being judged!! hmmhmmhmm

YY Joysmum.
Cheap and cheerful was brilliant when I was young and could carry it off.
Now, I need tailoring to camouflage my flaws and Primani doesn't work anymore hmm

BakerStreetSaxRift Sun 12-Jan-14 10:36:37

I love how people come on these threads saying "I'm middle class, but/and".

Why the need to define yourself before commenting?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 12-Jan-14 10:41:56

@watfordmummy.... St Albans is only too happy to open its doors to the downtrodden of lesser-Herts provided they observe the dress code. grin

SofaKing Sun 12-Jan-14 10:49:43

I love this thread. Dh keeps accusing me of being middle class, and as I only ever wear leggings or jeans from new look or asda and jumpers/t-shirts from the same, I clearly don't wear the uniform. We have also just had a conversation about buying the kids socks from primark, so all of us must be wc, logically.

limitedperiodonly Sun 12-Jan-14 11:02:39

Brands such as Barbour, Hunter, Holland and Holland etc haven't been co-opted by anyone.

These companies have relaunched themselves as fashion brands because there's more money in it than selling waxed jackets to people who'll wear them for 25 years and aren't interested in buying anything else.

Bunbaker Sun 12-Jan-14 11:22:54

Who are these people that wear wellies a lot? I only wear wellies if I am somewhere extremely muddy, wet or in the snow. Wellies are not my go to boots of choice, and they aren't where I live - and I live in a rural area where a lot of people own horses and get muddy.

Is this a townie thing where people like to pretend they are living in the country - a bit like people like my sister and BIL who live in London and both drive Land Rovers.

Doubtfuldaphne Sun 12-Jan-14 11:26:58

It's true. It's all cath kidston pushchairs, bags, purses, etc here. I wonder how many of them really like it or they're just buying it to be part of the gang. Sad really!

hazeyjane Sun 12-Jan-14 11:35:58

I wear clothes from all the above brands mentioned, plus a lot of charity shop clothes, I am middle class, but not well off. I hate buying clothes and just feel relieved when I find something that fits me and that I feel comfortable and happy in. Not everyone fits into a box.

theimposter Sun 12-Jan-14 11:36:35

I have Hunters that are 15 years old and still going strong but I wouldn't replace them with the same now as they have changed the manufacturing and apparently are no longer any good for slogging through calf deep mud to get the horse in... Can't stand Boden but do like Fat Face.

TheBookofRuth Sun 12-Jan-14 11:43:41

St Albans is my adopted home town, but I'm from the north east and have been consistently over-dressed for every event (comparatively speaking) since I moved south, so I stick out like a sore thumb - or at least I did till DD came along and made getting dressed in anything vaguely weather appropriate a major achievement.

AcheyFanny Sun 12-Jan-14 11:45:57

I have a Barbour International jacket, one of the best coats I ever had. My Mum has one too. We are very far from middle class......

TheBookofRuth Sun 12-Jan-14 11:46:58

Oh, but I did see a lad yesterday in an LA-gangster outfit and had me a quiet chuckle. This isn't the ghetto mate. Also, the M&S carrier bag kind of ruins your look.

scottishmummy Argentina Sun 12-Jan-14 11:49:09

How does one know what boden look like?ive never seen a boden shop
Clearly you must wear boden,joules,phatface,white stuff to know it on sight
We all have uniforms,consciously and unconsciously we all gravitate toward a group and exhibit that by dress,Speech, attitude

LEMoncehadacatcalledSANTA Sun 12-Jan-14 11:51:02

I don't like boden, i quite like like white stuff and fat face. Can't really afford to shop in there though. I was hankering after a pair of wellies with dogs on the other day but £60 for wellies? Nah, i don't think so.

limitedperiodonly Sun 12-Jan-14 11:57:50

I agree TheBookofRuth. I'm from Essex and one Friday night years ago we ventured to a pub in Fulham. We stuck out like sore thumbs without opening our mouths.

These days I live somewhere else and though I like my clothes and take a lot of care over my appearance, I don't dress up in the way I would if I'd continued to live in Essex. Whenever I visit family you can see the difference in how I look and everyone else looks.

I'm not saying I look better or worse, it's just a different uniform and I've grown to like it. I'm sure if I moved back I'd change it.

People are deluding themselves if they think they don't wear a uniform just because they don't wear labels or use things for some 'proper' purpose, not as a fashion accessory.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Sun 12-Jan-14 12:02:11

How come in your first post the mc were all wearing colourful rainwear and then seven minutes later they'd all been wearing Barbour jackets?

I too am shocked, shocked I tell you, by how the middle classes are always wearing clothing that is either colourful or not colourful. They should be wearing rainwear that is neither colourful nor in plain dark colours, just as soon as they can figure out what that is.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Sun 12-Jan-14 12:08:43

Also I'm not sure Fat Face is in the same ££ category as Joules -- at non-sale prices it's around £40 for a jumper in Fat Face and about £70 in Joules (I don't carry those prices around in my head, just had a vague feeling that Joules was a good bit pricier than Fat Face and poked around their websites to check).

nilbyname Sun 12-Jan-14 12:11:20

This is my new coat and it is so warm! If anyone is looking for a recommendation

WallyBantersJunkBox Sun 12-Jan-14 12:14:47

Limited - I know exactly what you mean. As a Welsh girl growing up "going out" really meant dressing up.

Then after Uni and living in London for 16 years my way of dressing for a night out became really casual.

I went with friends for a night out in Essex and I felt so underdressed in the bars. Women had not a hair out of place, nails beautifully manicured, makeup perfect and it felt like the entire range of Karen Millen was being worn.

I felt so grubby. blush

DH also commented on weddings in Wales - so glamorous. Apart from me of course. I can't remember how to dress like that anymore.

Belize Sun 12-Jan-14 12:20:40

I'm not sure how anyone can fail not to notice what it looks like when the brochures and adverts are everywhere including here?

I've never bought anything from Joules in my life but I know precisely what it looks like as a brand - same goes for Cath Kidston.

It's ubiquitous and hard not to absorb the images whether you want to or not.

Boden don't have shops SM, or maybe one or two - it is all mail order. He has done very well old Johnny out of us all. I'm wearing a Boden jumper right now but it is plain blue and I don't think anyone would recognise it as Boden (well I hope not).

I always think that instinctively I know when something is deemed 'cool' or not and when I don't want anyone to know where a garment has come from then I know it isn't cool (in my eyes). I hate admitting to wearing Boden, Fat Face or White Stuff but am happy when someone asks me where my All Saints or French Connection, Noa Noa clothes come from <clothes snob yy>.

Oh, I like the nipped in waist nilbyname and I'm being seduced by "it is so warm". Wax jackets always look grubby after a couple of wears though.

Although, I suppose they're for wearing while you're bringing in the sheep and other things you do on farms so a bit of grubbiness isn't a concern.

I'd just like something that's really warm, isn't duvetesque and can be thrown in the washing machine after muddy dog walks.

Caitlin17 Sun 12-Jan-14 12:25:46

Bunbaker jeans are a uniform and a very boring one. I don't wear jeans.

I love clothes and I spend a lot of money on them. I don't buy UK high street or "designer brands" in the sense of what Harvey Nicks sells. I like clothes which are tailored and quite formal with a 50s feel. I do get a lot of compliments, sometimes even random strangers.

Most of my clothes are from a couple of independent Edinburgh shops, who stock amongst others a French and an American label which are not widely available in UK. Most of my work clothes are from a designer in Amsterdam which isn't sold at all in UK.

brettgirl2 Sun 12-Jan-14 12:26:56

yabu. I don't give a flying feck about labels and therefore would have zero idea about what any of the clothes even look like. People can wear what they want, it's a perk of living in a free country.

I do have some hunter wellies but they are 20 years old (and look it).

DameDeepRedBetty Sun 12-Jan-14 12:27:23

I'm one of the people who does wear practical country clothing all day every day. I run a dogwalking/petcare agency, I'm walking dogs about four or five hours a day, and usually on country footpaths with plenty of mud, as the owners want their dogs free to run about and I want to be well away from roads, children and livestock.

Winter kit is Tilley hat for rain, Barbour stockman's coat covering everything down to knees, and a pair of Muckmaster wellies at the bottom. I did have a pair of Cabotswood yard boots which did four years service (very like Dubarry but approx one third of the price), but Muck Boots came very highly recommended by about 20 of you lot, and I'm very pleased so far. Ta!

Hunter wellies have been shite ever since twats took to wearing them at Glastonbury.

The stuff underneath tends to be warm and practical and usually from either Primark or charity shops. The few bits of Boden that have come through the charity shop route have been well made and reasonably nice to look at, also the Joules, Fat Face and White Stuff. Can see why those who can afford it buy it.

Bunbaker Sun 12-Jan-14 12:31:32

"I'm not sure how anyone can fail not to notice what it looks like when the brochures and adverts are everywhere including here?"

I am an advertiser's nightmare. I have adblock on my computer and manage to see past the adverts in magazines and on TV. I really don't notice advertising, even the subliminal advertising or product placement on TV.

I don't have the same interest in clothes as some people on here, other than does it fit, does it look nice on me and can I afford it? So I have no idea about brands and labels and wouldn't be able to recognise any particular brand

Caitlin17 Sun 12-Jan-14 12:36:15

Jack Wills makes me laugh. They opened one in Edinburgh when my son was in 5th year and I thought he'd love it as it was exactly him.

