The morning commute – is hardly anyone’s favourite part of the day. No matter where you in the world, rushing to the bus or train to get on hot stuffy transport, all crammed in like sardines, is no fun!
While the B2B Media office is located in the heart of Shoreditch, the team travel from all areas of London. I love people watching, so most days, I try to make it more interesting. When I first joined, I would try to guess where everyone lived based on their looks, and to my surprise, I was right every time! In honour of this “game”, the team investigate how the style changes on our commutes.
The Young One:
When I get to the station at Kensal Rise, there is an abundance of creatives who, sometimes have questionable style. Aside from that, there are parents with children or school children by themselves – the most annoying would be the sixth formers to be precise. The dirty – I just woke up look, which actually costs a fair amount of money, ‘dirty cool’ – is not cool at all. As my journey goes on, it does get trendier and trendier. It seems that more interesting people get on, as those that are not so stylish get off. One thing that stands out, compared to my colleagues, is that I have very few suits on my commute, I can’t stand a bad suit. Although I must admit, I do love a man in a good suit, I mean who doesn’t?
I travel from Islington, North London, which means I mostly come across creatives – who tend to have a minimalist and androgynous style, mirroring the looks of the working-class turned trendy, but not too pretentious (yet). Islington’s dress code is cosy with a touch of eclectic – usually courtesy of one of the many vintage shops. A standard outfit features lots of oversize coats and jumpers, practical shoes with a hipster influence (tote bags, beanies, glasses) borrowed from the neighbouring borough of Hackney.
The Chanel Girl:
Commuting from Lewisham, South East London the style is always quite varied. The South Eastern train holds a host of characters. From the yummy mummies heading to school in ditsy floral prints to the office workers in their classic business attire. The real heroes of my journey are the two fashion girls I see, every morning. Spotting a Gucci loafer or Chloe Marcie Bag, among the generally boring fashion, really does brighten my day.
The commute is always boring for me, and the fashion, really reflects just how boring it is. There is nothing wrong with men in suits, but there is also nothing exciting about it either, especially when you see the same men, in the same suits, day in, day out. Fridays bring a feeling of joy, with ‘Dress Down Fridays’ being introduced the style vary slightly. And yet, the style is still far from interesting with “dressing down” meaning a suit without a tie and a pair of trainers instead.
Travelling from Camberwell is a fairly interesting affair. Amidst the bustle of the morning commute, I generally try to avoid overly staring at fellow passengers. However, the only clear uniform I see, are the suited gents, who usually depart the carriage at Bank. While I love a man in a good suit, the shoes are generally a bit of a let down – less Wall Street, more Walmart, which is clearly a British thing. Any dramatic change in the climate results in wardrobe transformations. Recently the women on the Northern line have been opting for lighter dresses, simple vests and the occasional playsuit. Luxury handbags are often spotted on my commute, LV and Gucci being notable favourites. By the time I make it to Old Street, there is a considerably more eclectic approach to fashion, with catwalk worthy looks with a particular nod to queer fashion.
Making my way from Stamford Hill, I see a lot of school children in their uniforms, since the area is very residential. As I hop on the bus, my journey develops and there is a real mix of people, most of whom seem to be going to work. Most people are dressed in an informal manner, with everyone going for a very relaxed look, much like what I see in the office. Of course, I see a few hipsters with their dogs along the way, something you can always count on in East London.
Getting the Overground from Wandsworth, I see a plethora of businessmen and women dressed in suits and smart attire, usually getting off in Canada water. The suited ground often commit the worst fashion crime, a pant or skirt suit or pencil dress with a pair of running trainers! Thank god, they get off at Canada water. That would not be acceptable in Shoreditch. Last but certainly not least, a hipster is never far away when you work in Shoreditch, which of course is where they all depart.
Whether getting off the bus at Shoreditch church or escaping from the tube at Old Street or Liverpool Street, it’s clear that you have stepped into a very trendy part of London, but trendy doesn’t always mean cool. You often see looks that just don’t work or people who are trying too hard. Shoreditch style is not something that everyone gets right. In a way, that’s the beauty about working in Shoreditch because if you are unsure about your outfit or trying out a new look, you will definitely fit in because honestly, you see all sorts.