10 British Style Clothing Staples: The Elements of British Fashion
In this style guide, we’re going to be talking about classic British-style clothing and how you can incorporate it into your wardrobe. We'll be talking about the elements of this classic British style and also about some iconic British fashion garments.
When talking about this quintessential British style there is one major factor that we really can't ignore and that is the infamous British weather. It rains a lot and so, of course, this is going to influence what makes British style.
The first thing I'm going to talk about is the Macintosh jacket, also known as the Mac. A Mac jacket is waterproof and made out of a rubberized fabric. The most famous mac jacket that comes to mind for me is that classic fisherman's bright yellow jacket; this immediately gives seaside vibes but I've seen people style in very chic ways as well.
2. Trench coat
I think that trench coats are a classic style staple.
The trench coat was invented by Thomas Burberry in the late 1870s but really came to prominence in the First World War when the British army took it on as part of the uniform for their officers.
To me, a classic trench coat is that traditional khaki or camel color but these days you can get a trench coat in pretty much any color or pattern that you want.
I have two trench coats in my wardrobe: the classic camel knee-length trench...
...and a shorter swing jacket style trench coat in navy.
3. Wellington boots
Another essential that you need when it is pouring with rain is waterproof footwear, so this is where the classic Wellington rain boot comes in. The most iconic Wellington boot brand is, of course, Hunter boots.
Hunter boots were first invented in the 1850s in Scotland (interestingly, by two Americans!) and they're still a very popular rainboot brand today. The most classic Hunter boots are the black original tall boots
But another really popular style is the tall boots in an olive green color.
These are the autumn stone color and I think they're really beautiful.
4. Barbour jacket
Of course, we have to talk about the British countryside and country wear. The countryside is remarkably beautiful and there's so much history there, especially with lovely stately homes.
An iconic British brand is Barbour jackets and they make a classic British countryside waxed jacket in an olive green color which is a really prominent color in this classic British country style.
Another way to incorporate British country wear into your wardrobe is a bit of equestrian style. I wouldn't go too overboard with this because it can really quickly go into crazy-horse-girl territory, but I do like to wear a really chic pair of jodhpurs which are horse riding pants.
6. Riding boots
A classic pair of English riding boots can also really elevate a look. You can get tall ones or short ones.
7. Down vest
Another way to incorporate that equestrian look into your wardrobe is with a down vest, known in the UK as a gilet. I normally pair a down vest over a white button-up which always looks really chic and put-together.
Another thing that you see a lot in this countryside fashion is tweed. Tweed is a woven fabric that is used a lot because it's very durable.
You'll see it on a lot of jackets and the iconic men’s flat caps. Tweed usually comes again in olive green and also brown and other dark colors.
9. Sporting influence
Now I'd like to talk about the sporting influence on classic British style. Sport often influences fashion, certainly at the moment athleisure is a major trend in streetwear, but there are also more traditional sports that have influenced British style, cricket being one of them.
Of course, you've got your classic cricket cable knit sweater in white with the v-shaped neckline.
Rugby jerseys I've also seen coming in in a big way.
Then, of course, there is polo, which is a big sport, especially with the British Royal family and there is a massive influence of polo on fashion - polo shirts for example.
10. Satchel bags
Satchel bags are an iconic British accessory, they remind me of little school children with their beautiful little satchels.
I hope you’ve enjoyed finding out about classic British-style clothing. I love wearing this style of clothing because it is so rich with history and all of the pieces have a timeless elegance about them. Let me know what you think of British fashion in the comments below.
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Lu Scala on Aug 19, 2022
Excellent story. I love classic styles, always have always will.. you can always, wearing them over many years!! My raincoat not a trench but button down the front. is bright pink, my (favorite color) I have had it over 20 years, and in excellent condition !! I do have a imitation Mac, in tan.. it’s over 10 years old and it’s very warm, and looks new!!