How to be a graduate basic bitch in London

Those of you who have been fans of my work since the beginning (hi Mum) will remember my groundbreaking article on The Tab, ‘A comprehensive manual on becoming an EX4 basic betch.’ It was, I’m told, an incredibly useful guide on becoming basic enough to fit in at Exeter.

I’ve lived permanently in London for a year and a half now, and I’ve come to realise that you never graduate from true basic-ness. It lives on, even in a multi-cultural city with a proper underground system. The basic bitches are dominating London, and here’s how you can be one too.


So you’ve left your student town and you’re moving to the big smoke, but a basic bitch can’t just live anywhere – you need to be in as close proximity as possible to your posh friends and GOD FORBID you live in the same area as pensioners, families or anyone who didn’t go to university (ew). Despite having literally the whole of London at your freshly-manicured fingertips, this limits your options to:

  • Clapham aka Mini Exeter
  • Hackney aka Mini Bristol
  • Brixton aka Extortionate Rent for What You Get Land
  • Tooting aka The Ass Crack of the Northern Line

West London is acceptable if you’re friends with the Made in Chelsea cast, but North London is just completely off limits.


Your boring Economics or Finance degree (a high 2.1 – emphasis on the ‘high’) has led you into an equally boring, but very well-paid, grad job. You’re probably earning double my salary, so good on you girlfriend. If you don’t work at EY, Accenture, KPMG, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, in recruitment, or call yourself a ‘Consultant’ (dafuq is that anyway), you may as well hang up your basic hat, my friend. The only exception to this rule is working in PR – going to events, chatting over coffees and sending emails starting with ‘hey lovely’ is essentially the basic bitch in a nutshell.

Social media

The university basic bitch used to regularly post pictures of her similar-looking friends on average nights out, often looking a little gurny and worse-for-wear. But she’s much more mature now. Instagram fodder now includes brunch pictures (OMG wow I have NEVER seen avocado and poached egg quite like this), London by night (Carnaby Street, the Shard and Embankment are particular faves) and of course, boomerangs of clinking cocktail glasses with a caption reading ‘yaaaas’. Make sure you put your everyday show-offs onto Instagram stories, but save the videos where you’re drunkenly singing Taylor Swift’s Gorgeous in a toilet cubicle for Snapchat, love, as your boss definitely doesn’t want to see that. And of course, now you’re a #ProfessionalBusinesswoman, set up a LinkedIn profile so that your peers know for sure that you went to private school. And be sure to write a really cringe bio with the words ‘hard-working’, ‘ambitious’ and ‘team player’ littered throughout.


Although the basic bitch will never throw away her Topshop black skinnies, recently she’s opting for edgier trousers. Think culottes and flared jeans, paired with polo-necks and mules, all from Zara or & Other Stories. Bobble hats are an absolute must in the winter months, paired with a Canada Goose (if you’re immoral and don’t give a shit about animals) or a North Face puffa jacket. The bralettes stay firmly underneath clothes these days – not a Calvin Klein logo in sight.


The basic bitch is still very body-conscious, but she’s graduated from the student gym to greener pastures. Head to rave workouts at Ministry of Sound, spin lessons at Psycle and buy yourself a yoga mat so you can use it twice but tell people you’re transformed and totally zen.

Hitting the town

You can take the basic bitch out of the shitty university club, but you can’t take the shitty university club out of the basic bitch. Regularly attend Infernos – worst club in the world – but make sure you tell everyone that you absolutely hate it and YOU’RE NEVER GOING BACK THERE AGAIN. If you feel like getting a little weird (which you’ll need to escape your boring af day job), head to Phonox, Corsica Studios or some kind of converted warehouse in Hackney. But during the week you should frequent the bars of Aldgate, St. Paul’s and Canary Wharf with your coke-head colleagues while still clad in your work garms. Don’t worry, your boss will be just as hungover as you are.


For some reason, many basic bitches come to London and shortly after have an epiphany that their boyfriends are just a bit shite, and hey, your twenties are your best years so you need to be single, amirite ladies? Tinder is so last year, but sign yourself up to Bumble, swipe right a few times, but only agree to go on dates within walking distance of home (aka somewhere around Clapham Common), or somewhere really fancy, or Flat Iron (if the guy’s a freak, at least the steak’s good). The guys you’ll date will inevitably end up being fuck-boys, but hey, what else would you talk to your fellow basic bitches about if they weren’t?

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