Thursday, June 25, 2015

European Fashion Choices

One of my best friends, Colleen, was on the same trip to Europe with my brother. The both absolutely loved it and can't wait to go back. Since I know a lot of college students spend a summer studying abroad in Europe, I asked Colleen to put together some things to consider when dressing for a trip.

The Thursday morning before I left for Austria and the Czech Republic  my Google search history was filled with multiple articles titled "what to wear to Austria" and "what Europeans wear."  I had been to Europe once before when I was in 7th grade and was too young and frankly to unfashionable to care. But this time was different, I was going to Europe with a choral group, and the last thing I wanted was to stand out as an American tourist. Although packing for a vacation to another country is never easy, I've collected some tips to help you in the process! 

1) I can not say this with enough conviction, but if you own a jean jacket BRING it! If you don't, a jean jacket is a great investment that adds warmth to an outfit while still being trendy and cute. Austria and Prague were about 15 degrees cooler than at home and I was so happy that I could pair a jean jacket with any of my ensembles (they match nearly everything!)  

2) Pack a rain jacket and umbrella. It rained nearly everyday we were there. Most Europeans had more neutral colored rain jackets, but don't feel required to go out and buy a new one in a different color.

3) If you are going to do a pattern, keep it simple. A big difference between American and European fashion is that they try to conform to a crowd rather than stand out in it. Even if you are dying to wear your new Lilly Pulitzer shift dress, save it, it will be much more appreciated in America.

4) Leave the crop tops at home. You will have many other opportunities to wear them, such as music festivals. 

5) Although everyone says not to wear jeans, they are perfectly acceptable if worn the right way. Most Europeans wore a pair of dark wash jeans with a cute shirt. Jeans are comfy and keep you warm, so never be afraid to wear them. 

6) Pack a scarf. I've always loved scarves, they can spice up any outfit and keep you warm. I always am afraid that when I wear my hair up my neck will look too bare, so if you are having a bad hair day throw if up in a pony and put on a cute scarf! (Also they can be a great blanket on a bus ride!) 

While the big cities (Prague & Vienna) are a shopaholics heaven, make sure that your purchase is something unique and authentic. Avoid shopping at the big name brand stores that we have here I'm the US. Research what the area is famous for (jewelry, chocolate, clothing) and indulge in that. While in Prague, I stopped at a store called G&S famous for its traditional Czech jewelry. I bought a ring for a reasonable price that has a garnet stone in it from the eastern Czech Republic. Now every time I wear this ring I am reminded of my wonderful trip! 

All in all, do not stress too much about packing for Europe. Although your dress may help you look European your American accent will ruin it in a heartbeat! Just have fun with it, because remember you are going to Europe, and what can be more fun than that! Bon Voyage!

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