Holy City Style

June 8, 2008

Charleston Guide to London Style

Filed under: fashion,how to — ryli @ 6:09 pm
Tags: , ,

So, I’m spending my summer here in London for an amazing internship at a fashion magazine. Though I work in the editorial department, I recently visited the fashion room to get the low-down on the hottest (quite literally) summer trends of 2008.

“London has a folksy, 70’s-era style that hasn’t changed much in the past few years,” said a fashion assistant, in an attempt to briefly generalize London street style. (Names must remain anonymous for commercial reasons).

Though the weather isn’t quite as smoldering as Charleston—in fact, it’s quite the opposite, as a sunny day in London is as common as a snowy day in the Chuck—there are still many ways to adapt the latest in London style to suit the streets of Charleston. So if you’re looking to add some European flair to your wardrobe this summer, these trendy pieces are sure to go perfectly with any sunny day!

High-waisted shorts:

Find a pair, Top Shop £35

The British pair them with rain boots and an umbrella; but try a simple tank-top, a pair of flip flops, and aviators and you’re ready for a stroll around town in style. Even though this fab pair is from Topshop, you can find high-waisted shorts in just about any US apparel store.

Gladiator Sandals:

Find a pair, Steve Madden $89.95

These sandals are a summer must-have for two reasons: 1. They’re versatile—wear them with shorts, a sundress, a bikini. 2. They’re flat! As anyone in Charleston or London will tell you, heels are a no-go when you’re walking everywhere. But, with the straps rising above the ankle, you’ll still get the lengthening effect that accentuates those golden legs!

School-boy blazer

Find it, J Crew $150

The most stylish way to warm up during chilly evenings spent at Folly, IOP, or Sullivan’s. (Though in London you’re likely to these sporty-coats on anyone in the middle of the day—we all know it’s probably not practical for Charleston).

White linen

Men’s Linen Cap, Urban Outfitters $28

According to my fashion friends, white linen is the biggest fabric of the summer for men and women, be it jackets, dresses, trousers, or accessories. This linen cap for men is a personal favorite, for any guy looking to trend-up the traditional ironic-t-shirt/jeans/rainbows ensemble.

Boot-cut flairs

Find a pair, Gap $49.50

Once again, the boot-cut is back for men as well as women. The main reason: high style, low maintenance. 12 p.m. – Pair with flops and bikini top for the beach. 5 p.m. — Pair with sandals and a tank for happy hour. 8 p.m. – Pair with strappy stilettos and a satin blouse for a night on the town.

Head scarves

Find one, Juicy Couture via Saks Fifth Avenue $35

All the rage in London right now, head scarves were on in the early 2000’s with the Olsen twin’s bohemian craze, and have disappeared for a while. Nevertheless, head scarves are quite a useful way of turning a horrible hair situation into a great outfit! Personal suggestion: pair with over-sized shades!

Harem pants

Find a pair, Urbanoutfitters.co.uk £52.00

When my fashionable co-workers told me to list Harem pants, my immediate response was, “ha- what?” “Jasmine from Aladdin,” she explained. I laughed a little, then wrote it down.

Quite interestingly, these pants accentuate the hips, perfect for those fortunate twiggy-types that have none. It seems they also haven’t caught on yet in the states, I found this pair at Urban Outfitters, UK, but they weren’t even on the US website. We all know what that means—next summer King Street will be flooded with them!


Find it, Banana Republic, $78

From tops, to wallets, purses, or belts, anything embroidered should be included in this summer’s wardrobe. Embroidery is a large part of that classic, folksy London style. If you’re having trouble tracking down things you like, don’t forget you can also have your favorite pieces custom embroidered. There are more than 10 places in the Charleston area if you consult Google.

Charity shops in London are as common as Starbuck’s in Charleston—you’re likely to find three within a three-block radius. If you’re looking to add a unique touch to any outfit, it’s always a good idea to spend some time browsing through a thrift store before you pay 700% more for the ”brand-new vintage” effect at Urban Outfitters.

Although, when the wrong people start buying retro, or the right people buy too much, the result can be a fashion disaster. What should you always avoid? The fashion experts I spoke with suggested not to let the 80’s throwback go too far. While denim jackets and over-the-shoulder tops are pieces you’ll want to snatch up, try to avoid bright, unusual colors. It’s a good idea to limit your selections to natural colors, so you won’t leave with a bag full of pieces you’ll regret later. But as always, trust your own style-instinct. If you find something unique that you l’adore instantly, run with it!

-Melanie Caduhada



  1. Loving the Gladiators, Loving the School boy blazer and loving the embroidery- but the harem pants? Who can wear those? When I was in fashion school one girl wore them all the time and it looked like she had saggy butt leggings on. I think that one might be a while before it fully catches on. (watch I will own a pair next year!)

    Comment by rachelekehler — June 8, 2008 @ 6:57 pm | Reply

  2. I can unfortunately feel a pair of harem pants gravitating my direction….

    Comment by carolime — June 8, 2008 @ 7:16 pm | Reply

  3. This was supposed to go in the June 12th issue of the GSO. I’m going to have a hard time placing this in the paper now.

    Comment by Brian — June 9, 2008 @ 3:46 am | Reply

  4. hi from Paris

    I just discovered your blog and i found it great

    may be we could be friends ! lol

    ps :
    lots of my readers thinks that parisian girls are the most stylish
    what do you think about ?


    Comment by STYLE AND THE CITY - PARIS — June 11, 2008 @ 12:42 am | Reply

  5. I recall how much I adored the style of the girl I stayed with while in Paris, and also the style of a Parisian girl who stayed with me a few years ago. Both of them had such an effortlessly chic style that I can only hope to obtain.

    I’d say we could all learn a thing or two from London and Paris style. I’m an avid fan of the two.

    Comment by carolime — June 11, 2008 @ 1:12 am | Reply

  6. We totally agree with you about “charity shopping” – of course, here in Charleston SC USA – we call it “thrift shopping” – same difference. You can save a ton of cash by re-inventing someone else’s discard treasures. Thanks for the timely reminders.

    Great Blog – we like it! It’s one to bookmark. The comment thread was very interesting, too. “Saggy butt leggings” – that’s funny.

    Barren Rivers, – FoSho Ink Urban Embroidery and Fashion of Charleston

    Comment by FoSho Ink Urban Embroidery Charleston — August 6, 2008 @ 2:38 am | Reply

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