Not everywhere can be a fashion capital of the world and a small fishing town in the south of Europe is hardly expected to be a fashion mecca, however the combination of low wages, lack of contact with the outside world and expats not updating their wardrobes since they moved here (this can be for as many as 40 years) means that I often feel I like in a town that fashion forgot.
I am no fashion reference for sure but I am aware that when most of the people around you look like extras from an episode of Dawson’s Creek that perhaps we may have missed the mark here.
You know those free t-shirts that you are given when you are at a pub and there is a promotion on or when you go to a sporting event and a random company that is sponsoring it hands out free stuff – well this is what is worn by far too many people than is really necessary here. Free clothes are usually free for a reason and the reason in most cases is because they are horrible.
A friend of mine recently held a 1990s party and while I was not exactly proud to say that I didn’t have to go and buy anything for the occasion because I had plenty ion my wardrobe that I had been hanging onto waiting for it to come back into fashion, the most shocking part of the party were the amount of people who turned up later on – they had not got dressed up but fitted in perfectly anyway.
We used to have the excuse that there were basically no shops to buy any choice of clothing from but with the hugely exciting arrival of Primark and H&M there really isn’t any excuse any more for people, even those with a very limited budget to be able to afford some clothes that look like they originated in this century.
The expat community only compounds the problem of being stuck in the past. You can actually age the number of years an expat has been away from the UK like you do a tree when you count its rings just by looking at their clothes. In many cases it is like they opened their case on the first day they moved abroad and then forgot to replace any of the clothes from that case even if it was 20 years ago.
And as for the classic Brit abroad on holiday wardrobe…well we will leave that can off rather lumpy, bumpy and ill fitting worms for another day altogether,
I would actually say that the mixture of fashions I see most days is so bad that it could even be considered to be good – after all you know when something is fashionable usually when it is something that reminds you of your geography teacher from 1994 – but I am worried that the case is actually more likely to be one of being highly unfashionable than über cool.
Luckily it is bloody boiling here for most of the year and who cares about fashion when you spend all day at the beach and all you need is a pair of shorts and some flip flops – because nothing says cool like not actually giving a shit about fashion.