On the train to Shoreditch, I sit next to a girl with half her hair dyed neon green and the other half, pink. She has a short statement fringe and wears over-sized culottes. I am definitely on the right train.
Shoreditch has a style unto itself. Eclectic and eclectic and as Caitlin, an illustrator happy to stop, and chat pointed out, currently based a little around 90s fashion. It’s not a ‘Friends’ 90s style though, even if Ralph Lauren is offering that in store and Vogue have claimed Ross, Chandler and Joey all to be Autumn 2019 fashion icons.
No, this a sort of ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air’, oversized jumpers, neon colours and scrunchies fashion.
It’s a look of high-waisted jeans, or culottes. Skinny jeans are in, as long as an oversized jumper is draped over them and they are matched with a pair of chunky boots or trainers.
The buildings and streets in Shoreditch match the fashion of its inhabitants. Or perhaps the fashion matches the street. It’s hard to tell what came first, the multi-coloured chicken or the bedazzled and multi-patterned egg.
Do you move to Shoreditch and start mixing your patterns immediately or do you find yourself pulled to Shoreditch because you were already doing so?
If there is another common theme amongst the Shoreditch dressers, it is that they are all wearing some kind of ‘thrifted’ piece of clothing. Scour the charity shops for something, anything out of the ordinary and buy it. “Be brave and open-minded” is some of the advice we are given about how we should go about thrifting.
Even the fashion student we talked to encourages us to try our luck with charity shops. “I am all about sustainable fashion,” he said.
Other advice is to wear things in which we feel comfortable. Whatever feels most like us, we should just wear and not care what anyone else might think. Which is hard in other parts of the world, but in Shoreditch almost the easiest thing in the world.
In fact, if you aren’t dressed up in incredibly unique clothing you are less likely to fit in. In Shoreditch the lines of conformity and non-conformity blend together. To be unique is to dress in a similar way to everyone else. However, the lines of conformity end when you realise that no one in Shoreditch actually cares what you are wearing.
Unless they love what you are wearing. Today everyone is raving about the same outfit. A blue and red jacket, and a pair of forest green trousers. The man on a bike wearing the outfit, was also sporting a bow tie.
On anyone else or anywhere else, the outfit might be considered odd and even rather clown-like. But there were two things that rendered it acceptable, the first being its excellent tailoring. The suit had a decidedly vintage feel, as if the wearer had stepped out of the 1940s, his bike suited the era too.
The second was its backdrop. Against the vibrant street art that lines Shoreditch High Street and Brick Lane, the suit will never be out of place.
So how do we suggest dressing if you are planning a trip to Shoreditch? Pull out everything from your wardrobe that you have always thought was a little daring and wear it all at once. If the colours seem too intense though, just pop a black t-shirt over the top. (And yes, I mean over the top of any top you are already wearing.)
You want to look like your wardrobe threw up on you, because Shoreditch will make it work.