He took great offence as apparently looking exactly like him but achieved by wearing a combination of your mother's old Harris tweed jackets and second hand from the likes of Rokit, Laurence Corner or Armstrongs was fine but buying that look ready made from Jack Wills was not acceptable.

jellyandcake Sun 12-Jan-14 12:47:43

I love clothes and always enjoy checking out what people are wearing. I used to take great pleasure in accessorising and generally dressing up. Now, sadly, I see clothing as a way of best disguising my flaws. Two pregnancies have caused spider veins to twist purply around my knees meaning skirts have to be below-the-knee if not wearing tights. I have a badly scarred arm and have to wear elbow length sleeves all year round. I have big boobs which few shops allow for in the cut of their clothes so am limited to specific styles. I look horrendous in all trousers and jeans. I have had three years of baby/toddler grabbing at necklaces/earrings etc reducing my jewellery collection to scattered fragments. I wear Boden because I can buy long length skirts and dresses to hide my knees, they use fabric with enough weight to drape flatteringly, there are sleeves in abundance in the catalogue and I often like the prints and colours (shoot me!). I can't afford it so I buy it in the sale or off eBay or I get it as presents.

Oh, I also have neuritis in both feet and the only shoes which don't cause me pain are Birkenstocks. In the winter I am often splashing through puddles with a toddler so I bought the only pair of wellies Tesco had in my size which were later mistaken for Joules wellies. I have a crappy Asos parka which provides virtually no protection from the rain and I am sick of pushing the buggy through lashing torrents and icy winds so if I hada spare couple of hundred quid I would spend it on any decent waterproof coat I could find. I wouldn't care about the label, I just want to be warm and dry!

The sneering on this thread is so depressing. I just want my clothes to hide my flaws, I hate that some people might be looking at me and laughing to themselves about my 'uniform' or whatever else they might find laughable about my appearance.

jellyandcake Sun 12-Jan-14 12:50:18

When I feel I have so many restrictions on what I can buy/wear, that is. I would love to have all my clothes tailor-made for me, unfortunately I have to take my pick from the few shops which fulfil the quite rigid criteria I have to stick to when shopping.

JupiterGentlefly Sun 12-Jan-14 13:14:09

I wear white stuff and boden. I live in posh part of town and its all from my local charity shop

MinesAPintOfTea Sun 12-Jan-14 13:17:02

Maybe you got what class people are in wrong? If you're judging purely by dress its then unfair to use that as a stick to beat any one class with.

SirChenjin Sun 12-Jan-14 13:18:49

I wear bits of FF, Boden, White Stuff etc and tend to gravitate to that type of look anyway. I'm in my mid forties, pretty conservative and casual, don't do highly styled stuff or high heeled WAG type stuff....their stuff/that look just suits me.

Belize Sun 12-Jan-14 13:19:33

jellyandcake, I honestly couldn't give a hoot what other people are wearing although I do love looking at clothes and the people in them.

I only care what I wear and I admit I do care, I feel very different depending on what I put on that morning it will affect my mood for the whole day.

I dog walk a lot and yy Hunter wellies are utter crap these days and just a fashion accessory. Muck boots are the best thing since fried bread smile.

Athrodiaeth Sun 12-Jan-14 13:26:57

Fat Face used to be surf/outdoor/activewear. Was good for mountain biking. Then they changed and I sent them angry emails about their catalogues which showed men doing sports and women sitting around with drinks in their hands.

limitedperiodonly Sun 12-Jan-14 13:31:30

WallyBantersJunkBox DH is originally from Somerset. People make an effort on a Saturday night.

When we met he'd been living in the Earls Court/West Kensington area for about five years.

He'd come to visit on the Central Line and said that from each stop east of Stratford the girls got more and more glamorous and groomed.

QueenThora Sun 12-Jan-14 13:36:48

I don't want to look like I'm wearing brands or following a tribe - I do buy Boden sometimes, if I'm satisfied I've chosen something that's not obviously "Bodeny" because I don't want to look like a sheep/brand slave.

But it's ironic because anyone looking at me would probably see that while I wear a few quirky and unusual or home-made things, I'm immediately identifiable as middle-class. I would be uncomfortable wearing what I see as signifiers of a different class, because it would feel as if I was deliberately pretending to be something I'm not. Like sad trustafarians who try to dress working-class for example.

I don't sit and think this all through when choosing clothes, but thinking about it now, I do care about what people might assume about me. I like to think I'm not as sheepy as some people, like the Boden uniform mums at our school gate, but the fact is I'm only veering very slightly and "safely" away from what they're choosing.

OTheHugeManatee Sun 12-Jan-14 13:42:05

Imagine the shitstorm that would be unleashed if someone started a thread about 'chav uniform' and people were posting about how chavs wear chav uniform because they have no imagination.

Bowlersarm Sun 12-Jan-14 13:42:54

Guilty as charged.

I don't have anything from Joules, but wear Boden, Fat Face, White Stuff, Monsoon, Hobbs, Phase 8 all the time.

Hunter wellie are rubbish these days. I wear Muck boots. Although I don't have a Barbour (DH does though, it's about 25 years old and still going strong, great value for money).

DrNick Sun 12-Jan-14 13:42:57

white Stuff clothes are so VILE though - so middle aged. the skrit shapes are so gopping, the knitwear so SAFE

Bowlersarm Sun 12-Jan-14 13:45:50

DrNick - I hate to say it, but some of us are middle aged.

NinjaBunny Sun 12-Jan-14 13:49:17

I wear Boden.

I like their jersey dresses and have quite a few. Also like the way their skirts fit.

Nomads is another favourite brand. Tesco and Next /George for socks/tshirts/underwear/pajamas.

No idea if I'm middle class or not.

GlitzAndGiggles Sun 12-Jan-14 13:50:50

I'm more of a primarni, h&m, river island kinda girl smile. I can't stand all the hollister etc clones where I live. I think I dress nice and never see anyone in the same outfit or shoes as me

limitedperiodonly Sun 12-Jan-14 13:53:48

In the 80s men started wearing Barbours for non-outdoorsy pursuits.

It was a fucking menace. You couldn't get on the Tube without worrying that some tit would ruin your clothes with wax.

So if Barbour did change their formula I'm grateful.

JugglingBackwardsAndForwards Sun 12-Jan-14 13:53:49

I think it's interesting to observe people and the choices they make.

Going back in history it's interesting that for centuries there were laws (called sumtuary laws) governing the clothes that could be worn by different classes - only the richest/poshest were actually allowed to wear silks for example, and I think there were even rules about colours - purple only for royalty? (not absolutely sure about that but you get the idea)

Now that we have more freedom we seem reluctant to use it eg. I can't really imagine me buying a tweed suit - though I did once have a tweed skirt I suppose. And I enjoyed having a wedding dress made for me in primrose yellow silk smile

DrNick Sun 12-Jan-14 13:55:19

but you don't need to dress like you are DYING INSIDE*

*possible melodrama

anewyear Sun 12-Jan-14 13:55:37

your last sentence struck a chord sad

Ive never been fashionable or gone for 'labels', I tend to buy stuff that I like and feel I would be comfortable in. A lot of back and grey, occasionally denim and blue items.

Im a Herts girl too, I live in the miffle of all the following St Albans, Hemel, Berko, Harpenden, Dunstable & Luton as well all approx 8 miles away.

QueenThora Sun 12-Jan-14 13:55:41

I think you're wrong Manatee. The op identified middle-class uniforms and some posters have opened that up to a discussion about how lots of social groups develop their own uniform. Using the word chavs might cause umbrage but talking about the phenomenon wouldn't cause a shitstorm. It's interesting and almost certainly had loads of phds written about it.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Sun 12-Jan-14 13:58:06

What's wrong with safe? There are plenty of women who don't particularly care about clothes; why do they need to worry about being "edgy" or "fashion forward" or whatever the opposite of safe is? Safe means you can buy it and wear it until it falls apart -- it will look "safe" on Day 1 and still "safe" on Day x, and no one's going to mistake you for the editor of Vogue, but it's reasonably inoffensive and it's not going to date.

Cakebaker35 Sun 12-Jan-14 13:59:52

I'm sitting here in a boden top and jeans, so clearly I'm utterly repellent, lacking in imagination and horribly middle class so you'd better shoot me now. Amazed that anyone really gives a flying f@ck about what others wear.
<Skulks off to find a more friendly, less judgey thread>

anewyear Sun 12-Jan-14 14:00:06

miffle hmm
middle even

my 15 yr old says its 'rock chick' stye??
not sure how he would know that?
He just got into 'designer label' hell...

UncleGuber Sun 12-Jan-14 14:00:21

I spent a few years in my 20's dressing as I thought I should for my age but I just felt wrong.

So I generally don't bother trying to be someone I'm not anymore yet I probably still have a "uniform" only its more "clinging to my student days" rather than "30ish yr old mc mum".

I like a bit in FF but I still prefer my cords and jeans (as long as they're flared), converse/docs and genuine 70's relic of a leather jacket.

AnAdventureInCakeAndWine Sun 12-Jan-14 14:03:14

Can you stick a tweed suit in the washing machine, and can you tumble dry it if necessary (if it's drizzling outside, your toddler has vomited over the front of it and you need to wear it tomorrow)?

This is my #1 criterion for clothing. #2 is not flashing my underwear if I bend down/sit down/go out in a light breeze. #3 is attempting to cover my midriff (as a long-bodied person in an age of cropped top halves and low-rise bottom halves this leaves me with very limited choice). If I manage all three of those in a colour that suits me I am pretty happy and not about to start fretting about whether it might be safe.

QueenThora Sun 12-Jan-14 14:05:06

I wasn't slagging off being "safe" nor do I think wearing a uniform means you're unimaginative. I was just observing it's what I do, while believing myself to be a bit individual and quirky.

Fashion is like interior design and architecture and cooking. They're things you can do in a very basic, traditional or straightforward way or they could be areas where you do like to get more imaginative, creative and expressive. Most people are somewhere towards the middle while some are more wacky in some areas.

Timeandagain Sun 12-Jan-14 14:25:59

I wear some Fat Face, White Stuff and Monsoon. I had no idea they were so reviled until I came on here.

Now I am also dying inside. I shall just put on a onesie and wait for the end.

