Laura Collage

an american in glasgow

The love affair started with a semester abroad in undergrad. Laura had never been to Scotland before, but the fusion of history, culture, and modernity was instantly magnetic. She flew back to the United States six months later knowing that she would return to the United Kingdom as soon as she could. And if you know anything about Laura, you know that she’s a young woman who keeps her word.

Laura is currently working towards a Master’s Degree in Information Management and Preservation at the University of Glasgow. She plans to become a professional archivist, a job that will allow her to “organize and play with old, unique stuff.” The city often feels like an open learning experience; history surrounds her at every turn.

Scottish Style

Laura is well-versed in Scotland’s rainy climate and doesn’t let it compromise her eclectic style. She pairs denim cutoffs with tights to keep warm on chilly days, topping off the look with a graphic tee to add a touch of grunge. Never one to forget her roots, Laura explains, “For my own personal American twist, I wear the L.L. Bean Hunter Boot.” She pairs almost every outfit with the vintage leather jacket that she got for £20; she loves how worn it is.

In many ways, Glasgow is defined by polarities; ancient history is married to a vibrant modern art scene, and new and old architecture seem to melt together. Laura explains that fashion takes the same approach. During the day, virtually everyone is wearing boots to fight back against the rainy weather (most people favor Doc Martens). Few wear denim pants – “nobody likes sopping-wet, soggy jeans” – and instead opt for cutoffs or short shorts that are paired with tights. Military jackets add a touch of punk to most ensembles.

Come night time, however, the city’s style transforms. Glasgow seems to have an unofficial rule, Laura explains, that “heels have to be at least five inches tall.” The flower child phase has come back in full force, and many people favor full-length dresses with beaded detailing. Others take the opposite extreme, and it’s not uncommon to see people rocking high-waisted hotpants and form-fitting crop tops. Brilliant metal jewelry is like a second skin, punctuating people’s outfits whether the sun or moon is overhead.

It seems like Glasgow is a metaphor for Laura’s passions. It has an incredible history that is tempered by its modernity. Whether looking into the past as an archivist or into the future as a young woman, every aspect of life holds promise for every person.

Where have you traveled that has a style of its own?

Tell us in the comments below!

Leigh Michael