'Prissy style' of the South east - WHYYYY????

(123 Posts)
windygallows Tue 16-Aug-16 13:17:11

I live in a smaller town in the home counties after many years in a large urban centre in the North. Lovely place but the style is so different and I'm still struggling to make heads or tails of it.

Up north people wore a lot of black and the look was a bit more slick... down here women my age (40s) and even younger dress in what I can only describe as a kind of prissy, prim style with:
- lots of cardis
- lots of bright colours including loads of floral dresses and skirts
- Very rarely do you see lots of black or all dark colours
- bootcut mum jeans with heeled boots a la 1995
- lots more 'ortho' sandals and shoes

When I see women in brightly coloured mary janes wearing spotted Boden skirts and sporting floral Cath Kidston bags I honestly think it's an outfit more suited to a 10 year old girl.

Help me understand the style down here. Where does it come from? Is this quintessential english style? Or are the home counties stuck in a style warp? I don't think I'm some style guru and certainly don't want to be teetering around in a sparkly dress in heels....but it feels v different here!

LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Aug-16 13:19:54

It's warmer down here grin

When I lived up north I wore more black so it hid the rain stains, down here it's much lighter fabrics because of the heat

Loads of other reasons too

windygallows Tue 16-Aug-16 13:21:24

I get that - the weather is WAY better down here. But that doesn't mean floral wrap dresses all year round, does it? smile

ShatnersBassoon Tue 16-Aug-16 13:21:52

Is it a climate thing? More sun, lighter fabrics, brighter outlook. Do fewer women work there? They might not need to look so smart so tend towards more casual, less businesslike clothes.

You don't have to join in. Stick with what you like to wear. Nobody will notice if you're not the same as the majority.

ShadowsInTheDarkness Tue 16-Aug-16 13:22:06

Im a goth in the SouthEast .... Doing my bit to try and offset the boden and florals wink

windygallows Tue 16-Aug-16 13:24:27

Thanks Shatners. I FEEL like a goth down here by comparison. I just worry that I'm going to have to join the dark side and start wearing brightly spotted raincoats and cornflower blue jumpers! shock

LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Aug-16 13:24:30

I'm in the Home Counties and it's a bit more outdoorsy too - you seem to be describing a Northern city feel?

So if I'm wearing a skirt/top/dress I can change from birkies to wellies without bothering to change the outfit if it's just casual. We (or most people I know) have dogs and possibly horses.

I'd look a bit weird in a black outfit with wellies I think

LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Aug-16 13:25:12

Buy the spotty raincoat - you'll fit right in grin

windygallows Tue 16-Aug-16 13:25:32

I think there are less women working around here but that doesn't explain the style....

polyhymnia Tue 16-Aug-16 13:25:42

Very interesting - as a Londoner, had always thought in my very prejudiced way it was northerners who were stuck in a timewarp. I'm thinking of things like getting very dressed up for a meal ou or theatre.

But thinking about it now, it might be more a city/ suburbs difference. The style you describe is a very leafy suburb/ home county one. Don't think you'd find it so much in Shoreditch. Or in Brighton among the trendy metro set.

And the people I know from the north who are (to me) a bit retro come from small towns or suburbs, not cities like Manchester which I think is pretty vibrant.

All that said, I don't think dressing in lots of black is an in infallible indicator of stylishness!

LaurieFairyCake Tue 16-Aug-16 13:27:28

Yeah we talked about northern cities dressing up more for nights out

I work in London so go out in work gear after work (not dressed up, casual dressing)

windygallows Tue 16-Aug-16 13:29:05

Poly - very true, black does not equal stylish.

It probably IS a suburban sort of look, but dear god there are a LOT of mid-calf floral skirts which really don't do anyone any favours. It seems to be quite an old fashioned look. Should I say that I'm in Oxfordshire? And relatively close the Cotswolds? That probably explains everything doesn't it? grin

EndodSummerLooming Tue 16-Aug-16 13:29:41

I'm a southerner, married to a northener. We're just less bloody miserable. glares at MIL metaphorically

BikeRunSki Tue 16-Aug-16 13:29:53

I live in West Yorkshire and hardly ever wear black!! I never wear florals tbh, but Boden/White Stuff/Joules/Fatface play a significant role in my wardrobe. Does that mean I am lost in space as well as time?

NovemberInDailyFailLand Tue 16-Aug-16 13:31:46

I live in the SE and look like a bag lady.

DoneRacing Tue 16-Aug-16 13:36:52

Depends where you are in Oxfordshire.
Some parts are very fashionable and you won't see many skirts as you've described!

North Oxfordshire tends to be more fashionable as have the new Soho Farmhouse and various other more urban influenced pubs and restaurants etc like Daylesford, the Bull in Charlbury, the Wild Rabbit, the Plough at Kingham. I'm only there at weekends but it's very fashionable clothes wise, lots of Isabel Marant, Chloe, SL etc and lots of black!

You're also describing an urban/suburban divide, which will be the same anywhere.

windygallows Tue 16-Aug-16 13:36:56

Haha BIKE. Nah, I just think there's a bit of a weird, frumpy uniform down here.

I think my pet hate is when women dress in what I think are quite kiddy-like clothes, like a jacket like this. I don't think it's 'whimsical' or 'cute' I just think it's odd.

Or the bag. Naff. But just my personal opinion.

MangoMoon Tue 16-Aug-16 13:36:57

I'm in West Oxfordshire, am 41 & wear rolled up distressed bf jeans mostly at the mo.
Most people I know of my age are similar tbh - not a floral calf length skirt in sight!

It's the ubiquitous skinny jeans in boots with various scarfey things mum uniform in winter that makes me irritable tbh -it's all very samey, year in year out!

Butterpuff Tue 16-Aug-16 13:37:17

I live in the TOWIE bit of the SE. Be pleased.

Kikibanana86 Tue 16-Aug-16 13:38:11

I live in SE on the coast and all women over 35 dress that way around here. I think it's a middle class/suburban thing rather than s north south thing. I'm from the midlands originally and I remember feeling the same. Oh I used to live in a city and down here in rural so I totally get it!

I refuse to give in. I still wear Asos tops hop and boohoo and I'm 30! I hate the Boden look.

windygallows Tue 16-Aug-16 13:38:22

Sounds like there IS style here. Maybe I need to change my social circle then!

BikeRunSki Tue 16-Aug-16 13:40:56

I am currently at Gloucester services, and I reckon a good 50% of the Boden summer catalogue is on show here, not including the White Stuff/Sea Salt stuff on sale in the shop.

windygallows Tue 16-Aug-16 13:41:02

There are a lot of skirts like that that are worn with Camper boots. Like it's the 90s.

Time to tune into St Etienne! smile

DoneRacing Tue 16-Aug-16 13:45:24

Definitely! Lots of style.

Wear what you like too. There can be lots of idiocy about what to wear in more rural areas if you've moved there from elsewhere. I was brought up very rurally, so think all of that is nonsense.

I wear lots of IM, Blk dnm, j brand, Acne Studios, MiH, Stella M, See by Chloe, Maxmara etc at weekends and I wear lots of black! You can't move for 'trendy' (awful word sorry) people around us and I like it!

MaybeDoctor Tue 16-Aug-16 13:46:25

All black is so bloody boring. And predictable.

Live life in colour grin! I threw the last black item out of my wardrobe back in 2010.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now