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Scouse Style

Friday, 22 July 2011

You've only got to look at some of the horrendous articles that come out around Grand National time to see what the general media take on scouse style is. I get quite cross on this point so I won't labour it too much but basically: yes, some girls get it wrong. Lots of them get it beautifully right, but that doesn't allow journalists to snark as much so obviously it doesn't get as much press coverage. I get even more cross on the subject of London-based media prejudice towards the North and Liverpool in particular. We're still bashing away against the tired stereotypes - strangely enough, not everyone here is a curly-permed work-shy criminal who is obsessed with the Beatles and football. (We do say "calm down" though.) I may be slightly biased but it's an amazing city; vibrant, fun, friendly and somewhere I'm very proud to call home. Come and visit for the weekend: I will buy you a drink.

So, scouse style. It's hard to sum up succinctly but perhaps it's best described as more is more, unless it comes to fabric, when less is often more. Fashion here is bold and quite trend-led and people invest a lot of time, effort and money in it. Dressing down doesn't really happen. The standard outfit for nights out seems to be a pricey looking skimpy dress, skyscraper heels, big hair and lots of makeup. Everything is cranked up a notch and the effort people put in to look their best is incredible.

This line, taken from a video at the new Museum of Liverpool, sums it up hilariously.

Go shopping on a Friday or Saturday and this is what you'll see:

Picture from this article on the Liverpool Echo website

No shame in it - rollers are practically a status symbol now. They're marking quite clearly that they're going on a big night out. A big night demands big hair and you can't get the right effect if you start it at 5pm, can you? I'm quite fond of the sight now but I still can't get my head round that other great Liverpool trend of going out in your pj's.

You've probably already noticed this if you've read the blog before but none of what I've been talking about is exactly my sort of style. My basic problem is that I can't be bothered. I don't even brush my hair before going to work most of the time and I prefer the pale and interesting look to lashings of fake tan and makeup. Plus I would always rather have the extra hour in bed than spend an hour getting ready in the mornings. Luckily I don't look like too much of a tramp without makeup.

As for clothes, I just don't have the body or inclination to buy and wear the mini bodycon dresses or extremes of fashion that are in vogue. So you might not find me identifying with girls who dress like that but I can certainly admire them for it. Slouchy jumpers and flats might be far more me but I still class myself as a Liver Bird at heart. It's a melting pot of a city after all. I don't mock the roller girls for spending £200 on a dress for one night out and they don't mock me for wearing bizarrely patterned vintage ensembles. Anything goes.

Erk I look uncomfortable here. Mum was playing photographer and doing the usual "Look at the camera Alex. Stop staring at the floor Alex. Smile!" thing.

Jumper - Be Beau @ Matalan
Shorts & brogues - River Island sale
Necklace - H&M
Badge - courtesy of the museum, obv.


  1. Being an OTT person I must say I love 'pool style- it's Norf London Princess x 1000!! A very rare time I've felt underdressed! And the shopping is fab. One thing I always notice when up in Liverpool is that girls who have obviously spent a LOT of time and money on their look are with men who... well... are dressed in stained trackies. Which disappoints me as although my husband is of Scouse/Sefton stock, he was raised in Essex and appreciates there's nothing more impressive to the ladies than a well-turned-out fella with a bit of bling (in his case, tweed and a pocket watch).

  2. I like the fact that although there may be a 'norm' of 'roller girl style', that you still have the anything goes attitude. It's something which i think must come with living in a bigger city, as i think that in smaller places it's easier to stand out, and be known as 'that oddball with the loud dress-sense' to all the style clones. And then it takes even more confidence to leave the house and brave the town in a huge hat.
    I love the bird pic as well :)

  3. Ugh Daily Mail. You irritate me beyond belief sometimes. "Despite their outlandish attire, the girls still happily pose for pictures" - yes you gobshites, who cares what they look like, they thought they looked good and imagine if someone took your picture and you look in the paper the next day and see that they've taken it purely to mock you. Twats.

    I think this is a look that's slowly taking Hull by storm, I marvel on nights out - just the sheer effort that people go to, I mean I'll make sure I'm presentable before I go out but it's certainly not an all day ordeal and I have to admire the the dedication of spending all day spraying and painting and teasing just for a night out in a few pubs.

    But then I guess there's a reason it's called PERSONAL style.