3asAbird Sun 12-Jan-14 14:29:41

wally another welsh girl here and the way they dress in cardiff to bristol for night out vastly different. much less high maintanance here but little part of me misses being very dressy but if did now would like like overdressed mutton and as a mum of 3who rarly goes out my wardrobe consists of jeans and we live in very mc area and household income pts us reasonably well of we skint and most time buy 2nd hand.

I have brought few bots from boden but find they never look same i real life that they do on book bit frumpy. johhny b better if you very skinny.
love boden for small kiddies my 7year old prefers joules but shes also happy in primarnie and marks.

Joules i used to like but think becoming very status symbol, least they have shops and my mate who used to be joules addict says the qualitys definatly gone down and now can even buy it from next book.
I find next bit try hard and people on next pages on fb very weird like they have to buy entire range, I used to work for next and apart from tailoring odd kiddies item nothing took my francy stopped buying in there for kids as hates to see kids in same outfits when went put happened at few baby groups

My boden rainy day mac was crap. lutying after few joules jackets last few years but not brought, one freinds just brought so cant get it now and liking look of barbour but think they becoming high fashion /trendy now too.

I own some hunters brought 2nd hand wor once festival high gloss ones wear to school as do many parents as pavenments and area around primary complete mud bath at vilage school and i walk alot and it seems to rain a lot but I only wear them in winter.

Husband used to work outdoor company and northface is for the status and the decent brands berghauss, rab far more discrete and cost more than northface. I do think when see adults in superdry why?

Our plagrund is full of very casual dressers jeans, decet jackets and wellies its nt at all showy but guess everyone looks kidn of similar where as last school more urban was much more flashy with labels and powersuits.

I think we subconciously dress to fit in unless you fashion brave like carrie bradshaw. as teen I was bit hippy and today im still bit out there boho look husband hates, I love fashion but dont have time or oney spend on it anymore so when see something i like mostly carboot/charity shop i buy.

limitedperiodonly Sun 12-Jan-14 14:56:20

I spent a few years in my 20's dressing as I thought I should for my age but I just felt wrong

I might know what you mean, but might not uncleguber

In my 20s I had completely different wardrobes for work and going out.

For work I wore things that 25 years on I would now dismiss as too old for me. Lots of Margaret Thatcher pussy-cat bows from M&S. But that's the image I was trying to portray.

I bumped into someone from work on a night out. I was wearing a skin-tight ruched lycra dress with no room for underwear. She was clearly shocked. I thought she was underdressed.

Well, I was the one who was underdressed. wink She looked frumpy

TheBigBumTheory Sun 12-Jan-14 15:02:40

Are people wearing their clothes inside out? Or forgetting to cut the price tags off?

I don't have labels showing on anything, except maybe on my colourful rainwear, which everyone wears around here (regardless of demographics) because it is incessantly raining.

strugglinginsilence Sun 12-Jan-14 15:03:34

Sorry but I like Boden. Comfortable, well made clothes that wash well. It might be trendy to criticise them but it won't stop me buying goods that are good quality. I also like Celtic sheepskin so ........

limitedperiodonly Sun 12-Jan-14 15:23:57

TheBigBumTheory I once told someone that you're meant to cut off the identifying label on the cuff of your suit jacket because that's just for ease of reference for customers and staff in the shop.

But he asked. He was grateful. We're still friends. I wouldn't have been rude enough to have pointed it out.

They should have done it in the shop for him.

But plenty of things have brand names or identifying designs on the outside and that's perfectly okay IMO, like most jeans whatever the price, lots of shoes or handbags - Tod's have knobby rubber nipples on them and Gucci have the snaffle bit, linked Gs or red and green, Louis Vuitton have LV or checks, Mulberry has a tree, Nike has a Swoosh, Adidas has stripes etc - and things such as Berghaus, NorthFace or SuperDry.

SE13Mummy Sun 12-Jan-14 15:34:31

I like boring, comfortable and practical. I don't enjoy shopping and a shop that makes the experience less stressful is the shop I will spend my money in.

Thus, I buy almost everything from White Stuff these days. The shops have tents/cubby holes for children to play in (sometimes there's even a fibreglass dog for DD2 to talk to) and the staff will keep an eye open to ensure no small child escapes through the door. Added to that, the discounts can often be used in conjunction with each other and because the styles don't vary too much I can buy things without having to try them on. And there's lots available on eBay.

I'm happy blending in, being anonymous and not drawing attention to myself. White Stuff clothes do that for me. But I don't have flowery wellies or colourful waterproofs.

MrsAMerrick Sun 12-Jan-14 15:52:42

I wear formal clothes for work, and at weekends tend to wear Noa Noa or White Stuff. Didn't realise that this was an attempt to send out secret "I'm middle class" signals masonic style, more that I actually quite like Noa Noa and WS clothes shock and I can get into a size 12 in WS whereas everywhere else I'm a 14

I do sometimes like the look of Boden tops but they don't cut them to fit us goddesses with broad shoulders and 34FFboobs, so haven't got any of their stuff.

Have also realised that I am typing this whilst wearing a Sea Salt top and Fat Face jumper, along with WS jeans. Clearly there is no hope for me slinks off to check out the White Stuff sale page

Oriunda Italy Sun 12-Jan-14 16:11:42

I hate shopping and only buy stuff online. I like Hush and Plumo (only in sale and even then expensive) and also just started getting a few things from Boden and Great Plains. Cashmere jumpers other wardrobe staple. My main criteria is whatever is lying on the floor closest to my bed that is relatively clean! Am permanently sleep deprived so frequently look like a dog's dinner and tbh I don't really care. A good day is one when I manage to brush my hair before heading out. I spend half my time on my knees clearing up after toddler and wear wellies a lot because DS likes splashing in puddles. Am far too busy running after toddler to notice what other people are wearing. I shall clearly have to up my game when DS starts school!

The upside of looking such a scruff bag is that on the rare occasion when I have hair/makeup and dress up, I scrub up quite well.

My alter ego in Italy (where you have to look smart on pain of death) wears Max Mara and Max & Co.

thatwouldbeanecumenicalmatter Brazil Sun 12-Jan-14 16:31:18


NearTheWindmill Sun 12-Jan-14 16:33:01

Hmm she types wearing a white stuff tunic, next to dd who is in one of her brother's old and very large (on her) Jack Wills' sweat shirts smile

Rumbled45 Sun 12-Jan-14 16:35:43

I only know about Fat Face, Cath Kidson, White Company, Barbour through reading MN.

I shop in H&M and Primark mainly. I have a fair idea of what is in high fashion but as I cannot keep up with it I do not even bother to buy anything 'edgy'.

At times I feel my lifestyle is crap compared to a lot of Mumsnetters who wear labels, drive 4 by 4s, eat out at posh restaurants, live in a perfect suburban house on a perfect road etc.

Thank goodness I do not work in the city or West End where I would be surrounded by colleagues dressed to the nines in designer gear.

Belize Sun 12-Jan-14 16:40:08

Perfect suburban house <ugh shudders> give me quirky and a bit 'out there' any day grin

MyGoldenNotebook Sun 12-Jan-14 16:41:57

I have a lovely Boden coat bought in the sale - had lots of compliments. I think Joules is good quality - the knitwear is so soft and the blouses iron well. I also like Whistles and Hobbs NW3 but falling out of love with Monsoon.

I am educated mc from wc roots - we never bought expensive clothes when I was younger and I try to buy the best I can afford now as I think they fit better and feel nicer. But then - I also read social anthropology and realise it is all tribal. My social instincts are telling me to wear scarves and silver jewellry

Etainagain Sun 12-Jan-14 16:42:55

I wear Boden (which I can only afford to buy if it's reduced by 70% in the sale...actually most of my stuff is vintage Boden now) mainly because I prefer to shop online. I don't really give a toss if others judge me for that.

ItsATIARA Sun 12-Jan-14 16:45:52

I'm middle class, very middle class indeed, and I shop at Ocado. Johnny Boden has found this out, through his normal channels and has decided that I am his target market. He has inundated me with catalogues, personal letters, discount codes and vouchers of every single type. I could give you a full run down of every single garment they've produced for the last five years which is why I can spot them on other people. Still not going to do my clothes shopping from a catalogue though - I live in a place with actual shops.

Rumbled45 Sun 12-Jan-14 16:46:53

Someone I know bought Hunter boots and was practically willing for it to snow in order to wear them!

GarlicReturns Sun 12-Jan-14 16:54:43

Southeast, your OP made me laugh with recognition. Long ago now, I'd just moved back to the UK from a country with very different fashion influences, and was staying in St Alban's. I went to Sainsbury's and was FASCINATED by the colourful matchiness of all the families there! It really did look as though there was a style book for the whole town, and some undercover fashion dictator bought for them all from the same shop wink

Not much later, of course, I'd been reassimilated by London and spent my entire life in stretchy black trousers with simple tops ... just a different uniform.

scottishmummy Argentina Sun 12-Jan-14 17:01:58

I've never received a boden,joules,fat face,or white company catalogue
I wouldn't instantly on sight recognise the above brands. Why would I?
I know cath kidston have pal who loves all CK shabby chic chintz

CHJR Sun 12-Jan-14 17:03:38

I would find this thread less confounding if I understood what middle class actually means these days. Is it about income, job, family background? Can you be born wc and become mc? If you wear Boden and Joules are you mc even if you work in a coal mine? Honest question from a foreigner who has only managed to master the language, not the mind...

CHJR Sun 12-Jan-14 17:05:20

p.s. was born mc, am still mc, but don't wear Joules/Boden (too pricey). But quite like the look -- at least it's not all boring and grey. I like COLOURS.

