Americna Style vs British Style

Before I get started, I want to point a few things out. First, while I have done lots of research, most of the information is based on my own experiences. Second, most of the research I came across on this subject was very, very stereotypical and because of that, parts of this post may follow suit.

So, to sum it up, I know there are many, many exceptions to these ideas, and this article is not meant to suggest that everyone in either country dresses the same way. I’m not trying to lump people into categories – my aim is simply to lay out the overarching style themes I have noticed while living abroad here in the UK.

British Style Basics

British fashion has always been acclaimed for its “fearlessness” and Brits are famed for their individual sense of style. They’re often described as having a “thrown-on” feel to what they wear. They mix prints, patterns and styles and many girls pull this off effortlessly.   The key to British style is never looking too polished. The festival look is popular year-round – think bed-head hair and vintage-style pieces.  They’re governed by the weather in their country.   They wear their skirts and shorts with black opaque tights, and flip flops are replaced with plimsolls.


British Style Key Pieces


British style basics

British Style Shops

In my experience, the most popular stores in England include, of course, the ultra-famous Topshop. But if you’re shopping in England, don’t forget to check out Miss SelfridgeRiver Island and All Saints, plus Primark and New Look for on-trend bargains.


British Style in 5 Steps

1. Layer, layer, layer.
Invest in a few great jackets- especially a leather one and a blazer. Scarves are always a great accessory for keeping you warm as well as stylish. Also, wear tights with everything!

2. Always be prepared for rain!
It rains a lot in England, so if you’re spending some time there, always pack a cute umbrella and make sure your shoes are waterproof!

3. Add edgy pieces to a feminine look.
Wear leather boots with a lace dress, a studded bracelet with a prom dress or a leather jacket over your tea dress. Even after all these years, British Style still has an element of punk left in it.

4. Never look too “done.”
Keep your hair messy or your eye makeup slightly smudgy to get a real festival feel. Don’t worry if you have a run in your tights- wear them anyway! Mix and match unexpected patterns and textures for a “I just threw this on” look.

5. Be brave and have fun!
My favorite thing about British style is that we’re not afraid to have fun with fashion. So wear bright tights instead of black, or pair two loud-print pieces together instead of keeping one simple. Incorporate catwalk trends into your everyday look, and don’t be afraid to rock outlandish items with confidence.


American Style Basics

American style is much more classic and much less trend-focused than British style is. The style here is much more casual, comfort-focused, and laid back.

American girls just seem to wear simple pieces with impeccable style. A simple black tank or white t-shirt is always made to look much more interesting with the addition of accessories. Plus, American girls (and guys!) really know how to rock a pair of jeans!!

American Style Key Pieces



First and foremost, I have to talk about denim! Americans have a way of wearing jeans so they don’t look like a last resort; we look effortless and casual. I especially love the way we dress up jeans with heels and a nice top for a night out!

American Style Shops

American Eagle, J.Crew, Target, Nordstrom, Macy’s


American Style in 5 Steps

1. Keep it classic.
Go for simple pieces but make them your own. Wearing a simple plain white tee in unexpected ways. Simple pieces do not have to be boring!

2. Invest in key pieces.
I think 20 top pieces are essential to having an easy-to-navigate wardrobe for any occasion. These pieces are the ones you can easily mix and match to create something new and fun, without having to constantly shop. This simplicity is definitely a big aspect of American fashion.

3. Don’t follow every trend.
One thing I love about our style is that everyone seems to be so comfortable in their own style – they know exactly what suits them and how to wear it well. To me, our style is all about finding out what suits you and looking good in it, instead of always being swayed by the catwalks. Of course, experiment with trends, but stay true to yourself and your style.

4. Think simple, laid back, and cute.
Americans get a lot of flack from Europeans about their style being “boring,” but I love its comfortable and effortless simplicity. It’s more about style than fashion here in the US. In America, it’s not so much about what you wear, it’s about the way you wear it.

5. Think (and shop) outside of the box.
The local malls in the US are based on the area of it surroundings.  There are so places and ways to shop in the US and if you cant find it ask your friends they might know where.


Your thoughts?

What do you think? Are you a British girl loving American style, too? Or are you an American girl loving British style, too?  Are the majority of your style influences a different nationality to you? What fashion experiences have you had in other countries? I’d love to hear what you think!



July 9, 2013. July.


  1. Kristy replied:

    I am an American, currently living in Spain, and what I have noticed here is that women get dressed…for every single occasion. By “dressed” I mean their is done, makeup applied and a chic outfit; this rule applies to the basic errand running to having lunch with the girls. This is exactly what I LOVE about Europe. Although our climate is much milder than the UK, I have noticed some “staple” items in Spain:

    1. Scarves: Like other parts in Europe, they are worn all of the time and learning how to wear them the European way is a must! Rarely do I see the Spanish rocking a solid color scarf; typically, they have a pattern on them.

    2. Aviator Sunglasses: These are BIG in Spain. Both men and women favor this type of sunglasses option. However, big and dark sunglasses are still quite prominent.

    3. High Heels: Spanish women are truly a mystery to me…they will rock high heels at any event! Even on cobble stone streets, you will see them teetering about. I do not agree with this, but it is definitely their style. I have also noted that all of my Spanish friends wear heels and they all immediately complain about their feet the minute they sit down.

    4. Nylons: I know Kate Middleton has made them fashionable again, but she is a Royal, and has to wear them…the rest of us do not! In Spain, the women will wear short skirts and short shorts almost year round, but they always add the nylons. Why? I have no idea, but it is NOT a trend that I will partake in.

    So, as far as Spain is concerned, this is what I have noticed. Now, don’t even get me started on the fabulous fashion of Paris!!! I DIE!!!

    • amandaemc80 replied:

      I hate Nylons!!!!! I refuse to wear them. If I am required to wear them for a job with a skirt I will only wear pants!!!!!

      • Kristy replied:

        I agree! Tights, YES. Nylons, NEVER! Lol!

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