  4. I love Liverpool (I live on the Wirral, went to Liverpool uni) and while there are loads of orange girls with rollers and pjs, there are also some of the most beautifully and origianly dressed girls too. I love your shorts and necklace x

  5. I'm with you Alex, I'd rather have the extra hour in bed. If that is what they want to spend their time and money on though fair enough. Personally I prefer your style.

  6. Heh I come from a town that is mostly full of university students and old people. I live right in the middle of "studentville" and it's common place to see girls in their pjs, ugg boots and black puffer jackets at the supermarket. It's like no matter where they come from that becomes their uniform while they are here! :) each to their own I guess! :)


  7. If you think Liverpool is derided by the media, try being from Teesside - we're derided by everyone (although we do ourselves no favours sometimes)

    Say what you like about those girls in the article but at least they take pride in themselves...

    I HATE that trend of going out in PJs - one school near me hit the (local) headlines recently for sending letters home to parents politely requesting that they get dressed before doing the school run and even for meeetings with teachers - I mean come on, have some standards!!

    Also, love the squirrel necklace! xx

  8. I LOVE Liverpool style! I went to to the University of Liverpool so during my three years in your amazing city I saw a lot of style! I think it is really a melting pot though, although it is very trend led, most girls do casual as well as they do smart (just accompanied by big hair and a full face of makeup). As a London girl I guess I'm a bit more laid back, I don't wear a lot of makeup, I don't really wear heels and I guess I'm maybe a bit more experimental than your average scouse girl, but I think living there and seeing it made me realise to never EVER be embarrassed of wearing what I want. Liverpool girls are so proud and confident and I think that's what I took away with me when I moved to Leeds (yet another different fashion city) after I graduated x

  9. I think every city or region has a sterotypical box they are put into that is used by both people and the media. It is true of Liverpool, but everywhere else too - Newcastle, Scotland (I have heard some awful things said by people, not knowing I have a Scottish boyfriend), the Welsh, the West Country 'yokels', Manchester 'thugs', Norfolk 'hippies', Yorkshire (yokels again), and London certainly is seen by other cities as being full of pretentious arty and media types side by side with rich arrogant bankers. Of course that isn't the truth at all, but it is certainly the repuation perpetuated by the media and individuals in much of the rest of the country. I've also had rude things said to me about my home country of Australia, so I wouldn't say this is a Liverpool thing but a human thing.

    Have to say the perma tan and big hair look isn't my thing at all, I don't mind what other people wear but as I think the way we clothe ourselves is a form of expression, I also think it is fair for other people to have an opinion on that expression, like any other creation. The trouble is where people miss the difference between having a critical opinion, and being rude and judgemental.


  10. One of my best mates is from Liverpool and she is as far from the sterotype as a human being can be! She is so proud of that city and she is also one of the most interesting people I know, so I have never really had that attitude towards the place.

    Every town and city seems to have a standard look. I'm from Cheltenham which is famous for the ladies college - raa girls, and being the origin of chavs! When you come from somewhere so small and diverse, anything goes! xxx

  11. I would so rather stay in bed that have to spend hours titivating myself to look oh so stunning. To fair there are not enough hours in the day to get to that stage anyway!!

    Stereotypes pee me off. I'm from the midlands and yes I have acsent but that's what makes me me. I may sound thick to certain posh folk but I can assure you I'm not so don't treat me that way. Like you said though I dont make fun of other if their acsent is worse than mine either. Live and let live is my motto.

    And let's be fair, if we all liked the same thing lit would be a very dull world wouldn't it?!

    X x

  12. The lazy stereotype, it's the same the world over. Even in India the Northeners call the Southerners hicks and yokels and the Northern folk are known as bandits and thieves.
    Insecure people always feel better about themselves by mocking others.
    You look fab, love the shorts and adore the liver bird. It was my favourite TV show when I was a child. x

  13. Being a Liverpool girl myself I'm used to the stereotypes. Whilst I admire anyone who takes a pride in their appearance, some of the scenes you see on Ladies Day are just plain horrific! As far as the media mockery goes, I'm afraid it's a case of what on earth did you expect girls?! There is so much fashion diversity in Liverpool too but of course this is seldom broadcast. Sometimes these stereotypes perpetuate themselves simply because they're true and the people in question actually take pleasure in living up to them

  14. That is one cute squirrel necklace!

  15. I love your super shorts. its a a fab outfit and you look lovely. Our local market towns are the opposite of Liverpool. Nothing odd at either end of the scale.

