I promised some thoughts on the fashion and I’m finally ready to start putting my impression to bytes. Here are a couple of initial observations that struck me when I arrived. I will follow up with more observations in future posts on particular fashions and styles. Also, I’ll have more perspective after my trip to Paris, Brittany, and Belgium. Keep in mind that all the places I have been spending time in since this most recent trip to France (Aix, Nice, Monte Carlo) are considered to be bourgeois. Brangelina and Clooney live in the Aix area for example.
Europeans definitely like to “be” fashionable but what that means to people outside of Europe and what the Europeans do is not necessarily exactly the same.
Europeans like to be “très très trendy”.
They’re remarkably up to date with the trends…at all ages. This for me is the most striking difference. You can see all age groups, including men, women, and children in trendy clothes.
Note, I mean TRENDY clothes, like you’d see Justin Bieber or Kristin Stewart wearing, not just fashionable, trendy. Even older folks. It’s really pleasant to see everyone put in so much effort. Men coordinate and wear more colors than just navy and white, black and olive (although I may have to do a blog on the Snidley Whiplash mustache thing a troubling number of the old men have got going on, hmm). Women of all ages stay current and kids look like they should be in children’s clothing catalogs their clothing is so well put together and layered.
That said, results vary. This is most effective when used as directed. When not used as directed, mayhem ensues! I saw one lady in her mid-sixties, at least, with a red miniskirt on. Her whole ensemble was trendy but….maybe not so attractive.
Oh dear, at least to me sometimes this definitely misfires.
Another observation on being so trendy is that they don’t seemed to require quality if it means they can be trendy. Shop after shop, you’ll see them selling trendy clothes and accessories, again for men, women, and children….for moderate to high prices of poor quality. It’s surprising. Naturally, there are high end stores too with good quality products but the price differential between the average store with poor quality but trendy products and the high end stores is huge! I don’t understand it.
For example, if you want a purse/bag/satchel/murse the only stores that sell bags that are actually made of real leather are high end designer stores…for a few hundred euros! Or you can find one at a decent price (20-80 euros) in the outdoor clothing markets (see my post on “buying things outside) that happen three times a week. All the other stores, all of them….sell bags of fake leather only….for the same prices I would pay at home for a leather bag, and in many cases for much more. This is true for all shoes, boots, and belts, etc. The average shoe store has zero leather products. Only the high end stores do.
That is just an example. The general quality level of materials for clothing is so so and for shoes is poor in general. Why why why????? At first I would see all of these lovely designs and every time I would take a close look – yup! Fake! Rats. I do have to say that the designs are great!
I guess the rare animal “Vinylopus Plasticonus Acrylica” is making a comeback in the wilds of Europe. Cool. Can’t wait to see a National Geographic or Discovery Channel show on how it’s being so sadly exploited here in Europe. Poor creatures.
The majority of people seem to be willing to settle for poor quality to be trendy. So the old adage of buying a few things of high quality and then taking care of these products doesn’t seem to be important to Europeans.
There are many of the same chains here that we have everywhere at home as well and the quality of their products is about the same as home. More on actual styles and how they wear them in future posts.
That’s all for now! Au Revoir!