SirChenjin Sun 12-Jan-14 17:06:11

That's a whole can of worms you've opened there CHJR grin

CHJR Sun 12-Jan-14 17:08:12

I know, which is the part that's hardest for a foreigner to really understand. Not having grown up with it, I don't get this obsession with class (in the US it's race, even if they don't quite realise, where I was born it was religion, etc). But it's like swear words in a foreign language, you sort of understand the intent but the impact is just not there!!

limitedperiodonly Sun 12-Jan-14 17:18:55

What bit of forrin do you come from CHJR?

I need to know before I can comment because some nationalities are far more attuned to the class indicators of possessions than I could ever hope to be.

With respect I'd say it's nonsense for forriners to eschew social indicators. Whether you want to describe it as class or something else is up to you.

And I say that as quite an acquisitive English person of working class background just about holding on to a middle class lifestyle in London with lots of forrin friends from lots of countries and lots of social backgrounds.

CHJR Sun 12-Jan-14 17:19:06

ok, sorry. I seem to have killed this thread. Now I'll just go away and mumble to myself in a corner and leave yo all alone! As you were! grin
is everyone too scared to answer me? grin

CHJR Sun 12-Jan-14 17:19:29

* x-post there

formerbabe Sun 12-Jan-14 17:25:40

Yes there is absolutely a middle class body warmers are often involved.

CHJR Sun 12-Jan-14 17:26:23

Yes, limited, didn't mean to imply that Brits are the ONLY ones who care about class, you're right. But it does seem like a British thing, especially the part about it being sort of unchosen inborn class. More like India or something. I mean, defo where I grew up (sorry don't want to out myself) people did judge some things as more "classy" or not but that seems to me slightly different from the UK "class". As in, in our thread above about the clothes, which I was enjoying, many suggested that wearing certain clothes SHOWS you belong to a certain class a priori, but no one seems to think that wearing Joules MAKES you middle class?? Is that right? If you wear certain clothes and ALSO are a barrister I'm guessing you're middle class even if your father was a coal miner, in that sense we have more mobility than 100 years ago, but somehow if you come from a long line of earls you can CHOOSE to be a coal miner and Tatler might write a feature on your clever way of making coal mining seem so cool and upper-class. grin

MrsAMerrick Sun 12-Jan-14 17:34:29

CHJR, social clsss is a MINEFIELD, you have no idea. There's a great Monty Python sketch about it if you look on YouTube.

I know that I'm middle class even though I work in a poorly paid LA job, don't have a 4x4 or a labrador, but did go to Private School, my mother was educated ( although she came from very wc background). And of course I wear White Stuffgrin

Class is very complex and people can be born in one class and then move into another. Lots of us would like to think that class will disappear but it never does. Being mc gives you a huge amount of social capital, which in turn means that your dc are likely to do better than wc kids even if not as bright.

Would love to work out way of truly dismantling the class system but have a wardrobe to sort out into wc and mc clothes.... grin grin grin

formerbabe Sun 12-Jan-14 17:40:40

Anyone who thinks classes don't have their own styles/fashions are deluded.

2 hypothetical women.

1. Velour tracksuit, hoop earrings, possible bun ring, trainers with glitter.

2. Flat brown leather boots, jeans, body warmer, navy and white striped top, orla kiely bag.

Now don't pretend you haven't judged/made assumptions!

CHJR Sun 12-Jan-14 17:43:41

I admit am fascinated by explanations about class because I don't feel threatened with being put in one class slot too easily against my will. Because that is one definite advantage of being visibly foreign (granted, we get stuffed in other pigeon-holes, and I've noticed sometimes being foreign in the UK automatically makes you at the bottom of the class heap!!)
I hope I am not offending anyone by my questions, as I say, I think it's very interesting.

pist Sun 12-Jan-14 17:46:37

Was going to buy a pair of Hunters to walk the dog in our local paddy field park as the sole came off my old cheapie ones. So if the hunters are no longer decent quality, what do I get? ( to fit a warm liner)

limitedperiodonly Sun 12-Jan-14 17:50:12

Sorry CHJR I should have included a grin. Though that's seen as passive aggressive sometimes, which is apparently what the English specialise in grin


everlong Sun 12-Jan-14 17:53:13

Most of the time I'm in jeans, Rab waterproof, unflattering hat, hunter wellies and a pissing dog whitle around my neck. Not quite the MC uniform grin

Bowlersarm Sun 12-Jan-14 17:56:13

Pist - muck boots.

higgle Sun 12-Jan-14 18:00:49

I noticed an older lady dressed intirely in Joules on a train recently. She looked very cheerful and bright ( mainly purple stuff) I wouldn't have wanted to wear the same but she looked very nice.

purpleshinyone Sun 12-Jan-14 18:05:17

Don't know if I'm allowed to say this but the main group of people round here to wear a Barbour are gypsies.

I probably am middle class - I do wear a reasonable amount of FF and Boden (although not keen not the new catalogue). Why? Well, yes it's safe - perfect for my job as a SENCO. As we have all seen on threads in the past, parents aren't keen on teachers with short skirts (legs are too fat anyway!), boobs popping out of tops, loud logos etc.... It is reasonably hardwearing and washable - no good wearing stuff that can't be washed at 40 degrees after someone' thrown paint on you/ thrown up/ needed help changing dirty underwear.
Oh, and finally in the nearest town I am not swamped by choice - New Look, FF or Javelin are the main options (not including the department store which sells Kalico etc).
Not sure it is a uniform though, I spend today in a pair of BHS jeans, a Primark t-shirt and a jumper from Sainsburys. I needed stuff to be warm as DS was rugby training. The coat was from Didriksons - not a particularly common choice. I only found it courtesy of the rugby mums and S&B.

Caitlin17 Sun 12-Jan-14 18:10:56

Does no one else like Brora? I love their 3/4 sleeve cashmere cardies.

campion Sun 12-Jan-14 18:14:13

Try Birmingham if you want some relief from the trials of Boden/FatFace et al...

BrandNewIggi Sun 12-Jan-14 18:15:01

I had never heard of most of these brands till I signed my life over to Bounty in the maternity ward.
Now the catalogues arrive every season without fail.

Pumpkin567 Sun 12-Jan-14 18:20:24

Not everyone subscribes to the uniform, but mostly I agree with you.

Where I live it's very boden, fat face. Mostly dull practicle clothing ( think shirt with jumper or tunic top, Ill fitting jeans and flat boots.)

I wear well fitted clothes, whistles, Hobbs, reiss etc, I get stared at!

My neighbours are upperclass and every party you go to they wear the same clothes. ( dull Austin reed type) I have met the same women three times in the same outfit. the dullest parties you will ever go to

5HundredUsernamesLater Sun 12-Jan-14 18:20:30

Sorry I haven't read the full thread but just wanted to say I hate the way people assume your class by what you wear. I have clothes from joules and Boden in my wardrobe which are my usual weekend clothes but for work mon to fri I tend to wear cheaper stuff (messy job) I'm the same class at a weekend as I am during the week.
I also donate lots of stuff to local charity shops so there's probably some people which you would call chavs and label lower class around here who wear Boden and joules to queue up in the job centre or visit the foodbank.

3asAbird Sun 12-Jan-14 18:21:04

I have a north face body warmer but its beige.
I do wear heeled boots tan leather flats
i have a couple navy and white striped tops ones zara other ones therapy house fraser.
I have many pairs jeans 2 pairs black skinnies which live in one is karen millen other miss selfridge, couple pairs chinos actually one few things own from next, my blue jeans are gap.

I prefer harem pants than leggings or joggers.

lot of school have quilted or wax jackets , 4 by 4s but in all fairness many of them live rurally, lots dog lovers too as fields close to school so they walk their kids and their dogs at same time.

Used to love clothes watchig when lives and worked in bath.

youarewinning Sun 12-Jan-14 18:21:31

Not knowing what a Barbour jacket is blush I just looked it up online. After being shock at prices I then realised the model was wearing black skinnies and a knitted top with boots. Just what I was wearing today. Hers obviously Barbour, mine F&F and store 21! I did have my trespass waterproof on though that I've had 5 years, comes with a fleece insert and cost me £30 at an outlet centre!

Now wondered what people thought of me and if I'm ever mistaken for middle class wink

Armi Sun 12-Jan-14 18:21:45

I wear whatever I like and can afford. I like Boden/White Company etc. Couldn't give a hairy rat's arse whether it makes me look middle class because that's what I am. I like being middle class - why should I wear saggy old shitey clothes and pretend to be working class?

Pumpkin567 Sun 12-Jan-14 18:22:51

Yes love Brora have a couple if dresses, one jumper.

Would like one of every cardigan!

pist Sun 12-Jan-14 18:23:25

Thanks Bowlersarm, they look sturdy enough to withstand the 1/2 Thames running through the park at the mo - will go try some on

limitedperiodonly Sun 12-Jan-14 18:24:34

Caitlin17 Brora is not that good. A bit like TSE or Belinda Robertson.

BR is probably a bit better.

If you see something you like at a good price, get it. But only if you like the design. Don't think it's good quality cashmere.

formerbabe Sun 12-Jan-14 18:25:54

Is there nothing in between chav tracksuits and boden/ff?!

I personally hate both extremes...I tend to wear Zara/h&m/oasis/warehouse.

Pumpkin567 Sun 12-Jan-14 18:26:33

Brora is great, washes very well, totally disagree!

Fairylea Sun 12-Jan-14 18:27:38

Interesting comment smile

Round here (south norfolk) joules is really "common" - I don't know how else to put it. Everyone is wearing it, especially the wellies, even when they are in town and nowhere rural.

My sil who is a single mum on benefits living in a council house (and I used to be exactly the same except the council house so I'm not judging just being factual) dresses herself head to toe in joules and both her dc in nothing but boden. It's like to her to try to be middle class those brands are the markers.... but ironically now I am in a better position financially and I mainly shop on ebay and tesco! I'd rather spend the money elsewhere.

