On the streets of London, there were a lot of things that caught my eye. From the cherry red double-decker buses whizzing by on the “wrong” side of the road, to the impeccably stylish women who seemed to escape from the persistently dreary and rainy weather, everything about London screamed “posh.”
What I especially took notice of were the men. I know what you’re thinking; I probably only fancied them because of their extremely seductive accents and that their loyalty to the Queen was way too endearing. But it comes as no surprise that I loved the way they presented themselves. I mean, man, did they know how to dress.
Some were decked out in Barbour quilted jackets with subtle plaid button-ups, well-cut jeans and expensive shoes. Others even carried mahogany-colored satchels to complete the look. Now, while I’m not a huge fan of the man purse, I did appreciate the effort that some of these Brits were putting forth.
Compare this to Vermont where most guys stay comfortably-clad in fleece plaid and don’t focus all their energy on what they’re wearing.
You can say I was a little culture-shocked when I noticed that these British men were better dressed than I was. Appallingly, I would walk to university in my grubby gym clothes, baring pale ankles and all, and the English natives would side-eye me, obviously wondering what kind of person wears their workout gear in public.
One thing I observed about men in England versus men in America was the fact that the latter grow up with more knowledge of
these fashion cues than Americans. They present themselves in a more eloquent manner and avoid frumpy casual wear. Going for a run? You bet they were still in their tweed blazers and freshly polished brogues with a gym bag in hand. There was no time for casually-dressed misconduct; every opportunity was a moment to dress to impress.
While I loved the classic, clean look of the men of England, some of my favorite menswear lines have been on the more edgy and funky side. Take 3.1 Phillip Lim’s 2014 fall menswear line for example. Models were dressed in ivory oversized structured jackets mixed with sheer paneled shirts and eccentric metallic patterns. Not something the everyday man might buy, but intriguing nonetheless.
Alexander McQueen’s fall 2014 menswear line took an even more ominous turn, resembling a mix of “Edward Scissorhands” meets “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” alluding to a Tim Burton-esque mood. The tall brooding models wore pale face makeup with large charcoal rings around their eyes, draped in monochrome sweaters and suits, appearing more spooky than sleek. Regardless, I loved the creativity and play on darkness in a menswear line.
Although I don’t expect St. Michael’s men to start channeling their inner Jude Law by dressing in a more preppy manner and acquiring a British accent, or even channeling McQueen’s dark and twisty universe of monochrome madness, I do have to say I miss being out-dressed by most of the U.K.’s male population.
By Lauren Carter