a woman looking at the camera

Do you like to wear the same clothes as your friends or do you like to dress differently?

Adapting clothes and creating an individual style is very popular in the UK.

Have you noticed that many of the clothes on the high street look the same these days? So how do young people manage to express their individual style? We interviewed some young Brits in different parts of the UK.

Use your imagination

What can you do if shops don’t sell the clothes you want? How can you get the clothes you want if you don’t have much cash?

“Young creative people in the UK have always come up with ways to express their individuality through their clothes. Punks cut up their clothes and added zips and safety pins, Goths love wearing anything black and skaters buy chains from hardware shops to hang from their trousers. You don’t need money - you need imagination.”

Alexi, an art student from Aldershot.

Customised T-shirts

Printing your own T-shirt is the easiest and most common way to customise clothes. You don’t have to actually make a T- shirt. You can buy a cheap T-shirt and add an image of your choice.

“I used to make customised multicoloured T-shirts for my friends using fabric paints. They looked a bit messy but sort of cool. Slogan T-shirts can be a cheap way to be individual. A couple of years ago, my mate Simon made a T-shirt with a picture of Obama dressed as Che Guevara. He still wears it in fact. It looks great!”

John, 25 from Cheshire.

Make your own clothes

Everyone knows that students don’t have a lot of money. That doesn’t have to be a problem if you’ve got a bit of imagination (and a sewing machine!).

“I used to make clothes sometimes when I was a student. Once I found a pair of trousers that I really liked but I didn’t use to have much money in those days so couldn't afford them. I did a little sketch in a notebook, bought some fabric in the same colour and copied the trousers using my mum’s sewing machine. I went back to the shop wearing my homemade trousers to see if they were the same as the ones in the shop. In fact they were much better! I loved it when people didn't believe I had made them myself.”

Corrine, 31, from Dundee

Second-hand style

Buying second-hand or ‘vintage’ clothes is a fashion option for many young Brits. Aylish and Helen recently made their own clothes to get individual styles.

“I bought a second-hand T-shirt and skirt, then dyed them black. Then I painted on a design in the shape of a red spider’s web. Cool and very Goth. I also cut up an old pair of leggings to make some long fingerless gloves.”

Aylish, 15, from Suffolk

“I like to make or adapt my own clothes because I know that they will fit and that they’ll look good. I really love using vintage clothes and changing them. I can make skirts shorter or longer, for example. Sometimes I just change the buttons to give clothes a new look. I buy stuff like jackets, trousers and dresses in second-hand shops. By adapting these clothes you can be sure you will always have something original as well as cheap.”

Helen, 26, from Nottingham

Tasks

Task 1 - true or false

Task 2 - who said what?

Task 3 - grammar challenge

Comments

  • Have you ever made your own clothes?
  • How do you create your own style?

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