Some days I even wear a bun ring.... shoot me.

harriet247 Sun 12-Jan-14 18:31:02

I do know what you mean a bit :D
I always stick out like a sore thumb in my clothes - im chanelling grunge pinup at the moment but Im the opinion of if you like it wear it

limitedperiodonly Sun 12-Jan-14 18:32:58

There's cashmere and cashmere pumpkin.

But as I said, if you see something you really like at a good price, go for it.

Belize Sun 12-Jan-14 18:39:58

pist - definitely Muck Boots they are fab and very warm, Hunters really are fashion shite.

What the hell is a bun ring when it's at home??!!!

Love a bit of Brora.

formerbabe Sun 12-Jan-14 18:48:59

Bun ring....just think Peru two

TheBookofRuth Sun 12-Jan-14 18:49:58

I like quality clothes but don't like spending a lot of money (no idea why, I have money and I'm not tight in other ways - I think I just like a bargain), so I tend to shop in charity shops, "nearly new" designer shops (of which St. Albans has a plethora) and (whisper it) TK Maxx. My last few purchases have been a Cynthia Rowley cashmere cardigan ( TK Maxx, £27), a DVF dress (charity shop, 35 quid), and a gorgeous cashmere Crombie coat (90 quid, second-hand designer shop), so I do alright out of it.

I've no idea what class I look, but I have my own style, which is more important to me than fitting in with a certain "tribe". I find Boden, White Stuff and Fat Face clothes very dull and bland. But I do own a pair of Hunter wellies (TK Maxx again).

Loopytiles Sun 12-Jan-14 18:54:40

What's wrong with fun wellies? I have asda's version!

Belize Sun 12-Jan-14 18:54:58

formerbabe I'm even more confused now confused <dim>

formerbabe Sun 12-Jan-14 18:55:55

Just do an internet search of them when they were first that is a bun ring!!

pist Sun 12-Jan-14 18:57:52

used to swear by fun cheapo wellies - until sole came undone in the floods confused - about 2 miles walk from home - yikes!

Fairylea Sun 12-Jan-14 18:58:07

A bun ring is a foam doughnut shaped object you use in your hair... If you you tube "sock bun" you'll see some examples of how to do it with socks, but you can just use a bun ring instead.

It CAN look nice but it can look fucking awful too. Depends how messy and how big it is. Messy is good. Tight and pulled uber high bloody awful.

Back2Two Sun 12-Jan-14 19:17:16


Do you normally just make huge, judgemental sweeping statements or are you in a particularly un-imaginative mood? Makes your comments rather lack any depth! wink

"It is a boring load of plainness which all I can think is because the mc have no imagination and want to look the same. "

But, you do manage to sound smug and self-assured! It's obviously ok if you buy these are the exception obviously!

I had a Barbour jacket once, because it was in the sale, lasted for ages and what I needed at the time. I agree with you it serves a good purpose, but some people just buy/wear things for the label not quality or purpose and I think this is sad.

Caitlin17 Sun 12-Jan-14 19:23:03

limitedperiod my Brora cashmere is wearing extremely well. Far better than any of the cheap cashmere I had from M&S. And unless they are lying through their teeth on the website and labels it's woven and made in Scottish mills which I approve of.

MorrisZapp Sun 12-Jan-14 19:27:50

What a shit OP. Sure, there are loads of popular 'looks' adopted by social groups, but to claim that this is due to MC lack of imagination is rude and bigoted.

I'm just dying to know what 'imaginative' people should be wearing, and where they should buy it.

Crowler Sun 12-Jan-14 19:28:34

I think you're off-base here OP. Middle class uniform is more skinny jeans/flats/cashmere sweater.

NearTheWindmill Sun 12-Jan-14 19:38:26

I had a barbour jacket in the 80s - wore it with a velvet Alice band. When I first came to London and worked for an investment bank there was a lovely posh chap in a scruffy barbour and I innocently thought "goodness, he must be hard up to be wearing his Country coat in London" grin

BookroomRed Sun 12-Jan-14 19:47:13

I'm also foreign and new to rural England. Could someone explain the class implications of the gilet/body warmer? Rural middle-middle class dog walkers?

Crowler Sun 12-Jan-14 19:51:32

I wear a vest almost incessantly in the transitional seasons. I'm probably not middle class, I'm not sure, but I seem to have middle class taste.

ohmymimi Sun 12-Jan-14 19:53:39

Book - I wear a gilet to keep warm and for ease of movement when driving, my favourite (red quilted) one comes from 'Target' in US and cost $8.00. smile

newgirl Sun 12-Jan-14 19:53:58

Love it - welcome to Sunday farmers market in St a. Everyone will be in Zara/whistles for work tomorrow. Or wellies for walking dog.

Crowler Sun 12-Jan-14 19:54:57

Target! Yay! I have a cute navy quilted one from LLBean.

newgirl Sun 12-Jan-14 19:55:41

Love it - welcome to Sunday farmers market in St a. Everyone will be in Zara/whistles for work tomorrow. Or wellies for walking dog.

legoplayingmumsunite Sun 12-Jan-14 20:00:23

Of course people wear a uniform. Personally I have no interest in high end fashion, I'm a short 40something scientist with 3 kids in the NE of England. Along with a lot of my workmates and most people at the school gate I wear the MC uniform that is generally bought online because the town I live in has very little choice in the shops, it's an interesting mix of bottom of the range high street or designer shops. And frankly I haven't got the time to wander round the independents in Newcastle or York to try and find a 'unique' look.

I want good quality trousers, skirts, dresses, shirts and jumpers for work in a range of neutrals. Boden sells all designs in a range of colours that means I can easily get appropriate clothes for work. I think they still tend to show the brighter colours on their website because you can see the design details more easily online on a brightly coloured dress than a black or navy one. And they use a lot of natural fabrics which I like and are good for short curvy people. And their kids clothes are fab, DS is now wearing T-shirts and coats that both the DDs have worn and they still look good as new and will have a good resale value on ebay.

Felix90 Sun 12-Jan-14 20:03:04

I have a Barbour waxed parka and have just bought another jacket from them for the spring time. Also just ordered a load of stuff from Joules for my DD. I am far from middle class - I live in a back to back terrace in a pretty rough area of Leeds blush

ohmymimi Sun 12-Jan-14 20:06:22

Crowler - 'vest' outed you (unless you like to flaunt your lacy undergarments as outerwear wink ).

Crowler Sun 12-Jan-14 20:08:05

Ah ha. As an American you mean? Guilty.

Athrodiaeth Sun 12-Jan-14 20:09:40

What are we supposed to be wearing then? If Primark, H&M, New Look and Matalan are chav, Per Una is dowdy and WS/FF/Boden/Brora/Hobbs/Whistles are all posh, what's left to wear?




ohmymimi Sun 12-Jan-14 20:11:32

smile I have lots of lovely American friends and relatives in rural NJ.

Athrodiaeth Sun 12-Jan-14 20:11:35

Incidentally I buy White Stuff/Boden etc because I like bright colours. Most lower-end shops love to stock up with black, white and grey, and I don't wear them at all. Give me bold patterns and things to layer. Also, I want cotton, not acrylic and polyester, and things that can survive afew goes in the washing machine.

ohmymimi Sun 12-Jan-14 20:14:04

Athro - tweed ball gown? Very Viv Westwood.

Dromedary Sun 12-Jan-14 20:14:37

I know what you mean, OP. Went to St Ives over the holiday and it was teeming with people all basically dressed the same. It struck me so strongly that I explained the concept of "how to tell that someone is rich by what they're wearing" to the DCs. My current favourite "I'm very rich" symbol is the welly (green or patterned) that you can ADJUST! Costs loads more than a normal green welly, which is presumably the point.

nkf Sun 12-Jan-14 20:19:03

People wear similar clothes because they shop in similar shops. Why not? Are we supposed to be designing our own clothes and have talented little dressmakers run up our ideas.

Of course not. You go to Primar/Zara/M&S or whatever. You choose from a narrowish range of choices. Fine by me.

formerbabe Sun 12-Jan-14 20:23:22

I always thought a sweater slung over your shoulders and tied by the sleeves just under your neck was very middle class.

charitymum Sun 12-Jan-14 20:24:10

Boden and Joules got a bit cheap and common now. Hardly high end shopping.

Bunbaker Sun 12-Jan-14 20:26:18

Boden and Joules are cheap shock. I think their clothes are pretty expensive.

ohmymimi Sun 12-Jan-14 20:28:10

One of my idle pastimes is sitting in a cafe, with a chunk of passion cake, in a well-known Cotswold village 'posho' spotting. I have nothing against them, I love them - they dispose of their unwanted wardrobe items in the charity shops for me to scoop up. My wardrobe thanks them.

MrsFruitcake Sun 12-Jan-14 20:29:07

What's wrong with being middle class? If you said that wearing a certain brand made you look working class there'd be uproar.

SirChenjin Sun 12-Jan-14 20:29:14

Boden and Joules can hardly be called cheap.

MintyChops Sun 12-Jan-14 20:33:20

Another vote for Muck Boots pist, I love mine....

Caitlin17 Sun 12-Jan-14 20:34:44


Here you are a tweed ball gown. I don't own this but I do have several eccentric Harris tweed jackets (and a Vivienne Westwood dress I adore )

GarlicReturns Sun 12-Jan-14 20:35:43

If you wear certain clothes and ALSO are a barrister I'm guessing you're middle class even if your father was a coal miner, in that sense we have more mobility than 100 years ago, but somehow if you come from a long line of earls you can CHOOSE to be a coal miner and Tatler might write a feature on your clever way of making coal mining seem so cool and upper-class.

