How are you? I don’t know how much you’ve travelled, but you would have noticed that wherever you go, the place you live in has an impact on how you live and behave. I’m no different: it’s now been nine months since I’ve moved to London and I’m starting to feel the influence this city has on me and on my lifestyle.
First of all, I have to say I’m falling in love with it. At the beginning it was almost too much: the city centre was too big, there were too many shops and the suburbs were never-ending. Now I know how to move around, where to go and how to deal with the lovely Brits. This city is unique and I particularly love the little details that make each place unique: the statues diving in the street on top of Piccadilly, the street artists at Covent Garden, the graffiti in Carnaby Street, the bridge that cuts Brixton in two, the Egyptian Sphinxes resting at the entrance of the houses next to Angel, the hidden canals. I always wonder how a city like London can combine the cultural heritage and the history with the art that you breathe everywhere: it’s a classic and timeless city yet it’s full of extravagant corners and artsy places. I feel that living here is impacting my wardrobe in the sense that I’m combining my colourful pieces with more classic ones, sometimes I feel I’m now turning into a little lady – now I just need a proper hat! But let me tell you how dressing up in London feels like:
When the sky is grey, I don’t need to make the day look even darker
I’m trying my best not to use my black trousers every single day. I know, they are comfy and they go with every single piece in my wardrobe, but they make everything look more gloomy than it already is. I have to say London weather is not as grey as people say it is, there are sunny days throughout all seasons and to be honest, it is quite similar to the weather we have in the Italian region I come from. However, there are grey days during winter and I love to wear something colourful to cheer me up, whether it’s a pair of trousers or a top. If I have to wear a dark item, I’d rather go for dark blue or dark green.
Dress for the job you want, not the one you have
Have you ever been in a situation when a sentence from a song you heard when you were younger suddenly makes sense? You are living your life, exploring the world and then you reach a moment of impact and that lyric finally strikes a cord, you understand what the singer meant by singing it. That happened to me many times in my life, partly because I love songs and I think I know quite a few of them, partly because I’m stubborn and it takes time for me to truly learn a lesson.
I’ve heard that sentence many times before, dress for the job you want, not the job you have, and never really paid attention to it. Recently, though, I’ve been thinking about it as I saw it somewhere in the city and I can now understand the psychology underneath it. It’s not a question of showing off, it’s rather a way to remind yourself of your dreams every single morning. If you dress like the job you’d love to be doing, you remind yourself you need to do something about it and there are more chances you will actually end up doing it. It also makes you feel confident about getting there.
If I had all the money in the world and I could do whatever I want during my day, I’d probably travel a lot, shop a lot, write my blog and vlog. So that’s how I want to dress up every morning.
Manage your colours
I have so many colourful items in my wardrobe, sometimes it’s difficult to put them together. I’ve always disregarded classy tones as boring and dull, however, I am now rediscovering them as Brits (especially men) wear classic outfits every single day. If you have many colourful pieces, you need a basic piece that ties them together or that allows you to wear one bright colour only. I used to wear mainly jeans, now I’m getting tired of them and I’m exploring colours like white, cream and pink. They go with almost everything and they are not the usual black thing.
Stop spending money on cheap accessories
I’ve always though jewellery was outrageously expensive until I decided to shop for it. I discovered that there are brands out there that sell pieces of jewellery at an affordable price and guess what? Those jewels are beautiful. Last year I bought myself a bracelet at Ted Baker in rose gold that cost £30. It is thin, elegant and timeless but most of all I won’t have to throw it away after a couple of years because it won’t get ruined with usage.
And that leads me to my next point:
Less quantity, more quality
I never spent too much money in high street shops but I bought enough pieces to realise it’s not worth it. By that, I don’t mean I am splurging all my money on expensive clothing, not at all. I’m just spending slightly more in a careful way. If you buy items when they are on sale and look for shops that offer quality clothing at down-to-earth prices, you’ll have a wardrobe that lasts l o n g e r . Here in London, I’ve discovered British brands like Ted Baker and Reiss, I also recommend my old-time favourite French Connection or Massimo Dutti: check their sales page and you’ll find some interesting items. Of course, you also need to take care of quality clothing. It takes time to iron and keep the wardrobe tidy but you won’t regret it.
I have to say I am very pleased with these changes that are occurring in my wardrobe. Dressing up smartly but still with a hint of colour is the perfect way to fit in the British world without losing the connection with my Italian heritage. I’m combining the best of both worlds and the result is lovely!
What about you, how is the city you live in influencing your style?