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It Girl Glossary: How to Dress like the Brit Girl

If you, like us, are a 90s Brit Baby, you’ll probably have some memories of dancing around your living room in the 00s to the latest Girls Aloud and Spice Girls. The Brit Girls were captivating, confident and above all, undoubtedly British. Much like the icons before them, their imprint has been left on the history of Brit Girl fashion and is making new waves in the industry again.

First off, we must understand and appreciate the roots of the Brit Girl. The 1970s saw the birth of the punk phenomenon in the UK, a provocative collective who utilised music, art and fashion platforms to express their views. Punk fashion was created with only one thing in mind — standing out. And so, the Brit Girl’s everyday outfit became an eclectic mix of unconventional items. Fashion choices would be embedded in the punk ideologies: anti-materialism, anti-establishment, anti-consumption. Such choices would see the brit girl dressed down, grungy and wearing sheds of materials layered with safety pins, tape and marker pens championing their cause for concern.

Vivienne Westwood Fall 1993 RTW

This aesthetic could just as easily be understood by delving into the work of Vivienne Westwood. Westwood has been deemed the architect of the punk fashion movement, saying: “I was messianic about punk, seeing if one could put a spoke in the system.” Pieces from Westwood’s collections of the time were perfectly imperfect. T-shirts and blazers slashed, pinned, and customised; knitwear created to be intentionally see-through. The Brit Girl of the Westwood era was provocative, and she loved it.

But that’s not to say the brit girl died with the punk movement. In fact, Vivienne Westwood remains an iconic British designer carrying the beacon that glows all things BRIT. The recent ‘blueprint’ collection by Jaded LDN sports all things Great Britain. Think Ginger Spice, football WAGs, and all things red, white, and blue. Patriotism radiates from the clothes adorning the Brit Girl, a legacy to their country.

Geri Halliwell wearing the famous Union Jack dress

Similarly, the y2k Brit Girl takes us back to our British fashion roots. 90s and 00s fashion have reemerged with a vengeance and this Brit Girl merges modern trends with classic millennium pop culture. Velour tracksuits, teeny-tiny denim skirts, and t-shirts alike, the y2k girl re-embraces her girly nature. Underneath the bubble-gum pink and chunky rhinestones, however, the y2k trend is more than just a look. Brit Girls everywhere are making more conscious shopping choices, finding vintage items online or second-hand goods from charity stores.

Jaded LDN

What is particularly interesting about the rebirth of the Brit Girl is the change in attitude towards Brit culture itself. Passing generations see the decline of the true patriots, those who take pride in their country and defend it at all costs. Given the roots of the punk fashion movement in the 70s, can the modern-day Brit Girl really be deemed as anti-establishment while sporting Union Jack merchandise?

Maybe our new age Brit Girls are ready to reclaim their heritage and overthrow the patriarchal system in their country. Maybe they just want to have fun. Honestly? They have our full support either way.

Words by Zoe Renwick

(@looseends_x on ig)

Edited by Lucy Eaton

(@llucyeaton on ig)


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