This is GENIUS!! Spot on, CHJR smile

I'm really enjoying myself with extremely cheap clothes at the moment. I'm middle-aged, on benefits, living in Tinytown, Shireshire, and a fashion addict - therefore at complete liberty to devise an eclectic look using chain stores, ebay, and garments I make from random materials. It's the most fun I've had with clothes since I left uni! I do maintain a narrow wardrobe of 'uniforms', too, for the rare events when I need to fit in with some group. The only uniform I shan't attempt is upper-middle-to-landed. It's easy to do with cast-offs in a town like this, but that's the very reason I don't. I'm surrounded by people who keep horses and shoot their dinner; clothes can't make me fit in with that and I'd be a wazzock to try.

I found the class systems of Latin American cultures fairly easy to comprehend. It's old-fashioned colonial elitism, with the usual nods to the arts for the poor & the dark of skin. Pretty much like us, but skin colour correlates very closely to class thanks to the slave heritage. I was fascinated to find the actual ruling classes speaking a different version of the language amongst themselves: archaic forms, but not the forms currently spoken in Spain and Portugal. I think there are parallels among other cultures (and it may be coming back here? I wonder.)

It's great being a foreigner! Your class isn't immediately discernible, so you can move easily around the social tiers smile

Belize Sun 12-Jan-14 20:54:53

Crowler, that sounds more North London mc to me. OUt in the Burbs it is all White Stuff and Boden.

That's so funny NearTheWindmill!

EnianShelZman Sun 12-Jan-14 20:54:55

Garlic, I am a foreigner and I have to disagree. I come from an upper-middle class family, married to an English husband who is a high earner, nice house, kids in private schools/grammar yet most people assume I must be living in a dodgy part of the town or renting my home. I wanted to redesign our drive way and the guy refused to do it because he did not believe me I own the house and just last week I was trying to order some bespoke furniture but the guy was refusing to give me the price, just going on and on how pricey it is and where I can find a cheaper one. really pisses me off.

Belize Sun 12-Jan-14 20:55:47

Oh hell thread's moved on like 6 pages! <note to self to refresh blush>

Dromedary Sun 12-Jan-14 21:00:34

I do think that it's important to people that others appreciate that they are well off. Ties in with ownership of SUVs etc.

3asAbird Sun 12-Jan-14 21:05:47

enian thats sounds shite just like pretty woman when she tried to buy clothes.

I have noticed in some shops if im too casual then security guard watches me more closly.

I do think uniforms also very regional its not just class.

Some small towns have hardly any choice my hometow new look or dorothy perkins.

Living in city im spoilt for choice now.

But as we get older shopping can become more tricky.

anyone tried the mary portas range yet looks nice but pricey love the way she dresses but often thourght lots must dress like that in london.

see much more interesting fashion in city centre burbs can be so boring.

GarlicReturns Sun 12-Jan-14 21:09:04

OMG, Enian, I'm so sorry to hear that! How infuriating!! I must admit I was speaking as a white Brit in Latin America. I've heard horrid stories like yours from black people living in various European countries, for example.

Do you look very young? I just wondered whether that might explain people's reluctance to take your money (happened to me when I was an overpaid 20-something.) Whatever these people's excuses, anyway, they're obviously petty, narrow-minded bigots! I hope you rise above their foolishness.

EnianShelZman Sun 12-Jan-14 21:16:29

For some reason a lot of people assume I am Polish. In fact my best friend, a dark haired Italian is always mistaken for a Polish too. I had never been to Poland yet people often ask me what's polish food is like or how's the weather over there. My friend even Googled some facts about Poland because she was asked the same questions. I think people assume I must be on benefits/uneducated because of my accent. I think I dress nice and look presentable but as soon as I open my mouth the attitude changes straight away.

NearTheWindmill Sun 12-Jan-14 21:23:22

I wear lots of stuff:- white stuff, boden, east, Jigsaw, phase 8, M&S, Basler, Gerard Darel, that nice Somerset range and I fancy a Moschino coat. DH and I generally are a scruffy pair of sods and very understated although he has a wig he rarely wears nowadays. The builders are generally very obliging.

3asAbird Sun 12-Jan-14 21:27:21

actually just remembered few years ago husband brought me mary portas book and in it she discusses shops recognising the fashion tribes and catering for them.

just dug it out book case

she mentions classicist-shops at nicole farhi, maxmara, joseph, tods, hermes, john smedly, chanel, paul smith, margaret howell

forer 40-john lewis, hobbs, jaeger, wallis, debenhams, principles, gap. basler, jacques vert, viyella, country casuals and planet-go my 80 year old aunt loves planet!

fashionisa lodosn dovers market-never heard of it, superbrand section selfrides, martin margiela, helmut lan, issy miyake

miss vintage-top shop vintage section, oasis new vintage, oxfam origion,markets and 2nd hand shops.

bag hag-mstly designer bags all boutqiques and major department stores.

posh girl-boden, gap, tods, hacket, jack wilson, ralph lauren, crew clothing.

mr and mrs safe debehnams, jl gap and next.

label lover harve nicks. selfridges ,D&g , karen millen and says jane norman if not but I always think jne norman bit tarty.

originater -anywhere and looks good

barganista ebay, primarnie, matalan, supermarkets and tk max.

she does not mention class.
or joules.

does seem rather london centric with people who must have loads money .

so maybe not the squeezed middle.

im not some sad fecker who buys these books but also got trinny and sausannah what you can wear change your lives n mention of brand stsicks to styles, body shapes and colours.

goks how to dress-sections and events no mention age or class or brands.

GarlicReturns Sun 12-Jan-14 21:36:57

sad Enian. We haven't always been this xenophobic. You can probably blame the past few years of government sponsored immigration hysteria in our esteemed media.

That said, we have always been a bunch of judgemental arseholes! Rise above it, my dear, rise above it. (You have to say that in the sonorous tone of an upper-class matriarch, by the way wink)

EnianShelZman Sun 12-Jan-14 21:49:58

Ha ha! Thank you Garlic. I find it funny now, it does not upset me anymore.

EnianShelZman Sun 12-Jan-14 21:53:00

3asAbird, I don't trust Mary Portas judgement anymore after seeing that horrible clothes collection she had produced for Debenhams.

Belize Sun 12-Jan-14 21:55:59

Hilarious re Boden being posh fgs

SirChenjin Sun 12-Jan-14 22:01:05

God no - Mary Portas' judgement has been clouded by all the polyester fumes she inhaled during the making of the Debenhams collection <shudder>

Fairylea Sun 12-Jan-14 22:06:28

I know parts of boden are reasonably expensive / mid priced but some of its relatively cheap - I just brought two pairs of Jersey trousers for ds just now and with a discount code I found on this site (TYOU) it brought them down to £10 each with free delivery.... roughly the same as a tesco or next pair of trousers. Incidentally I wasn't buying them specifically for them being boden - they were the nicest shaped ones I could find, if primark had similar I would have bbrought them there smile

I think because nowadays the prices vary so much across boden and joules that's how they have become so popular. There is something for most people's pockets now.

When I used to work in the city a hundred years ago boden was very sought after and expensive. I had a boden wool coat and everyone used to comment on it etc. Now everything is more accessible. That's why it's everywhere.

NearTheWindmill Sun 12-Jan-14 22:12:25

Deeaar garlic. As I've said before I know a scruffy old deeaar who shambles into Sainsbury's in her millets sandals, short black socks with a hole usually, a tiered skirt a la Laura Ashley circa 1976 and a bobbled, threadbare fleece gilet. She turns up in her D reg Golf with rusty bits. As she greets you you notice her twinkly eyes and lovely smile and the pearl and diamond drop earrings and ring that looks like it came out of a cracker and realise what she's decked out in is worth about a hundred k.

Her class and presence has nothing to do with either her wardrobe or her jewellery box. She'd look worth a million dollars naked. She's about 85 now btw.

NearTheWindmill Sun 12-Jan-14 22:20:29

I have three Boden "Coatigans". They are my favourite things and I don't think any other retailer compares. I also think that their best things are the thins that aren't colourful and easily overlooked in the catalogue. My favourite thing is a black coatigan with glittery bottons and a very pretty collar and three quarter length sleeves. It was 39 in the sale about four years ago - I bought it because it was cheap and wpuld stretch a couple of skirts on their last legs for work for a bit longer. It looked nothing in the catalogue. It was delivered and my jaw dropped. It was divine - as good with jeans and boots as slung over your shoulders over a posh frock in spring or autumn. But then I think the same goes for Per Una. Stay away from the colours and hone in on the stuff that looks dreary on the hanger - it's often fab on and cut on the bias!

Bunbaker Sun 12-Jan-14 22:26:33

"Hilarious re Boden being posh fgs"

Really? I think Boden is pricey and don't know anyone that spends that kind of money on clothes.

NearTheWindmill Sun 12-Jan-14 22:33:38

It's all relative I think. I don't spend much on clothes compared to friends/neighbours and I think Boden's pretty middle of the road, safe and very reasonably priced. It lasts better than M&S. It was a uniform in my DC's primary playground

I've never thought snorbens as being particularly mc. Harpenden on the other hand. I live somewhere that is horrendously middle class. St A is nothing like that

Belize Sun 12-Jan-14 22:39:24

It sure isn't posh though Bunbaker. Bond Street stores are 'posh'.

GarlicReturns Sun 12-Jan-14 22:40:57

She sounds great, Near! I hope to age as idiosyncratically smile

NearTheWindmill Sun 12-Jan-14 22:57:21

Some Bond Street Stores are posh Belize. Don't forget A&F are just off it, arguably in a posher bit and that shop is certainly NOT posh. I think it was one of my most unpleasant shopping experiences. Petticoat Lane is/was classier imo.

Yumsnet Mon 13-Jan-14 14:43:32

I'm amused Dromedary as I have green adjustable wellies (Seeland £40), and often holiday in St Ives/Cornwall. I wear them not because I want to be seen as 'rich' but because I can fit my chunky calves into them nicely grin

ProfondoRosso Mon 13-Jan-14 14:47:09

I'm wearing a Boden jumper right now. It is the only Boden thing I own. I got it for 20 quid off the Ebay shop (with a discount code). I have approx zero pounds and zero pence in my bank account right now (finishing my PhD, DH is paying the mortgage, thank God). grin

legoplayingmumsunite Mon 13-Jan-14 16:18:36

When I used to work in the city a hundred years ago boden was very sought after and expensive. I had a boden wool coat and everyone used to comment on it etc. Now everything is more accessible. That's why it's everywhere.

