I had heard it a million times before we ever moved here, but I can officially confirm that it is true:
People in Europe dress better than people in America.
Pretty much across the board.
It’s hard to define exactly what “better” means. There’s not one obvious and noticeable thing that makes everyone here more well-dressed. Instead, it’s a combination of lots of little things.
First, people of all ages and sizes pay more attention to fashion and trends here. Everyone — men and women, old and young — seems to pay attention to what looks current, stylish, and at least somewhat trendy.
Second, people dress more formally; whatever Americans would wear for a specific occasion, take it up one or two notches and that’s what Europeans would wear for that occasion. A simple, common outfit like jeans and a sweater is a little dressier here than it is at home.
Third — and I think this is the biggest difference overall –clothes are more tailored here, cut a little closer to the body for both women AND men, and accessories are not an afterthought, they are part of the outfit. Scarves are common on both men and women. Hats, too. Jackets and coats “go” with the rest of the outfit, they’re not something random just thrown on to keep warm.
And finally, even when I’ve seen a parent in sweatpants or workout gear of any kind at school drop-off, they don’t look sloppy. On the rare occasions I’ve seen workout gear NOT at a gym, it’s always well-fitting — there are no crappy, stained t-shirts thrown on with warm-ups or baggy shorts on the way to the gym.
We’ve all noticed it, from Matt and I down through all the kids. When we went to Back to School night in the beginning of September, there was an adorably stylish mom wearing black patent leather Louboutin pumps, and I thought, okay, then, that’s how it’s going to be. It’s actually been really fun to step up our fashion game a bit.
And if it means I have to go shopping a little more often, well, that’s not the worst thing either.