“She must be American.”
Umm, excuse me?!
A middle-aged bleached blonde, highly coiffed woman wearing an impeccably tailored Armani suit, Christian Louboutin studded heels, and also adorned with a bright orange Hermes Birkin bag looked me up and down as I was browsing the scarves in Harrods department store. Her bag alone cost over $20,000.
It’s not like I was dressed in sweatpants and an oversize flannel; I was wearing a bright blue t-shirt, dark wash skinny jeans with black flats and a crochet hippie-ish fringed cross-body bag.
Yes crazy judgmental English lady. I am American.
It always surprised me how different fashion varies from State to State. Once my Mom moved London, my eyes opened even more.
European style is much different than anything in the States, even style-centric NYC or LA. Rarely you’ll see anyone wearing sweatpants and if you do, it’s probably a celebrity trying to blend in with the crowd to avoid the paparazzi. Yoga pants are acceptable however only, and I repeat, ONLY if you wear them with sneakers, have a yoga mat strapped to your back and in the grocery store picking up that night’s dinner.
Knee high boots with over-the-knee socks over skinny jeans, scarves of any type, fitted blazers, shorts/dresses/skirts with tights underneath, smoking slippers and flats, oversized hobo bags, cross-body bags, leggings with army-style laced ankle boots, oversized sweaters, fitted and/or oversized blazers, cardigans, high-waisted shorts and skirts. That’s not even one quarter of what you’ll see decorating the streets across Europe.
Come on, let’s be real, you’ll never, ever see half those trends at Castleton. On a daily basis, I get asked ‘why are you so dressed up?’ because I wear cardigans, blazers and dresses.
Let’s say I wore something European; how about an oversized scarf, a tank top, and shorts with lace tights underneath with studded smoking slippers. If I wore this outfit around Castleton, I would be looked at like I was taking some sort of crazy, mind-altering drug to make me think that an outfit like that was remotely acceptable.
But if someone wore clothes that were a standard uniform in Castleton, say, sweatpants and a flannel, around any European Country or City, I would get looked at like I had green scaly skin and 3 three heads!
Europe has always been much more fashion forward — trends will be in Europe for about one year, if not more, before they even cross the pond to the United States. London, Paris and Milan are the fashion capitals of Europe and the world. New York City and Los Angeles almost can’t compare to what you can find in stores oron the streets overseas.
It’s like you cannot win with what you wear no matter where you go. People are always going to give you the once over, judge you and what you wear. But that begs the internal question, if people are always going to continuously judge, “who are we dressing for?”