This month we take a look at whether different cities invite a different way of dressing. Eliza Howell shares her thoughts!
‘What factors impact a city’s style? What makes such style unique? Is it the history? The choice of shops available?
‘Having previously worked in Bath for many years, and now living in Bristol, I am in a good position to explore the differences between the prevailing fashion choices in both of these wonderful cities.
‘Despite being so close in distance, there are marked differences between the way in which occupants of Bath and Bristol choose to present themselves. Bath to me seems more reserved, stylish, understated - picture an elegant lady dressed in earth-tone cashmere or linen, or a man dressed in rich colours and a tweed jacket. That is not to say you don’t often see young and more fashionably “trendy” individuals - more than 20,000 of Bath’s inhabitants are students - but the overriding sense of style is more put-together and polished. Could this be because it is one of the most prosperous places in the UK? Or is it the rich history of the city which attracts such fashion choices?
‘Bath is a well-known destination for tourists and students alike - a city full of beautiful architecture and interesting history but also one with one distinct central “hub”. The city centre is where most people that visit the city congregate, and also the location of most of the city’s shops and restaurants. A majority of shops are popular high-street chains such as Urban Outfitters, H&M and Primark, and these limited choices might play a part in the style-choices of the city’s occupants.
‘On the whole, Bristol’s style is very different to that of Bath and in my opinion such style is more experimental and objectively “interesting”. Not only is Bristol much bigger than Bath - home to over 460k people compared to 101k in Bath, it is a melting-pot of different cultures which brings with it an exciting and eclectic mix of fashion. It has various distinct areas, each of which have an individual feel and overriding style which, to me, is reminiscent of the interesting differences between areas in London (on a much smaller scale).
‘There are of course parts of Bristol that reflect Bath’s prim and proper style (Clifton is notoriously similar to Bath) - but the difference in the style and feel of parts of Bristol such as Stokes Croft, Easton, Bedminster and Clifton is staggering and part of what I really love about living in Bristol myself.
‘Whilst Bristol’s city centre is also home to similar high-street chains, there are a generous amount of independent shopping areas dotted all over the city, giving people the option to explore, and shop, wherever suits them best. There are also an incredible number of charity shops located in Bristol - I can count 4 on one end of North Street alone - which means there really is something for everyone.
‘There are aspects of both cities that inspire my style - I love the simplicity and luxurious feel of Bath, and try to channel more of the original and experimental flavour of Bristol in my outfit choices. Needless to say, the beauty of style is that it is an ever-changing and you do not have to mould yourself to one particular choice - you can grow, rotate and explore your options, taking inspiration everywhere you go - and how lucky are we to live so close to two such different, but equally wonderful, cities?’
What do you think? Are you more Bristol, or more Bath in your style choices?