How To Be British

For my first HelloGiggles column, I wanted to introduce myself by way of a quick guide to being British. I am British through and through – I love queuing, I like being kept on my toes by the changes of seasons and I love that I live on this tiny little island that speaks so loudly to the world. I am a bit obsessed with current affairs and always have my nose stuck into what’s going on, whether it’s from following Twitter trends, watching reality TV or reading the broadsheets. The UK creates so much beautiful art, music and style – I hope HG readers from the UK, US and all round the world like hearing what I have to say about it all.

Here’s my little guide on how to be British.

Obsessively read fashion tips in magazines, blogs, columns and tweets…then go right on ahead and ignore them. Look, our seasons change every five minutes and we just can’t scrape together enough pennies to keep updating our wardrobes all the time. Better to choose a funky signature style and stick to it (perhaps with a few catwalk-inspired adjustments or accessories). I think of my style as casual-pretty meets old-lady-vintage; a style based around a good selection of dresses that I can dress up with heels and lippy or down with trainers and a nice warm cardigan. Yes, I said cardigan.

Watch soaps. The whole of Great Britain is split between those who watch Eastenders (me!) and those who watch Coronation Street, but the main thing is to pick a side and stick to it. Through thick and thin, on holidays and dull working weeks alike, you can always rely on the fact that the people on the soaps are having a harder time than you are. Apparently some people claim not to watch soaps. These people are lying.

Complain when your favourite show is remade for a US network but secretly prefer the NBC version. The Office, anyone?

Make the most of summer festivals. I’ve been to Glastonbury festival almost every year since I was born, and love that many other boutique-y festivals have sprung up all over the country. Nothing says being British more than watching your favourite band in the rain whilst wearing a pretty summer dress and wellies.

Get really, REALLY excited when your country’s sports teams make it to international events…and then pretend the whole thing never happened when they get knocked out in the second round. *cough*everyworldcupsince1966*cough*. I don’t even like football much, but I can’t help but get swept up in the hype.

Speaking of hype, get hyped. About anything and everything. For a small country, we have a lot going on – get involved. Don’t pretend you’re not excited about the 2012 Olympics – we all are – so let’s just admit it and enjoy the togetherness of it all.

Be slightly uncomfortable when you talk about the Royal Family. Kate’s done wonders for their public image, but is it ok to be fond of the Royals? Nobody knows!

Get on yer bike! There’s nothing like going on a bike ride with a good friend, getting covered in mud, and letting her giggle at you for the rest of the trip. I’m more often a cycle-to-work kinda girl – you get to be smug about doing regular exercise but chances of getting muddy are minimal.

Slag off your country when it suits – but ultimately be patriotic. You know how you can slag off your sister to anyone who’ll listen, but woe betide anyone else who says anything negative about her? That.

Exaggerate your accent to sound cute. Whenever I speak to someone from the US, Australia or another English-speaking country, I find myself getting more and more British-sounding by the second. I even said “cheerio” on the phone the other day. I’m going to visit New York in March and have already started practising my best Queens English! And boys, we know you do it too.

Drink tea. Lots of it. ‘Nuff said.

Image via England For All

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