Dressing Like a Local—England Vs. Sewanee

We live in a modern, global world which means (among other things) that we have access to clothes that were designed and made in countries all over the world.  Because of this, I was surprised when I realized that England has a very distinct style when compared to America, especially the American South.  I decided to set up a little style cheat sheet for any Sewanee lady packing for a semester in England. Here are the main differences I’ve noticed.


Color (Colour)

            Street style in Sewanee is a lot more colorful than England.  My tan winter coat was often the brightest thing on any given street and that’s really not saying much.  This obviously doesn’t mean that no one ever wears any colors but Lilly Pulitzer would totally stand out.


            People walk EVERYWHERE here so comfortable and stylish shoes are an absolute must.  Sewanee students love their LL Bean boots, but those haven’t made it across the pond just yet.  I go everywhere in a pair of brown booties that go with everything and are small enough to pack, they aren’t beautiful but they’re completely practical. If you can only pack three things when studying abroad, one of them should be a great pair of comfortable shoes. Also, someone really needs to introduce English people to cowby boots and bean boots, they don't know what they're missing. 


England (like Sewanee) can have three seasons in one day, so layering is extremely important. Some days I leave the house in a sweater, shirt, and jacket and by the time I walk home I only need the shirt.  Unfortunately, I can never guess how the weather will change before the day is over, so I always plan ahead. 

Keep these in mind if you’re packing for a semester abroad, but don’t forget to be true to yourself.  I like to think I’m blending the two styles whenever I get dressed.  Also, I still do class dress, even when I’m not in class at Sewanee because I love our traditions, and a semester away can’t change that!