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London v Manchester

May 28, 2010

London v Manchester = Chicago v Des Moines.

Sadly my time in the UK is done …for now, but after leaving I found some connections to my midwestern roots.

These cities did not have a direct correlation, but many similar attributes that will let my home readers understand my observations.

London & Chicago

London was full of vibrance.  Personal Expression is a staple that Londoners live by.  They love inividuality and creating outfits that are extremely eclectic.   High end fashion was as easy to find as a tourist, but not all Londoners were high end shoppers. 

What I loved most about London was the sophistication that everyone applied to the clothes they wore outside the house.   They took time and thought into creating their personalized outfits that were unique to them.  They made Americans or possibly just Drake students look like slobs.  My favorite was the young guy with a zip up hoodie and a blazer…and rocked it.  During the day young ladies looked like they could go out. 

Similarily Chicago or the tourist trap of Michigan Avenue reminded me of London.  Streetlights, People, walking down the boulevard.  Sorry, big Journey fan. 🙂 Chicago reminded me of London.  Even though my last visit to Chicago was in winter I found that people cared about what they were wearing.  Girls loved dressing up a cute jacket with a scarf and nice boots.  The jackets may mainly have been black but this need for self expression and individuality rang true in Chicago as well as London.  Trendy, but a true representation of themselves through their clothing.

In both cities their is a sense of identity in the outfits they choose to wear. 

I had the luxury of getting out of London to visit another town north of London, Manchester.  I felt like Manchester was smaller than Des Moines, but that is still up for debate with my fellow Drake travelers.  Manchester was a working class town and I would say lower income.  Londoners were more likely to have a disposable income.  After talking with a 30 something woman at a pub in Manchester I understood that Manchester was full of regular people, which is what I would say about people from Des Moines.   They are very nice people that work for their money, but arn’t counting pennies. 

Day fashion in Manchester was mainly business people going out for lunch, but as night came around it turned into the day fashions we saw in London.  There was a mix between average size town and people that wanted to pretend they were from the city.  Overall I found that Manchester’s style was mellowed out in comparison to London.  Many more average Joe’s in this town. 

Des Moines I would say follows along the same path.  You won’t see many young people eating on Court Avenue mid day, but mainly people in business clothes grabbing a bite to eat on their lunch break.  Come night time you will find a completly different style and demographic as it turns into the trendy bar area that twenty somethings gather for a few too many drinks with their friends.

London & Chicago….Manchester & Des Moines.  Great parallels to explain the difference in people occupying their cities.  Comparable differences in the standard of living in each town which correlates to the amount they would spend out shopping.  In magazines you see articles with outfits that you can either spend or save.  Londoners and Chicagans would spend and the people from Manchester and Des Moines would save.  They are all wearing similar styles, but choosing different ways of getting those looks.

Good Bye UK! I will miss you and your delicious Tom Collins’

Off to Prague!

Cheers!  Susan

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