Pip Hip? No Way!: Middleton Might Not Be As Stylish As You Think

June 28, 2011


I once lived in a tiny Irish town where it rains 320 days a year. Being a native Floridian, I often took shelter in the local mall, which is where I first heard the term “High Street.”

High Street is a shopping district in London; it’s also a style philosophy. British brands like Topshop and Warehouse, along with stores like H&M and Zara, are centered there, and thus define “High Street” style. These trend-driven chains are more ubiquitous in Britain than Starbucks. The result? Women dress eerily alike in polyester dresses and knee-high suede boots.

Which brings me to the newly crowned style icon Pippa Middleton. P. Middy is pretty, yes, upstaging her royal sis with a rump-hugging bridesmaid dress. But now, the arbiters of taste at People magazine and Us Weekly are celebrating her “High Street” style.

Oh, please, stop the party!

Wearing a High Street dress is like putting a “Starry Night” poster on the wall. It’s a fine substitute for originality, but a room of posters does not an art patron make. The same goes for fashion icons. All of Britain shops High Street labels; the Pipster just happens to be photographed wearing them.

Photo courtesy Getty Images

Katherine Boyle reports on arts, museums and culture for the Style section.
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Vicky Hallett · June 27, 2011