Staying Stylish in Spain

Walking through the streets of Madrid, you’ll see a little bit of everything in the realm of fashion. But no matter what the getup, more than anything else you’ll note the confidence. Bold platforms and metallic jackets throwing it back the eighties are suddenly back in style, usually accompanied by a haughty strut and a poignant side-eye. Ripped Zara jeans paired with basic tees or crop-tops are also all the rage, meant to look like an outfit quickly thrown together (though I can assure you that’s never the case).

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Peep the Adidas sneakers. Those + long hair + white shirt + skirt = typical european teenager look.

Thought and effort go into every European wardrobe, and, as such, sweatpants are never ever allowed. Wearing something as casual as a pair of sweatpants is an insult to the artistic ability of the subject donning them and a horrible eyesore for the entire rest of the community as well. Why make the people suffer when you could dazzle them with a dashing pair of straight-legged pants instead? Every outing is seen as an opportunity to show off your style, and neglecting that opportunity is seen as a grave embarrassment.

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Sweaters, jeans, rompers, collared shirts, and styled hair are all key pieces of Spanish style.

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Even middle school students like my Spanish younger brother keep with the tradition of dressing fashionably for any occasion.

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Note: scarves and sunglasses. Always good ideas.

As sweatpants are out of the picture unless someone’s returning from the gym, European men tend to saunter around in tight, cuffed jeans and collared shirts. Unlike in many cultures in the United States, in Europe it’s actually “cool” for men and boys to dress well, from grade school all the way through high school (gasp!), college, and beyond. The sweater and tee-shirt look is a common trend, unless it’s game day, in which case handsome shoes and pants are typically paired with a snappy soccer jersey or zip-up. You can never go wrong with jerseys on game days in Madrid, unless of course it’s a blue and navy striped Barcelona jersey.

Rompers, jumpsuits, sundresses and skirts are all popular, darling, warm-weather options from the female side of things. But a heads up for as soon as cold weather hits: black is the new black, and everybody’s wearing it. Some additional necessary accessories for whatever the climate include lightweight scarves, comfy Adidas sneakers, a big purse (to keep a book in for all the metro rides), and sunglasses. Very natural makeup and long, natural hair is the popular everyday practice right now for young Spanish women, and the young men are wearing very neat, short beards with excellently sculpted hair.

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A Spanish wedding is no time to skimp on style. Sunglasses, hair, suits, dresses, scarves, scruff: all are perfectly fitting.

The urban scenery of Madrid, while impressive enough on its own, is made even more captivating through the beautiful people with wonderful style who walk her streets, turning corners (and heads as they do so) and inspiring foreigners everywhere to think twice about their own wardrobes back at home.

Sarah U. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Madrid, Spain. She is currently a sophomore studying Spanish and Songwriting at Belmont University.

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