  16. I grew up In Newcastle, and it's very similar there. Even for a jaunt down to a bar after work, people get dressed up like they're off to a red carpet premiere!
    I used to be like that when I was growing up there (I moved away at 19) but now when I go back and venture out for the evening I feel like a dowdy old trout in comparison!
    Geordie girls are a national joke (albeit I like to think in an affectionate way)for the way they dress and the lack of clothes they wear, but I personally think they look great, and I feel proud of them for making such an effort. Good on them!
    I love Liverpool, went to uni in Chester for a bit and spent many a happy day in the Uni Library in Liverpool, and also spent many weeks flying out of the airport as cabin crew. I always noticed that the Liverpool Cabin Crew made so much more of an effort than the London ones!

    Great Post!

    xxx Maddie

  17. Loving the jumper in this and the necklace is ├╝ber cute.

    Admire your live and let live attitude to a city/group of people with so many negative stereotypes attached.

  18. I think the girls are fab going out in their rollers, it is like saying 'Ive got a BIG night out, and if you have a problem with then F' you!' Not something I would do myself though, the PJ's are obscene tho, they have banned PJ wearing where I live in the supermarkets. I mean come on, get dressed it isn't hard LOL! I think it is great that there are these sub-trends all over the place it makes the world a lot more interesting! x

  19. Oh Alex,
    forget Scouse Style, I want to talk about YOUR style. It just gets better and better. So in love with this outfit x

  20. Sounds like my kind of place. I love getting dressed up but can't imagine spending that much on a dress. growing up Essex I know what it is like to get stereotyped, I don't own a single pair of white stillettos and don't use fake tan.

  21. Liverpool is a place I have never visited, but one day hope to. Such a wonderful perspective on the place you call home Alex. This just goes to show at the end of the day we are all allowed to be as individual or stereotypical as we choose.

    Those floral shorts always work so well with your outfit choices x

  22. I love the attitude you have in Liverpool! The fact that although there's more of an acceptance of different styles is lovely, I'll definitely have to visit some time soon and if all the girls are as lovely as you are Alex, then it'll be a bonus. I don't read newspapers or online news sources, so you can rest assured I don't have a snarky attitude towards the North :D. xxx

  23. ive never been to liverpool but always thought it sounded dead interesting - the people and the place. im much the same as you with my attitude to getting ready. I rarely do anything to my hair before work or popping out for the day. i love your brogues by the way
    Ella @ Belle Vintage

  24. As a scouser born and bred who now lives in the midlands I still get 'really funny and hilarious' jokes about stealing car radios et al! Bloody twats!

    As a kid my aunty always took her rollers out on the bus on her way to work at TJ's!

  25. I couldn't be bothered with the whole roller shenanigans- too much effort! I just like to get ready an hour before going somewhere (and that includes shower etc as well as getting ready!) Can't believe people go out in rollers! I want to see it in real life!!!

  26. hiya- I seem to have landed here through links from...well I can't actually remember, but having my morning cuppa and I've really enjoyed reading your blog.

    I have to confess that being an aout-&-out Southerner with a bod well past bodycon the nearest I've got to Scouse Style is having a 30year old pony named Nerys after the Liver Birds who must've been popular when she was young !

    I wouldn't mind going out in my rollers though- when I was a teenager rag-rolling was a hippy phase and we used to rag our hair up and wander about like that (I don't think we ever did anything that could be described as actually "going out")

    Tea over now so back to work

  27. Thanks for the lovely comment Alex, Nana's gift-giving choices are spot on. And it is a shame when friends disappoint you with off-hand comments. I also just flicked through that article you posted and first off - Daily Mail; ugh. They never write anything of note to begin with and the nasty attitude throughout the article is just awful. Some people.

  28. Wow, the possible 3 times I've been out with rags in my hair (supermarket, no further!) I've had a jaunty looking vintage scarf tied round my head, loving that these girls just walk about in rollers! At least you dont get the funny looks I get up here when I'm in my vintage dresses and the tracksuit crew walk by.... :)

  29. I want to go out in my rollers!! It hasn't caught on here sadly.

    I love that they make so much effort. It's not for me either though. I can do a full face of make up in ten minutes flat.

    I love your look and the Liver Bird.

    The Actor was filming in Liverpool a few years ago and I came to stay for a week. It's a wonderful city, I absolutely love it xx

  30. Just found your blog - I love it! So cute :)
    Awesome post, love the liverpool style xxx


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