British vs American style in college
Fashion trends come and go, but style is as deeply ingrained as the worst of bad habits. You dress a certain way because society dictates it. Even when you go against the grain in a fit of rebelliousness, you still tend to follow the crowd.
A good sample of this is comparing British and American styles of dress by a typical college girl. College girls are just young enough to be adventurous, but old enough to have a good sense of self. When looking at the way these two types of college girls dress, you might think that they look similar but not quite. In fact, they are very different in the most interesting ways. The most striking difference is the choice of layering. British girls tend to pile it on, starting with the perennial black tights, a frilly blouse or a tea dress, skinny jeans, bulky sweaters or leather jackets, and scarves. American girls, on the other hand, tend to keep it streamlined. They make do with a short skirt and cashmere sweater, or denims and off-shoulder shirt, and no stockings.
The biggest factor in this style of dress is the weather. Rain is a perennial threat in the UK, so British girls are always ready for it. The layering also protects them from the cold. While it is not sunny all the time in the US, when the day starts out fine, you can usually count on it staying that way.
The contrast is not always apparent, as the clothes are not that different. However, when you put them side by side, you can see the difference in execution. For one thing, British fashion is more about mixing than matching. They can be girly, but always temper it with a bit of dash and clash, especially if they find out about a new thing going around. American fashion is more about going for the clean classic or preppy look. They tend to go for cute rather than edgy. They also wait awhile before jumping on the latest fashion trend bandwagon.
Another big difference is that British girls avoid looking too polished, while American girls would rather die than be caught in public with bed head. This difference in attitude to style carries over to what they choose to wear, and how they choose to wear it. In looking at their respective fashion icons, it is easy to fill in the blanks.
On the UK side, you have Alex Chung, who delights in pairing girly pink outfits with dead black shoes. And what about Kate Moss, who looks like she eschews using the business side of a comb when she's off duty? For the younger set, accomplished Emma Watson thinks nothing of tramping around sans makeup and hair any which way. Even if you did not know they are British you would know.
On the other side of the Atlantic, you have Jennifer Aniston who can rock a pair of bell bottom jeans and flip-flops like nobody's business. You can also look to long-legged Katie Holmes in casual dress, looking sweet and All-American.
Comparing the British and American style in college is like comparing apples and oranges. They are both perfectly right for their setting and attitude. One must remember that these girls do not set out to be different. Wherever they are, that is what everybody else is wearing.
College girls just want to fit in. They want to be just a little bit different from everyone else to stand out, but not too much. It is only when they are plucked out of familiar surroundings that they can look, well, a bit strange. In their natural habitat, they fit right in.