Meet the fashion tribes of York

Would you wear this? T shirt from
1 Nov 2013 @ 8.34 am
| Fashion, Shopping
Would you wear this? T shirt from
Would you wear this? T shirt from

emma-beaumont-headshot People of York, what does your style say about you? Emma Beaumont investigates


However sophisticated the human race may be becoming, when it comes to fashion we run in packs. In York the lines are clearly drawn and the groups neatly defined. What tribe do you subscribe to?

Grunge Kids

Smile for the camera
Smile for the camera

Think a diluted version of Whitby’s goths. Artificially coloured hair is advisable. Warning: this look comes with an age limit of 15.

Most likely to be seen   Mooching around the city centre; they dominate Parliament Street on a Saturday.
Favourite hangout   The fountains outside Pret, looking unimpressed, waiting to meet others of their kind, or you know, whatever…
Shopping destinations   A slow shuffle over to the market to find leather (pleather?) jewellery and plectrums.
Essential fashion items   An overwhelming black hoodie with a formerly popular metal band emblazoned across.


recovering from the shock of entry price to Clifford's Tower
Recovering from the shock of entry price to Clifford’s Tower

An essential (and permanent) part of York culture.

Most likely to be seen   Queuing and looking bewildered; managing unruly children and moving in what seems like slow motion.
Favourite hangout   Queue for Betty’s; queue for the Jorvik Centre
Shopping destinations   They plod along the congested Shambles in the vain hope of finding well priced souvenirs, invariably ending up with an “I ❤︎ York” T-shirt
Essential fashion items   Backpack for admin purposes; trendy bumbag/moneybelt if feeling particularly cautious.


The Willow circa 2009, things haven't progressed
The Willow circa 2009, things haven’t progressed much

Regenerated every September; permanently astounded by the price of a pint.

Most likely to be seen   Telling anyone who will listen this is their first proper time in THE NORTH and how different it is to Surrey. They find York quaint and are relieved to have found a Starbucks here.
Favourite hangout   Many as the main role of the student is to hang out. First, the Evil Eye bar and lounge, the Asian food takes them back to their gap year. Then there’s the fabled Willow; the Chinese restaurant which converts itself into a nightclub come 11pm. The establishment has cemented itself into legend by leaving prawn crackers out for peckish clubbers and by selling T-shirts commemorating itself (priced at £5 these seem a bargain at 2am). Or there’s that place you can’t quite remember the name of that has those “Tequila Tuesdays”.
Shopping destination   When feeling enterprising Purple Haze. If hungover Urban Outfitters, but say it’s from “you know that cool second-hand place on Fossgate”
Essential items   Faux nerdy satchels, distressed denim, solid shoes (for those pesky cobbles).

Business types

'Hello! Where have all the cars gone?'
‘Hello! Where have all the cars gone?’

A relic from the 1980s, feel like they own these city walls.

Most likely to be seen   Strutting with purpose along Lendal Bridge, clamped to an iPhone
Favourite hangout   The Living Room, buying Cava and ruminating about commercial property prices; or The Star Inn the City, if they can get a table, they know a guy, it should be fine.
Shopping destination   Things have been tricky since the demise of Sarah Coggles, M&S at a push?
Essential fashion items   Slightly too shiny brogues.

Yummy Mummies

enough of these and you'll be Benjamin Button
Enough of these and you’ll be Benjamin Button

An emerging set in York, likes include lattes, smoothies and other liquid calories in the place of carbs.

Most likely to be seen   Aggressively parking up the Range Rover by Clifford’s Tower after dropping Tarquin at school.
Favourite hangout   Filmore and Union, they do wheatgrass shots in their juices and their gluten-free brownies are to die for.
Shopping destination   Fenwick’s for make up and Mulberry’s, Jack Will’s for Tarquin.
Essential fashion items   Crisp white shirts, tasteful, but still obvious, designer bag.

Footie fans

A man at home in sportswear. Photograph: Hugh Bayley blog
A man at home in sportswear. Photograph: Hugh Bayley blog

Long-suffering sports fan, panicky on Saturdays.

Most likely to be seen   Plodding up Bootham, with fear in their eyes.
Favourite hangout   The pubs lining the path to Bootham Crescent either rejoicing in victory or despairing in defeat. Generally the latter. Virtual hangouts include the Red and Blue Net forum, typing away the angst and pain.
Shopping destination   The York City FC shop, naturally.
Essential fashion items   Scarf is obligatory. More dedicated fans will invest in a personalised, vintage style shirt or even a York City bear.

  • So there you have it, the Fashion Tribes of York. Please let us know in the comments if you can think of any more. Or if you recognise yourself in any of our characters…
  • And before you ask, regretfully I’ve been told I’m a mix between the student and the mummy…