Pre ubiquitous internet I got my first Boden catalogue after reading about it on Annalisa Barbieri's fashion column in the Independent, I was so excited. I actually still have a skirt and merino jumper I bought out of that catalogue for work, the quality was so good back then.

legoplayingmumsunite Mon 13-Jan-14 16:19:29

I do think Boden and Joules get picked on because they are such distinctive brands, no-one comments if you live in Gap or John Lewis and yet the clothes are a similar price range.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 13-Jan-14 16:24:28

I have boil washed and hot tumbled my size 8 Boden fun skirts so that they have become sexually alluring. I am a maverick.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Mon 13-Jan-14 16:25:51

I also have a Per Una top I have cut peepholes into blush

Ok, that one was a lie grin

Viviennemary Mon 13-Jan-14 16:35:12

What is this obsession with Bodens on MN. But I need a change from M & S so will have to read this thread. Don't think I'm a Boden's type of person though.

Sukebind Mon 13-Jan-14 16:46:58

I don't get all this 'I have a xxxx from Boden/Joules/Fatface but it was almost free/in a sale/given to me/wouldn't normally wear it so I can fit in with the tone of this thread after all'... I agree with Jellyandcake upthread who pointed out there's a lot of sneering going on.
Who cares whether people like wearing Boden/Joules/etc.? I like some of their range for younger girls and get it second hand for free or using a deal every now and then but I am not definately going to apologise for buying it. If other people don't like it then that's up to them. I would buy more of it if it were cheaper but I can only afford a couple of bits and pieces. DD1 got a t-shirt from Boden in her stocking and thinks it has a picture of a 'Swan Queen from Swan Lake' on it and it makes her really happy and keeps her top-half warm. It makes me miserable to think she's going to be judged by opinionated people (or I am) for wearing it.

limitedperiodonly Mon 13-Jan-14 16:59:50

I always thought a sweater slung over your shoulders and tied by the sleeves just under your neck was very middle class.

No. Eurotrash, especially if pink cashmere on a man and by Avon Celli.

ohmymimi Mon 13-Jan-14 17:02:07

Caitlin - I'm envious of your Viv, but too mean thrifty to indulge (unless I find one in a charity shop!). smile

ohmymimi Mon 13-Jan-14 17:07:31

limited - how very dare you call my (Italian) BiL 'Eurotrash'! shock

limitedperiodonly Mon 13-Jan-14 17:15:44

If the Borsalino cap fits ohmymini wink

happygirl87 Mon 13-Jan-14 18:13:09

I was out in St A's yest, was wearing jeans (from dorothy perkins I think, but no visible brand name) and a stripy top from the GAP sales (no branding). I did have a colourful coat but it was from Warehouse 2 years ago, with no branding......

I lvie in St A's and commute into London. I own nothing from Jack Wills/Boden/Crew/Laura Ashley/Cath Kidston/Joules. YABU

although I did buy my first white company candle in the sale and I am a convert, is this the start of the slippery slope?

WhatAFeline Mon 13-Jan-14 18:16:39

OP. because I like it.

Crowler Mon 13-Jan-14 18:20:33

I love white company for housewares.

PaulSmenis Mon 13-Jan-14 18:52:41

Don't get the fuss about Boden really, but than I wouldn'y pay full price for any of their stuff, so probably not in their demographic. grin

EverAfterHigh Mon 13-Jan-14 19:06:34

I stand out like a sore thumb at work because I'm usually the only one not dressed like someone out of the Joules catalog, it just isn't my style at all and I don't want to look like another identi-kit Joules customer.

Bunbaker Mon 13-Jan-14 19:16:24

I have no idea what Joules clothes look like. I just look at people and think they suit what they are wearing or not. That's all.

lessonsintightropes Mon 13-Jan-14 22:15:59

I have an awkward body shape (size 18 apple with big boobs and tum, but pretty tall and narrow hips) - the only things that suit me for smart-casual work wear are v neck jersey dresses - I live in Monsoon. I've got a few Boden pieces but they aren't cut that well for my body shape - am trying out Joules but don't like much of their range. Phase 8 is gorgeous but too dressy for work really, and white stuff I am probably too fat for. Any suggestions? Don't give a stuff about being classed as mc, no-one at my work would notice (only woman on the senior management team!) and can afford the boden price range. sits waiting for fashion advice from sartorially savvy mners

NearTheWindmill Mon 13-Jan-14 22:24:27

I really like Joules blush. I also have a lovely navy and white tuniccy T-shirt from White Stuff. You know the sort of thing that somehow really flatters and people ask if you've lost weight. I found the receipt the other day. ))Whispers(( it says maternity range [weep emoticon]

ashInTheAttic Mon 13-Jan-14 22:25:27

I fantasise about being dressed like someone out of the Joules Catalogue - if only I managed that level of sartorial co-ordination and chic. Perhaps if I moved to St Albans I might manage it.

daisychain01 Italy Mon 13-Jan-14 22:37:21

YABU to moan at people chosing to spend their money the way they choose!

I like FTface and Whitestuff. The staff are wonderful, they are so helpful and really want to make it an enjoyable shopping experience. Id rather that than be insulted by some clown in a rubbish clothes ship who thinks customer service is whining at me "yeeeeerrright!?" When I step in the shop. No Im not, bugger off.

And Im middle class who cares. I dont.

kungfupannda Mon 13-Jan-14 22:38:43

I live in White Stuff. It's all stretchy and forgiving and doesn't tighten around my middle like a vice around lunchtime....

daisychain01 Italy Mon 13-Jan-14 22:39:01

Sorry my typing skills are rubbish upside down, lying in bed

daisychain01 Italy Mon 13-Jan-14 22:39:52

Yey kung foo a White Stuff fan. Love the stretchies, my friend!

GarlicReturns Mon 13-Jan-14 22:40:40

Lessons - Is Long Tall Sally any good for you? Quality's a bit variable ime, but at least you don't get the waistline sitting over your lower ribs. I've had surprising successes from Dorothy Perkins's tall sizes. Also try Jumping Ships: they're British made, well cut and fit British women.

lessonsintightropes Mon 13-Jan-14 23:00:27

Ooh thanks Garlic, some brilliant suggestions!

GarlicReturns Mon 13-Jan-14 23:13:43

smile Great - have fun!

anything popular is branded as awful and common on mumsnet. I buy Boden Joules and Fatface for the dc as they are good quality can be handed down, nice bright colours, and above all age appropriate. I want my dd's aged 7 & 4 to look and dress like little girls, not covered in sequins and black. Same with ds who is 11, no rubbish slogans, or ticks, fun prints and plain loose trousers. ds 16 is a lost cause though.

Crowler Tue 14-Jan-14 11:17:13

When you all say "White Stuff" are you referring to White Company?

these whitestuff

YouSirName Tue 14-Jan-14 12:28:10

A lot of people aspire to that look; "One man's trash is another man's treasure". The OP's opinion of these children's parents, disparaging though it may be, might just be enforcing the parents sought after social status.

Belize Tue 14-Jan-14 12:46:29

White Stuff very different to White Company although I love both

Bunbaker Tue 14-Jan-14 20:20:48

I have never bought from White Stuff as I don't have one nearby, but after having a looked at their website I liked what I saw.

Crowler Tue 14-Jan-14 20:26:18

I can see I'm not middle class because I have zero Boden, Joules or White Stuff.

NearTheWindmill Tue 14-Jan-14 20:44:40

I think it's because you don't know the difference between White Company and White Stuff tbh.

Crowler Tue 14-Jan-14 20:46:31

I can see I'm not middle class because I assumed white stuff was slang for white company, but now I know that the middle class doesn't do slang.

ItsATIARA Tue 14-Jan-14 20:54:29

Ah yes. I am super-MC. I own no Boden, Joules, White Stuff or White Company apart from one Boden skirt on a whim from Oxfam which never fitted properly.

But I know I'm middle class, because I know exactly who they all are and could do you a full rundown of their entire range because the bastards keep sending me the catalogues.

Belize Tue 14-Jan-14 21:02:18

I'm super mc too and I use slang and swear all the time grin!

NearTheWindmill Tue 14-Jan-14 21:06:51

I don't swear that much, never on MNet. My DC are a pair of shockers though! I blame their schools grin

horsetowater Tue 14-Jan-14 21:17:30

I think the thing that determines mc fashion is, ironically, being mean and stingy and tight with your money.

MC fashions like Boden and certain brands arise because they have been to Primark and found things fall apart after a few washes and it doesn't actually make much financial sense unless you are always wanting new fashions and styles.

So brands like Boden have a 'timeless' style, which means you can get 2 or 3 years wear out of it before it looks really dated. They also wash well and are better made.

the other thing that determines MC fashion is 'fit for purpose' items. We've all bought cheap wellies but they never last as long as Hunters, haven't got the right height or depth of heel etc. A lot of MC fashions like waxed barbours are traditional country wear and people buy them because they work in the weathers you need them to work in, not because they look good.

And the last thing is sizes - MC people are often taller (is that racist?) I know Primark jeans come up too short for me for instance (I may or may not be genetically middle class).

But I don't think you have to be wealthy to wear these clothes, it's just boringly sensible.

Crowler Tue 14-Jan-14 21:18:45

Of course I'm not middle-class. I'm a foreigner.

NearTheWindmill Tue 14-Jan-14 21:24:26

Forriner hmm

Belize Tue 14-Jan-14 21:45:11

I've never set foot in Primark as it happens confused.

