One of my favorite stories to tell of my experiences abroad is the story of the time my friend Rachel slapped the arm of a Spanish gypsy in Grenada because the woman was pick-pocketing our friend, Megan. It was certainly a bold move on Rachel’s part. However, it is not only an awesome story to tell, but serves as a reminder of the importance of blending in while abroad. Megan, although perfectly fashionable, dressed like an American and carried a designer bag destined to attract the eye of a thief.
On the fashionable streets of Europe, it feels great to stand out, but not to stick out. Here are a few examples of some of the best outfits from foreigners blending in on the streets of Florence:
One of the best aspects of this outfit is the transitional quality of the pieces. As the winter season is coming to a close in Europe, temperatures are rising into the 60s, and no one wants to be too hot or too cold. Thus, while the big scarf and flannel remain popular on the streets of Europe right now, the cuffed high-waisted jeans, tan hat and crop top incorporate some spring style into the look. The colors in this outfit, particularly the dark hunter-green paired with the purple and tan accessories, represent some of the trendiest colors on the streets of Europe at the moment.
Since I have been abroad, I have found that many of my guy friends are struggling to figure out how to start dressing more European without having to buy a new wardrobe. One of the great things about this outfit is that while it is certainly often seen in the States, it works great on the streets of Europe as well. This guy is pulling off some awesome classy-casual menswear with the combination of the jeans and button-down collared shirt. His brown leather-laced shoes and gray scarf also compliment the light blue color of the shirt well. The outfit is both simple and put together at the same time.
Who doesn’t love a good pair of harem pants?! So comfortable and
trendy! This girl pulls off an awesome casual look with slouchy harem pants, a knitted headband and scarf and flowy cotton t-shirt. The navy and red color-combination, as well as the mixed-pattern look, has been cropping up a lot in store windows in Europe, so do not be afraid to start putting those pieces together. This girl also wears combat boots and an army green cargo jacket, which is great for us Bostonians for whom these items have been popular in fashion for over a year. And, like this girl, if you have some red lipstick, start wearing it!
Guys: skip your next haircut and forget your saline solution at home. If there are two things that are in for Europeans right now, they are man-buns and glasses. Everywhere you turn, you see guys who have opted to wear their glasses and to grow out their beards and hair. Also popular in men’s fashion in Europe are peacoats, seen here in a classic navy, and men’s scarves. The tie and collared shirt peeking out from under the coat and scarf also add a cool detail to the look here.
The number one rule in dressing European is that black is your best friend. If you want to look Euro, wear something black (or even wear all black). Furthermore, forget what your mother told you about never wearing black and brown together in the same outfit. It can be done. The combination of black and tan worn together in this outfit looks nothing less than chic. Here, again, we also have a similar design of hat as that of the first picture and a pair of white cap toe balmorals, a popular shoe this season.
My highest recommendations for Europeanizing your wardrobe are these: guys should bring scarves, nice sweaters and collared shirts, and ladies should bring their harem pants, flowy skirts, cargo jackets and combat boots. Leave your white tennis sneakers at home and leave sweatshirts and yoga pants behind (you will need the extra room in your suitcase). And, most importantly, when in doubt, wear black.