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Friday Fashion: Looking sleek with London chic

Courtesy of MCT

The easiest way to describe London fashion is “individualized.” That being said, Londoners know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to putting an outfit together that’s trendy and classic. Guys and girls have a distinct style that is clearly urban but European.

London women do the grungy-chic look better than any international fashionistas. Their outfits are more kick-ass than Ke$ha’s, making this more of a style than costume. To recreate their look, pair ripped tights with denim shorts and motorcycle boots over scrunched-up socks. Choose a more feminine shirt with a bit of lace or go for a more tailored button-down to make the look more wearable.

Some English women go for a much more classic look — think Kate Middleton meets Jennifer Aniston. But before you think that this is only for classy and conservative types, think again. These women style the classic little black dress or perfect London trench with an unexpected accessory or hairdo, taking their look from timeless to trendy.

For example, the next time you reach for your go-to little black dress, choose shoes that make a statement. Maybe it’s a pair of pumps in a bold color or a pair of glittery heels, which are trending in the U.K. If shoes aren’t your thing, try wearing an over-the-top headband or neon nail polish. Because the rest of your look is so tailored, you can be adventurous with your accessories.

For many Englishmen, fashion is all about fit. This city is full of George Clooney-types with great accents and even better clothing — the suit is something of a novelty item here no matter what your age. Maybe the men just like looking dapper everyday or they know it’s the perfect way to pick up women. Either way, it’s working. Their jackets taper in at the waist and the trouser legs don’t swish about like they do on many American men. This straighter leg works because it makes men look taller and slimmer.

The best lesson that can be learned from Englishmen is the art of wearing cologne. Their scents change with age and are never overpowering. It’s just enough for someone to want to get close enough to really find out what that smell is. Fragrances can be just as varied as personalities, so it’s important to choose one that suits you. For college students and young professionals, I recommend Dolce & Gabbana “Light Blue,” Ralph Lauren Polo “Black” and Givenchy “Play.” Spritz on your neck and wrists for the right amount of scent.

Although London style is trendy and chic, everything is understated with an air of purpose. Europeans do not have enough closet space for impractical articles of clothing. Shopaholics who buy things you never wear, take note: carefully choosing your clothes will force you to find your own style, and while this might be difficult at first, you’ll be much better off in the long run.

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