Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How to Pretend to be European

Surprise! I've been traveling again! While it will be a couple of days before I can detail my adventure, but I can say that I've been to Europe again!

I love Europe. And do you know what, to me, is a huge compliment? Someone thinking I'm a native. This time, people thought I was a native on three separate occasions! Three! That's a new record! With a previous record being zero...

The reason I find it to be such a huge compliment is because European women have such a classy, well-defined style, a goal I never seem to be able to achieve.

And since I've finally done it, I'm writing it all freakin' down so I don't forget!

  • Start with a good coat. Classic, warm, and well fitting. This will be the majority of your cold-weather appearance so invest in one great coat that you can style many ways. One of my go-to colors is deep red because it can work with just about any other rich tone. 
  • Same goes for shoes. Classic, warm, comfortable, and water resistant. As much as I love my converse, they aren't warm and they soak up any bit of water like a sponge. Invest in a good pair you can wear just about anywhere.
  • That being said, invest in your clothes. Having one great coat that costs the same as four cheap ones will always be a better decision. The same goes for shoes, especially when it comes to the material. Contemplate styles, colors, materials, etc. long before making any purchases. Do your research and take your time. Split second decisions for crucial pieces can ruin a wardrobe and your wallet.   
  • Skinny jeans in boots can't be beaten.
  • Don't play with too much color or pattern. Know what colors work for you, work well together, and don't be afraid to play it safe. It's better to look classic and boring than hip and bad. Stick with two or three tones (maroon, navy, and chocolate) and keep trends to interchangeable pieces like blouses and scarves, not coats and shoes. 
  • Keep your hair and make up simple. Low buns and messy down styles look better than pony tails and pig tails (my former go-to travel styles). Clean, natural make up with just a thin liquid cat-eye and a great lipstick work wonders.
  • Things missing from this look that I haven't seen many Europeans wear: glasses, graphic tee's and logos, oversized clothing, undersized clothing, backpacks.
That's all I've figured out this time, but it's been a big eye opening experience. It's the first time my wardrobe hasn't been "do as I say, not as I do". I finally feel like I'm starting to get some things right after all the work I've put into it. 


  1. What is that thing about glasses? I wear glasses, and here in Spain it's not considered something you should wear when you go out. What?? Oh well, I'll wear them anyway :) I must also say I love backpacks, haha, so practical and more neck friendly than a big heavy bag. Maybe I am just not stylish at all! (Ok, I wouldn't use a backpack when going out, but daytime going somewhere-yes please!)

    1. Haha, no, I didn't really mean anything by calling out glasses and backpacks. It was more of a reminder to myself. Most times, when I travel, I've got my glasses on because my eyes hurt from being sleep deprived, I've got a backpack on, and my hair is a mess. Combine all of that with a camera and a map and it just screams, "American Tourist!"

    2. And I didn't take any offense either! I was just realizing that glasses and a backpack is not at all common in Spain anyway. In countryside or smaller town Norway the backpack is a dear close friend for most occasions :)