Brighton has a unique style and vibe, with a veritable host of innovative sartorial quirks to match. We love dressing up in sunny Sussex's favourite playground, home to streetloads of celebs and music industry talent, artists, actors, designers, online marketing gurus and drag queens. Which is one of the reasons our shop in the city's famous Lanes is so popular.
We've created the perfect marketplace to pick up 'mix and match' fashion to blend with cool high street buys, charity shop gems, designer classics and vintage beauties. So what's hot in our exciting city this summer - what are people wearing?
Hot Hippy Clothing Trends for Summer 2015
We thought it'd be fun to reveal some of our holiday season favourites and how locals are using them to create their own one-of-a-kind style.
Charity shop heaven – Low prices, high style
You'll see lots of Brightonians using charity shop finds as the basis of a unique outfit. We've been charity shopping for decades and our charity shops are very popular, the place is stuffed with them.
I've recently seen a lot of women in short, boxy 1960s tweed women's jackets with three quarter sleeves, which look fabulous with jeans or one of our quirky boho skirts.
One charity shop off the main drag (I'm not going to reveal where. It's mine, all mine ;-), is obviously patronised by a wealthy lady the same size as me. She donates bucket-loads of gorgeous designer clothing and footwear from 'last season', which I pick up at bargain prices. .
My favourite outfit this summer, since the weather's been a bit rubbish so far:
- A funky embroidered skirt from our shop
- A plain short sleeve v-neck top from Primark
- A vintage tweed jacket
- Stripy tights
- Flat lace-up 'director' shoes from a charity shop
Vintage fashion – The city trendsetters' backbone
When I first got here in the early 1980s Brighton was jammed with really good vintage clothing stores. They disappeared completely in the 1990s but in the past five years they've boomed again. Now they're everywhere in the North Laine, one after the other, and taking hold everywhere from Hove to Kemptown.
Dresses are big again this summer and vintage shops have racks and racks of them, many imported from the USA and predominantly 1980s. From £20 to £50 or more, they're not as cheap as charity shop finds but they're unique, and look extremely pretty with one of our delicate shrugs.
On the other hand our customers love our dresses, everything from floaty to fitted, long to cheekily short. Female Brightonians make their own mark by adding cool vintage knitwear, vintage shoes and creatively-embellished retro hats.
What about the blokes? If you love teaming your hipster beard with a fitted checked shirt, there's a great choice of those in vintage stores too. Plus men's accessories to die for – lovely old leather belts and bags, retro shades, 1950s suede jackets and wonderfully garish dress shirts, fantastic vintage suits, loads of classic 1980s tracksuits and vintage trainers. Plus oceans of vintage jeans, as far as the eye can see.
Add a pair of harem trousers to any outfit and you'll fit in down here. We stock a massive range, almost all of which are unisex. They're excellent festival wear and they're all over town. Many city hipsters wear them with a plain T shirt, vintage tweedy jacket and sandals. Epic. But if that's a bridge too far, a bit too out there, we stock plenty of cool combats, too.
Mixing it up with designer smarts
Fashion should be fun. We think the best way to go about the whole clothes thing is to mix things up. There's no reason why you can't wear a thousand pound designer dress with vintage shoes and one of our gorgeous, soft ponchos. Or a hugely pricey designer men's suit with one of our classic granddad shirts. It's the way we do things in Brighton. The results are stylish, colourful and unique, and we help our customers achieve it.
Spotting the best in Brighton fashion
The excellent Brighton Source has put together a collection of photos of people out and about in Brighton. Follow the link above for some classy Sussex sin city inspiration. And here's a link to the Brighton Fashion Week site, a creative powerhouse of a fashion event held in October.
Come down and dip in
Fancy a day in Brighton? Come on down. The beach is lovely. The seafront boardwalk is alive with interesting galleries and shops, lively bars, great restaurants and busy pubs, with buskers, street art and street performers everywhere. We have some of the best graffiti in the country, massive works of art covering entire buildings. We have a ridiculous number of nightclubs and a couple of the nation's best comedy clubs. And our independent shopping scene is amazing. Pop in and see us if you're in The Lanes.
What's your favourite mix 'n' match outfit for the summer?
If you've cobbled together an outfit you love, we'd love to see the results of your creative mixing and matching. Let us know what you've done. Even better, send us a photo and we'll feature it here.
PS. We're popular for fancy dress too, the place where locals pick up the whole hippy hog: a feast of beautifully-embellished street and boho fashion from around the world, some hand-made by us at home.