Archives For June 2012

Recently I traveled to Europe where I visited London, Paris, and Brussels. After I recuperated from an overnight flight and adjusted to the gloomy London weather, I began noticing fashion trends that were unlike anything in the US. Here are the top five trends from my travels abroad.

Trend One: Western European women have a fascination with panty hose. The first few times I spotted the panty hose, I didn’t think twice about it. But the more women I saw, the more I realized this wasn’t a few; this was the majority! Now, London weather isn’t known for being particularly outstanding, and while I was there, it was quite gloomy and chilly (though it never rained – thank goodness!). I saw tights under skirts – which, isn’t so different from the US. The outlying factor was the significant number of women wearing panty hose underneath…wait for it…SHORTS!

Being a southern girl, the only time I’ll be caught dead wearing panty hose is in the middle of winter, when my job requires it. So what makes panty hose so much more attractive to Europeans? I’m still formulating an answer to this one, unfortunately.

Trend Two: London men LOVE all things skinny – specifically jeans. While I understand that clothing trends ebb and flow, and right now skinny (particularly colored skinny) is IN and London men have embraced the trend more than men I have seen in any city recently. Perhaps though, this observation is biased in that the only cities I have seen recently have been southern – where the American men tend to embrace a completely different trend, that somehow never seems to fall out of style. I don’t particularly love the skinny look on a man, but I support a man who is willing to rock it out.

Trend Three: Parisian men prefer a completely different look than London men, and it involves a more refined, professional look. This is MY preferred look for a man, so naturally I was in drool heaven. I won’t say all, because I’ve learned there are always people who prefer to stray from the norm, but most Parisian men seemed to sport this look. Of course, there one could argue that I stayed in a very upscale part of Paris, on a seemingly ritzy shopping Avenue, but we ventured everywhere – literally everywhere. Man, after man, after man, dressed to kill with the suit (and sometimes tie) – and for the most part, it wasn’t the laid back suit style. I’m talking crisp, clean lines, neutral tones, and occasional pin stripe. Paris, your men stole my heart (almost enough to make me want to learn French!)

Trend Four: Brussels is an interesting little place. I was happy this was the last stop on my journey as I’m not sure my feet could take much more walking. Belgium is known for beer and chocolate. Brussels has both, in bountiful quantities, but with a side of PDA and dogs, dogs, dogs. (The rest of Belgium may be similar, but I have no basis to comment on the rest of the country.)

If you think of utilizing a dog as an accessory (think Elle Woods), you would generally think of a small, toy dog, right? I’m here to tell you that I saw every size dog being toted around as an accessory on this leg of my journey. I sat at dinner one night in complete amazement watching as dog after dog went by. At one point there were even dogs in the restaurant, chilling under the tables and chairs of their owners, which for an American is completely unheard of unless it’s a service dog! I think men in the states use dogs as an attention getter (we all know it’s true!), but I didn’t get that vibe for the most part there; hence the dog as an accessory spin. Who knew dogs could be so fashionable?

Trend Five:  In contrast with the title, this is less of a difference, and more of a common denominator; yet still worthy of mentioning.  A tourist is a tourist – it doesn’t matter what country you are in. You can spot a tourist a mile away. Comfy-looking clothes, tennis shoes, and a camera. I can venture to downtown Nashville and spot the tourists even before I get out of the cab. So, as much as I hate to write about tourists, they fall into my fashion themed article, and feel they at least deserve a mention. After all, I was a tourist myself in these fabulous cities. And though I had good intentions of not looking like a tourist by packing non tennis shoes and cute, stylish clothes, I found myself falling victim to the tourist ways (mostly thanks to running a half marathon and killing my feet, but nevertheless….) but hey, we went to a lot of touristy palaces and attractions so I guess I still fit right in! I did attempt to avoid touristy food establishments, as I wanted to experience the country I was in to the fullest food extent possible. I guess the priorities of this fashion blogger changed slightly outside of her comfort zone.

All in all, I had a fantastic trip and would love to hear any and all themes you have noticed while traveling yourself – be it in your home country, or in a foreign place.