NearTheWindmill Tue 14-Jan-14 21:57:12

But they are great for school panto costumes, 50 harbands for a pound for PE, disposable beach towels and things your DC want to tie dye smile

Havingagoodny Tue 14-Jan-14 22:14:07

Is just looked at the White Stuff website, it's horrible, looks like Marks and Spencer Indigo range which my mum wears on an off day. I am v middle class, DH and I both private school educated, professionals, high earners, kids in private schools and I can't think of anything I would be less likely to wear than Joules, Boden and White stuff. I like to stick to those working class brands like Zara and new Look which actually, look great when worn carefully and accessorised well.

Bowlersarm Tue 14-Jan-14 22:25:46

Havingagoodny any other attributes you have you'd like to list?

Belize Tue 14-Jan-14 22:59:02

grin Bowlersarm!

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Tue 14-Jan-14 23:13:51

Plenty of quaint pieces in Primarni. I'll wear Primark and Hermes. Forge your own path.

Middle class people are taller??
I've heard it all now :D

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Tue 14-Jan-14 23:22:34

Actually, I am tall. You might be onto something.....

Sixtiesqueen Wed 15-Jan-14 00:58:34

I'm interested to know the cut off point between 'middle class' and 'very middle class,' Havingagoodny.

I grew up on a council estate but am now 'done good' and own several Boden cardigans and a piano. Confused about my identity

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Wed 15-Jan-14 01:15:10

Are you over 5ft 8, Sixties? That might be pertinent.

VestaCurry Wed 15-Jan-14 01:19:43

When dc's were smaller I regularly went to the first day of sales scrum at the Boden shop (lived fairly nearby). The clothes would be handed from dc1 to dc2 then onto eBay where in those days I'd get a really good price for them on eBay. Was definitely worth it. None of the clothes ever had an obvious logo on them. You could tumble dry them to death and they'd still look good as new 6 years after buying them.

Live near a Joules now but don't like anything in there, the prices really are stupid.

Have bought a couple of things in the sales in Fat Face, their women's shirt's are good for those of us with ample norkage. Avoided anything with the logo on though.

VestaCurry Wed 15-Jan-14 01:23:27

There's an old lady in our road who dresses head to toe in White Stuff clothes only. Cheeky bugger gave me some of their body lotion WATERED DOWN ffs as a present after I came out of hospital after a fairly grim operation. Bloody cheapskate wafting about in her White Stuff linen trousers and cashmere jumpers hmm.

belleballon Wed 15-Jan-14 01:23:36

Barbour has been the subject of so many 'chav' threads on here in the past, and since it became so fashionable with the multitude and spawned all those fakes. Odd that it's thought of as typically middle class by some.

VestaCurry Wed 15-Jan-14 01:25:39

Mc people are often taller??? Eh?

belleballon Wed 15-Jan-14 01:25:48

Fat Face seems to be crap quality nowadays and a bit bland

Bodicea Wed 15-Jan-14 03:27:35

Middle class more tall!! Heard it all now. That must beig me down a peg. Was only just scraping middle class as it was. Parents working class done done good - gave me expatriate childhood followed by country house complete with ducks and chickens ( albeit in the north) and married a nice mc boy :-)
I always thought fat face was for nice wholesome girls without any sense of own style in my twenties). Shapeless clothes that don't work on people with boobs. Same goes for whitestuff. They normally accessorise with equally bland radley bags.
Now I am a mummy I keep thinking I need some boden in my life but can't bring myself to order from online. My v middle class friend lives in the stuff but she is a size 8 with little boobs( evidently she is tiny tiny height too ) I prefer actual shop. Might start with something for the child. I do have a joules coat though. Get me! Ooh and I made the mistake of buying hunter wellies but I am a bit short for them. Doh! They pinch backs of my knees and love in cupboard - maybe I will sell them on ebay and buy some of the muck boot thingies. Had never heard of them before

Bodicea Wed 15-Jan-14 03:29:19

Live in cupboard - gosh I really should proof read!

BrandNewIggi Wed 15-Jan-14 06:48:14

MC children certainly seem to be, on average, taller; not sure if it translates into adulthood.

BrandNewIggi Wed 15-Jan-14 06:48:15

MC children certainly seem to be, on average, taller; not sure if it translates into adulthood.

Crowler Wed 15-Jan-14 07:01:04

Fat Face being mentioned so many times in this thread has come as a huge surprise to me - I thought it was like Abercrombie and Fitch.

Bunbaker Wed 15-Jan-14 07:09:03

Why the sneery tone on here? I like White Stuff, Fat Face and M & S Indigo. I don't like Zara, Top Shop and New Look, but as I am 55 I probably am in the wrong age range for them anyway. I also think their clothes are badly made and use very thin materials.

The comment about middle class people being taller might have some mileage though. After all we are all taller than our predecesors and that is mainly due to diet. So you could say that in general people in higher socio-economic groups might have a better diet. I know this is a vast generalisation, but I am looking at the whole picture.

Crowler Wed 15-Jan-14 07:13:58

Cheeky bugger gave me some of their body lotion WATERED DOWN ffs as a present after I came out of hospital after a fairly grim operation

Your neighbor bought you a bottle of lotion as a present, then broke the seal, watered it down, and gave it to you?

soundedbetterinmyhead Wed 15-Jan-14 07:34:59

I'm pretty middle class, I guess and probably wear Boden/White Stuff all the time to work. It's acceptably smart for meetings as well as practical enough for home visits, cheerful sort of colours and mostly washes well. I work FT as does DH and DCs are in their teens. DD would wear exclusively Jack Wills given half a chance because she wants to fit in.

IMO, stuff like Boden, Fat face, White stuff (apart from knitwear which is hopeless to wash!) suit people (like me) who want to look tidy, but can't be arsed to spend the weekends online or on the high street wondering whether something uniquely captures their style/personality/this season's 'look'. I genuinely don't care about these things, I just want a skirt knee length (so I can get up and down without flashing pants or standing on it) perhaps with a pretty pattern on it that I can match with a couple of jumpers that will go in the washing machine. When they start looking shabby, I buy some more.

I can walk into any of the shops above, it's not too noisy, staff are friendly, and basically anything will be OK for my purpose. Also Boden is online, so what's not to like? I had no idea that people would judge me on this. Still, if it gives you something to do, OP.

Bunbaker Wed 15-Jan-14 07:58:43

"Also Boden is online, so what's not to like?"
^^ This

The fact that it is online is no good for me. I am not a standard shape and size and have to try everything on before buying. I always end up taking more than one size into the changing room when trying on clothes. I hate the fact that some clothes sellers are only online and have no shops because I just can't buy from them. It would cost me a fortune in postage for the huge number of parcels I would be sending back.

I agree with all your other points though. I am not interested in "creating a look". I just want to wear something that suits my shape in a colour that suits and that fits well (and that I can afford)

SirChenjin Wed 15-Jan-14 08:09:30

soundedbetterinmyhead - absolutely.

Bodicea Wed 15-Jan-14 08:09:45

Having just had a baby can I throw another make into to mix - jojomamanbebe - where the middle class get there maternity wear and than carry on shopping there for their kids clothes once they get the bug - genius!

ashInTheAttic Wed 15-Jan-14 08:11:33

After all this, I had to make a special visit to look at White Stuff, Joules and Boden clothes. I liked all of them, White Stuff especially. Nice, jolly, colourful, well-made clothes it seems to me.

Of course, I'm still actually slobbing round in leggings and a fleece this morning, so you may not want to take style advice from me smile

Bodicea Wed 15-Jan-14 08:12:47

Is it wrong that I intern to keep buying their maternity leggings long after being pregnant as I don't have to hoik them up all the time like normal leggings :-)

tolittletoolate Wed 15-Jan-14 09:41:06

I've had horses for the last 30 years and have always been aware of Joules as a brand. Even though I don't have a horse anymore it amuses me that I can wear my previous yard/mucking out clothes out and people think I'm trendy and middle class. My children have a few joules clothes but again they were for the stables.
I also have some very beautiful joules leather boots that are Dubarry style that I used to wear to ride in!
Team that with my battered old Barbour and I must look like I'm a right stuck up cow grin

LCHammer Wed 15-Jan-14 09:53:36

Why did it take me 7 pages to realise FF is not Florence & Fred.

Fandan Wed 15-Jan-14 09:55:23

I have never heard of white stuff - I had to google it. Wouldn't know joules or Boden stuff without seeing the label.
Don't think any of these labels are really advertised where I am

Rhubarbgarden Wed 15-Jan-14 10:18:12

I don't know what the fuck I'm doing with clothes any more. I used to be thin, stylish and had disposable income. I enjoyed clothes shopping. I looked great.

Then I had kids.

I've spent the last four years putting on the first thing to hand and being covered in sick, snot, wee, yoghurt etc. Now I'm emerging from this fug and finding that suddenly I'm old, fat, my body shape has rearranged itself and fashion has moved on. I don't know what the hell to wear or where to buy it from. I'm walking around in a torn coat and boots with holes in.

I need Trinny and Susannah.

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Wed 15-Jan-14 10:25:36

I love to mix and match clothing
basic white t's from supermarkets
Jeans from dotty P's
expensive knee high boots
Joules Jacket's
White company tops / knitwear
white stuff/fatface/boden thrown in the mix.

I am unashamedly MC no idea if I fit into a type.. don't really give a stuff.

EnianShelZman Wed 15-Jan-14 10:39:08

Joules is nice for girls but not so nice for boys. It is on sale right now at 50-70% off at John Lewis. Boys' tops were around 9-16£ and trousers 12-15. Still too ugly for me. However got some amazing JL pajamas for 1 pound yesterday for a 12, 6 and 3 year old. Bargain of the year!

MrsAMerrick Wed 15-Jan-14 19:13:13

LC Hammer grin

LightsPlease Wed 15-Jan-14 19:18:40

Never heard of boden or joules.

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