13 Ways To Pretend You’re From Melbourne When You’re Not
How to not look like a tourist in Australia's coolest city.
The Melburnian lifestyle is an enviable one; despite the swiftly changing weather and questionable public transport (to get across the city you might need to catch a tram, a bus, another tram and a train), living in Melbourne immediately affords you a baseline cool-factor.
But there’s an art to being a Melburnian – unspoken rules to follow and a unique dialect to speak – and if you’re not a born-and-bred native, getting up to scratch takes some work. From your coffee order to your ability to dress appropriately for the weather, a little fine-tuning goes a long way in this town. We’ve put together a few quick fixes for any city visitor to help you blend in among the residents and fast track your way to attaining the ultimate Melbourne cool.
#1 Buy Dejour Jeans
Dejour is a Melbourne cult and for good reason; reasonably priced and beautifully tailored, Dejour Jeans are the top choice for cheap, local denim. One look at the recognisable back pocket design and there’s no mistaking that you’re the real deal.
#2 Black, White And Denim
Once you’ve got your jeans sorted, narrow your wardrobe down to key pieces in black, white or denim. This is your base: build from here.
One day you might be dressed head-to-toe in local labels like Obus or Gorman, wearing prints from their latest collections; the next you’re strictly streetwear, donning a backwards baseball cap, an oversized sports tee and a bomber jacket. Don’t be afraid to change it up once you have the basics down pat.
#3 Time For A Haircut
If you’re a girl it’s time to rethink your hair; you’ll want to opt for a “lob” or a baby fringe if you’re spending time in the Inner North, or a flawless balayage and mermaid curls if you’re chilling in the South.
#4 McDonald’s Is Dead To You; Lord Of The Fries Reigns
“Melburnian” is synonymous with “foodie” – and this extends to your fast food choices. Gone are the days of soggy buns and sad lettuce. Lord of the Fries is your new go-to for a quick food fix – and never miss an opportunity to reminisce on the first time you found out it was 100 percent vegetarian (even if it was just now).
#5 You’re A Creative, Even If You’re Not
One of the best things about Melbourne is its abundance of creatives, meaning there’s always a gallery opening, zine launch, fundraiser or screening to go to. Even if you’re not professionally creative, curate an artistic identity and attend the relevant events.
Don’t forget to snap some pictures on your disposable camera whilst you’re there.
#6 Queue For Your Food
You haven’t lived the true Melburnian foodie experience if you haven’t stood in line for the latest hyped food item; from croissants to gelato, burgers to tacos, there’s always a queue forming in front of the coolest new joint somewhere.
Make sure you name-drop the joint and how long you waited in line. And while we’re at it, don’t bother with “ice cream” – who eats it when we have the best selection of gelato this side of Italy? Pidapipó is a good shout.
#7 Walk The Line With Food Intolerances
Some days you wake up with the slightly-but-not-totally-lactose-intolerant-blues. Don’t be afraid to order a soy coffee and, if you’re feeling the need to assert your Melburnian-ness further, ask if the soy is gluten free – a bit of wheat intolerance only adds to your resident vibe.
This is all good news if you genuinely are intolerant since it means essentially everywhere will cater to your needs; it’s a win-win.
#8 Enjoy The Sun In Edinburgh Gardens
Edinburgh Gardens is a special patch of green sewn into the hearts of all Melburnians. This particular park is the perfect spot to people watch and – even better – dog watch. From French bulldogs to Irish Wolfhounds, Edinburgh Gardens has them all.
When you’re not distracted by the adorable frolicking of man’s best friends, it’s the perfect opportunity for an Insta-worthy picnic with friends and the best time to glean inspiration for your next shopping trip from the wonderful well-dressed people who populate the park on a sunny day.
#9 Complain About Public Transport…
Trams are the worst, right? They’re always late, who knows how you even get a ticket and they all only go to the city. The lack of transport between suburbs means the label “neighbouring” only applies to those directly north or south of you on the nearest tramline. The suburbs east or west of you? Forget about it unless you fancy a gander on two trams and a bus.
#10 … Or Ditch It Altogether
There’s a special sort of derision reserved in some sects of Melbourne society for those who bother to step foot on public transport. In these hallowed circles, cyclists are king and road bikes their trusty steeds.
Embellished with the most respectable tyre brands and bearing DIY handlebar tape, the two-wheeled mode of transport is revered – so maybe think about hiring a bike before you invest in a Myki card.
#11 Form An AFL Allegiance
No one cares about rugby here, ok? It’s all about men in singlets and tiny shorts “shirt fronting” one another. Heading to an AFL game and yelling obscenities into the wind will give you an insight into the psyche of a diverse demographic of Melburnians.
Whether you love it or hate it, it informs the Melbourne experience enough to have won us an extra public holiday – score all round.
#12 Ordering A Coffee In Fluent Melburnian
There’s no such thing as a normal coffee. Engage the baristas in your local cafe with a deep investigation into the origins, brewing times and custom blends their cafe has to offer. Cappuccinos and lattes are for the Europeans; the spectrum here ranges strictly between flat whites and long blacks.
Bonus points if you remember to order a sparkling water to cleanse your palette, too.
#13 Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
Melburnian people love to laugh at Melburnian attitudes. We may be deeply passionate about local business, from food to fashion, but we know when it starts to come off as a little pretentious. Deep down, the austere cool that fuels Melbourne’s reputation is rooted in the enjoyment of everything this city has to offer. The most important way to look like you’re from Melbourne is to enjoy it – except for the erratic weather. No one enjoys that.
For more, read about the 10 Melbourne things that are almost to hip to be true.
(Lead image: Nicolás Boullosa / Flickr)