American vs. European Fashion: The Final Countdown

American vs. European Fashion: The Final Countdown

Can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that we are finally back at Vassar? I mean seriously—did we have to have three whole months of vacation? At any other school, I’d be like, “keep adding more vacation time!” But at Vassar, I say please limit it.

Let’s just disregard the lame reality that I spent most of my summer counting the days left of vacation, or endlessly ranting my sad sob story of how I want to go back to school instead of standing here…talking…to you…(at least I was able to understand the weird stares I got after doing this).

Don’t get me wrong—I actually did things that portray me as a normal, sane human being. The best part of my summer was a two-week trip with the fam to visit the rest of the fam in Poland. The highlight of the trip was going to see Roger Waters from Pink Floyd in concert. Yeah, be jealous…but please continue reading.

What repeatedly ran through my mind while in Poland were the differences between American and European fashion. I have been fortunate enough to have traveled to many places in Europe, and during all these experiences I have come to the conclusion that Americans stick out a lot in terms of style! Here are some aspects of European fashion that I’ve noticed differ from popular clothing choices in America.

1.     Throw out the sneakers and the sweatpants!

It’s pretty much a rule of mine to never be seen in sweatpants outside. Sneakers on the other hand, I do wear—and I wear them in neon pink (I get a lot of stares). My first thought while wearing these sneakers in Poland and experiencing plenty of stares was that Europeans disapproved of the neon. As I took notice more and more, however, I simply realized that no one was wearing sneakers.

2.     Bright colors are needed!

There were three colors that I kept seeing Poles wearing over and over again. We must have been off to see the Wizard, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz, because emerald green was a must. Luckily, I brought my JCrew emerald green tote bag, which hopefully made up for my sneaker incident. Next up was royal blue. This color became a sensation after Kate Middleton was spotted wearing pants in this color. Now the color is seen on blazers, bags, pants—everything. Men seem to like wearing the color on their jackets and blazers, while women like to have it on their pants (Kate Middleton wannabes) and dresses. Finally, yellow is apparently considered the new black. Black will always be a timeless classic, but expanding my boundaries in Poland has made me realize that we Americans can amuse ourselves a little bit with the “new black” colors.

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3.     “But it’s so comfy” goes out the window!

The oh-so popular yoga pants are oh-so not popular in Europe, unless you are actually going to yoga. (Sneakers and sweatpants lie in this category, as well.) Instead, opt for comfort in fitted blazers, cardigans, and dresses. Doesn’t that sound as comfortable as yoga pants?

4.     A trend that prompted me to shed a few tears.

My last point, in my opinion, gives Americans the winning edge, because I absolutely can’t stand this one trend that is taking over Europe. It’s the short shorts with over-the-knee boots. I’m sorry, but that’s not even remotely okay. Why on earth are you supporting two different seasons?

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