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That’s so POSH: Invasion of the Brits

Posh. A British slang word meaning “elite,” “cool,” and even “of class.” This word was tossed around a lot in the streets of London this past summer (I’ll just take a moment to make a plug for the awesome experience of Duke in London’s Summer Drama Program—it will change your life!)

The rich British cultural experience I gained from doing this program took learning to an entirely new level, as I learned Shakespeare from the people who know him best. Even while being swept away in the theater scene (so much talent for such a small geographic location!) I made sure to take notes on some Posh British style to impart to you, dear collegiettes™.

Things I picked up while in London that need to be brought home to Duke:

Tea time is a real thing. It can be as simple as ordering English breakfast tea from a corner market on the way to morning class, or as luxurious as “high tea” in the drawing room of an expensive hotel. (Seriously, if you have a chance to partake of high tea, take it. I believe the WaDuke has this option available. It’s literally an hour—or two—of finger sized pastries, cucumber salmon sandwiches, and your own pot of brewed tea with which you can enjoy conversation with your friends. Not just an elaborate version of your favorite childhood tea party, high tea will make you feel uber classy.) Tea has so many restorative/rejuvenating properties that can make you feel more energized, alert, and calm. Bring the tea leaves on! (Just leave the Professor Trelawney Grimm predictions out of the conversation to keep your daily intake from seeming overly mystified.) Remember keep those pinkies out while sipping, collegiettes.

Drama’s good for the soul. Really though. I know the American version of “being cultured” means tuning into your weekly sitcom or reality show (#guiltyofHousewifeobsessing) and hey, I am as guilty as the next girl when it comes watching Zooey Deschanel do her awkward-adorable girl thing on New Girl. But there’s definitely something to be said about watching live theater. In a theater, you have the buzz of live energy coursing off stage onto the audience. The Brits know how enriching watching theater is, and in London going to see a play, musical, drag show, or something even more avant-garde is as common as seeing a movie. Any you’re in luck, collegiettes, because our very own Duke has one of the best drama scenes around. Here’s a link to this year’s production schedule for your convenience. 

Use your British words for inspiration. And if that doesn’t work, throw in an accent. Everything sounds more charming in a British accent. I had people tell me to “toss off it, you’re blocking the road!” and I couldn’t help but smile. Why is it their accents cause us Yanks to melt? So, if you’re in a tight pinch, or don’t know how to say something right in a social situation, just try using a British accent. You’ll sound sophisticated, and if anyone snarkily asks what in the world you are doing, simply tell them to “come off it mate!” Also, use the word “chuffed” (meaning annoyed, as in I’m “chuffed” at you for cutting the line.) It just kind of rolls of the tongue, that one. Chuffed.

Come to think of it, use your cute British style gurus as inspiration, too. I fell in love with the Londoner’s style. One of the remarkable things was that everyone seemed to be rocking variations of the same style, and yet they all looked unique, simple, and soooo posh! British style staples include: oxfords, a cute pair of “willies” (rainboots), layering dresses and shorts over sheer tights, and of course colorful belts to make the outfit pop and cinch the waist. Such an adorable do.

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I've been a Her Campus contributor for three semesters now, and I love being able to express myself in this way. I am a junior at Duke University. I do yoga, am writing a fantasy novel, love video games, feel passionate about getting collegiettes to find body/mind/self confidence, and am trying (*) to eat gluten-free like my amazing boyfriend. *one of the best things you can do for your health
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