Thursday, January 7, 2010

Style Report

The first thing I noticed about Madrid style is that it doesn't seem THAT different from what you would see in Austin. There are no super of-the-moment trends (that I've seen) and there's a lot of the sameness, but with uptown and downtown versions. I attribute both the lack of distinct trend and sameness to the season, though. For the most part, walking down the street everyone is typically bundled up so it's hard to see what's under that long puffy winter coat (that's a popular style of coat) and as for the sameness I think that winter demands more of a pragmatic uniform than say spring. I don't believe Kyle and I stand out as Americans based on how we're dressed and I guess that means we've blended in. Before he opens his mouth, Kyle is more often mistaken for Italian than American - huh? It's true. Here are some of the style observations I've made. 1) The tulip hemline is popular in coats and skirts - I personally love this hemline and it seems to flatter all body types. I hope it last into spring. 2) Harem pants are popular among young, hip Madrilenos. Another description might be MC Hammer pants. I know, it sounds very bad and like every trend there is definitely a bad version, but there's also a good version. I was just about to write that I don't think I'll ever do this trend, but I also swore I'd never do skinny jeans, so....3) When I lived in Barcelona the hair trend was what we like to call the "fashion mullet" - shorter in front, thinned out on the sides and back and long. Again, sounds bad, but actually worked on young women with super straight hair. This has now been replaced by heavy, straight bangs (think Chan Marshall). 4) Shorts with tights and tall boots. This is generally worn by younger women, but really I've yet to see a really good version of this. It generally just looks uncomfortably cold. 5)The Spanish winter uniform isn't so different from what I imagine most urban dwellers wear in winter - tight pants or heavy tights, tall, fitted boots (the taller the better) and a fitted coat. The uptown version is worn by women who live in the Salamanca area (Madrid's Upper West Side) and the best way to describe it is faux-questrian. Lots of boots, belts and bags with mini-bridle bits. The downtown version is skinny jeans, tall leather boots and a motorcycle-type of jacket. 6) The quilted farm jacket is everywhere and here to stay. In fact, the English-country, just-off-for-a-quick-hunt look is quite the popular style here and I'm told that it's preferred by "pijos", which literally means snobs, but is what Spanish people call the super nationalistic and generally wealthy Spanish. I'm not sure why, but there it is. So that's it. Nothing ground-breaking. In general, I think Madrid is pretty conservative when it comes to fashion (especially compared to Barcelona), but again I'm thinking that once the coats come off I'll be dazzled by lots of style.

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