Notes on European Fashion:
To follow up my post How Not to Dress Like an American on Study Abroad I decided to write about my observations of European fashion. The first thing I noticed on study abroad was that Europeans dressed better than Americans pretty much everyday. No European leaves their house in sweats, ever. Whenever I would wear sporty clothes to class, my language professor would ask me in Italian “Giulia, have you been running?” Embarassed to say no I haven’t worked out in four months and I’m too lazy to put on real clothes, I just said “Si!”
The first step to looking good on study abroad is to pretend that the streets are a catwalk. Get dressed up for every class. If you’re like me and only dressed up for the classes in college that had cuties in them, change that attitude. No more “oh its just my 10am, all girls, no need to put on real clothes.” Everyday atleast make somewhat of an effort to look good. And if your outfit includes dark colors, even better. I noticed that European women tended to wear blacks, browns, grays, and other neutral colors over brights.
As for guys, European men dress up more than Americans as well. Although not as popular in the U.S., accessories for men are all the rage in Europe. Guys can totally rock their scarves, hats, jewelry, and murses without feeling feminine.
As for shoes, trade in the sneakers for cute shoes and remember chic not cheap. You’ll see European women wearing four inch stilettos at 10am but they manage to look sophisticated and not streetwalker. In the same sense, choose pants over shorts and dress somewhat conservatively. Cleavage is not cute.
Random European Fashion Observances:
Same as American fashion trends are amusing to Europeans, some European fashion trends are amusing to Americans. The first thing I noticed on study abroad is that every guy had this coat.
Some even had them in crazy colors like this bright red number.
Babies even wore the puffed out fur hooded style.
And liquor! I remember the first time I saw a bottle of vodka wrapped in a fur hooded parka at the bar and I was like seriously? Who isn’t wearing a coat like this?
Another big trend is the leather jacket. Everyone has them and if you’re studying abroad in Italy, most likely you and your friends will all buy them. Although most people wear black or brown, I always noticed that occasionally the foreign men would pop out one in a crazy color like lime green.
While on the topic of amusing fashion trends, hair dying has to be mentioned. Yes, millions of Americans dye their hair too but I found it interesting when I visited Dublin how many natural redheads dyed their hair black. I had never seen so many red roots before!
Then in Southern Europe you have alot of bleach blondes.
And then all over Europe you have the pro footballer gelled look.
Just my observations.. thoughts?