It's no secret that moving to a different city can subtly change a person's style, especially when that city is completely foreign and on the other side of the world. Today Real Madrid plays FC Barcelona (soccer teams for those who don't know) and the hype is bringing me back to those four months I spent living in Spain's capital.
Madrid was a really nice break from Boston's uptight homogenous style, but I also found that there were some unspoken rules that were expected to be adhered--and the only way one would find out about such rules was by wearing something seemingly harmless out of the house, and then being stared at on the metro, or walking down the street, or in a restaurant. Madrileños aren't exactly shy about staring in a way that would be considered rude in any American city. For example, going into my semester abroad, I knew that walking around barefoot was considered rude because feet have some sort of stigma in Spain. However, I didn't realize that along with this basic rule of always wearing house slippers or socks, it was pretty much necessary to always wear stockings or socks, even in 90 degree weather. If a girl wore flats, she also wore sheer stocking socks, and if she wore shorts, she also wore sheer or nude stockings. This fad struck me as really odd, and I think it also has a lot to do with their aversion to a natural look. Most Madrileños wear A LOT of make up, spend a lot of time on hair etc etc. Not that there is anything wrong with a look that's a little more...superficial...it was just a big leap from Boston, which has always been a bit more about celebrating natural beauty---probably because there are so many college students, while Madrid's mean age is a lot higher, so much so that it's creating problems with social security. On that note I also seemed to get the stink eye when I went outside with damp hair or no makeup...
ANYWAY, I did not create this post to bash Madrid fashion, because there are parts of it that I really love, and I bought some great pieces while I was over there. Some of my favorite places to shop in Madrid were H&M (for some reason it's just better in Europe, and kind of sucks in the states), Pull & Bear, Bershka, Mango and Zara (duh!). Here are some of my favorite things I picked up:
|Zara Zebra Shirt|
|Pleated Black Bershka Skirt|
|Pleated H&M Shirt|
All in all Madrid's style takes more risk than Boston's, but is a lot like New York in that the palette tends to be darker, a lot of black, but still fashion forward. It's a place to take big risks with nighttime fashion, for clubs, bars etc. Madrid is the best place in the world to find a fun time at any hour of the night/early morning...oh the times I tip-toed into my señora's house at 6 AM. I miss Madrid a lot at times, even though being abroad coupled with the culture shock made for a roller coaster experience. Fashion may be slightly different in the major cities across the globe, but I think trends are universal, and it's possible to make any culture's fashion a part of your personal style. Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into Madrid!
Ciao for now xx