A Guide To The Infamous Brighton Street Style

We all know about that particular infamous Brighton ‘style’, but what defines is exactly is hard to pin-point. However, one consistent theme that makes Brighton style different is its’ lack of self-consciousness. In this laid back idyll on the south coast that’s packed with more creatives and anti-corporates than you can shake a stick out... clothing is about personality and expression more than anything else.

‘Brighton style’ isn’t a set outfit or type of clothing that’s worn by all, instead can only be described as a way of dressing. Brighton Girls are united in their diversity, because one thing this beautiful city allows you to do, is wear whatever you want with a confidence that you definitely wouldn’t feel elsewhere.

 The Streetwear Diva Style interpreted by Amy Leonard

The Streetwear Diva Style interpreted by Amy Leonard

It’s not about what you wear, but how you wear it. Unlike other places, in Brighton it’s not all about replicating the latest ‘fashion trends’, having all the latest ‘it-brands’ or even necessarily looking well presented. It can’t be denied that a lot of Brighton girls keep one eye on the latest trends and key influencers, but the rest of their style is based more on wearing pieces that they love, being experimental and making a statement, however that may be.

Although many Brightonians love the highstreet, you’ll see that H&M crop top styled in multiple different ways, and guaranteed, the majority will be very different from the shop mannequin. What makes Brighton Girl style unique is the ever present mixing up of current high street with unique items from boutiques, vintage and charity shop steals! So whatever the combination, you know that a Brighton Girl has dressed the way that she feels suits her best.

The thing is, no matter what clothing they have adorned their body with, their style is a true expression of not only who she is, but also the person she wants to be perceived as. However, although there is a heavy focus on individualism, it’s no secret that fashion and style is inextricably linked with identity and belonging, and needless to say Brighton definitely does have its style tribes…

Streetwear divas

You’ll see these sassy gals wearing their vintage shell suit / mom jeans with a bandeau top and the latest ‘hypebae’ trainers.

Oh So Vintage

Just think Wolf & Gypsy style. Flowing cullotes, workman's jackets and teamed with a beret, a roll neck and cute pair of pumps.

 The Vintage Style interpreted by Amy Leonard

The Vintage Style interpreted by Amy Leonard

The Ones for Whom No Colour Clashes

Everyone in Brighton loves a bit of a colour, but some love to dress head to do toe in all colours of the rainbow. They shop in vintage stores, L.O.M fashion and Babydol clothing to get their statement fashion fixes and team everything with glitter.

Hippy Chic

No doubt you’ve seen a fair few people rocking this style. Floaty hareem trousers in crazy patterns, long hair, a few stretchers and an oversized jacket.  

Glam, and always on point.

Makeup is perfect, clothes are spotless and they’re always sporting the latest trends. Think pointy black boots and skinny jeans teamed with colourful faux fur jackets - they are probably high street but look expensive.  

Goth Galz

Head to toe in black - these girls will be sporting knee high Doc Martens or a pair of black platform trainers with black fishnets, and will probably have some amazing creative eye makeup.   

 The Goth Galz Style interpreted by Amy Leonard

The Goth Galz Style interpreted by Amy Leonard

We asked local Brighton fashion influencers what they thought...

Jazmin founder of Plus Equals: ‘I think that Brighton Style is very creative. We comprise a big mix of influences, different ethics and different art forms. It’s a mixed bag of creativity. We embrace a lot of artistic influences, from vintage and ethical styles to outright outrageous.

I can leave my house and see someone dressed top to toe in a look that’s clearly inspired by catwalk trends and right behind them will be an elderly lady in a look that I can only say resembles that of Iris Apfel. It’s a beautiful thing to look around and see so much style diversity, and I love how people utilise the great pieces that can be found secondhand, or in vintage stores.’
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Gigi Daniels, fashion influencer: ‘Brighton has the most willing to wear ‘out there’ clothing, surrounding clothing and fashion there is a lack of individuals that wear all that they would like due to a lack of confidence and the risk of negative public opinion.

Brighton fashion is one of diversity due to more confident individuals taking the step to wear outgoing clothing and not being afraid to add their personal twist to their look/fashion trends’

Saffy Needham Brighton Style blogger (Sapphiresays): ‘I think what makes Brighton style different from anywhere else is because its so diverse and everyone feels comfortable styling in their own way, because it’s such an accepting surrounding compared to most places’

 The Hippy Chic Style interpreted by Amy Leonard

The Hippy Chic Style interpreted by Amy Leonard

Liz Bishop, founder of The Future Fashion Project: Brighton has a long history as a safe haven for subcultures and the freedom of artistic expression associated with these. I think there are still strong echoes of that in the street style you see around you today; whether that's the guy in the North Laine in a teddy boy jacket and quiff or the girl on the dance floor at Sticky Mike's with the DIY band T-shirt and smudged eye-liner.

The interesting looks for me personally are always the ones that break the style rules - mixing up eras and genres as well combining surprising patterns and colours. It's a look that's pretty easy to put together when you live here as the vintage scene is still as vibrant today as when I moved twelve years ago - if you know where to look!

We're also home to a lot of incredible independent shops, making Brighton an easier place than most to be a conscious consumer, and eschew the consumerist mainstream. If I was to define Brighton style I would say we have the eccentricity and eclecticism of London, but with a softer and more playful edge. You could say we take it a little less seriously here!

Written by Hermione Berendt from Revival Collective

Illustrations by Amy Leonard