And when overwhelmed... well, when in Milan, do as the Milanese do- resort to fashion.
Fashion here in Dublin and Milan is overwhelming. First, suffice it to say, while I'm a plus sized gal I usually look nice. I may not have the latest stuff in style all the time, but I usually look stylish, classy or maybe a bit bohemian. I like to be comfortable and I have great shoes. Sam told me that during the colder/ winter months women dress very monochrome. I have plenty of grays, blacks, chocolate browns and winter creams- and I think I brought them all with me. I sort of blend in Dublin minus a few things. First, I'm chubby compared to women here. I swear to the Goddess this country is full of skinny women. If there are fat Irish women, I have no idea where they bloomin' 're. So that being said, I have the colour scheme down for the city, but the fashion police could give me a ticket. All the women here wear black shoes; you can tell the tourists because they wear tennis shoes/ sneakers. I brought several pairs of black shoes, but the pair I wore the first day gave me HUGE blisters on the bottoms of my feet and I have had them the entire time. I went to Pharmacy while here and got blister pads but everything else I owned other than my Sketchers hurt.
Another Dublin fashion faux pas I made is the length of my skirts. I have several short flippy skirts, which are short my USA standards, but are long enough for nuns over here. Women here wear skirts that just barely cover their assets. I am NOT exaggerating at all. Tiny itty bitty little skirts. I had tube tops bigger than skirts these women wear. And they are not sluts. This is in the business district! Another thing that I love about the fashion here is that textured stockings and tights are all the rage. And women love their boots here, especially black knee boots with no heels. Heels aren't really popular in Dublin because of all the frickin' cobblestones. Can we say broken ankles? And most of this city walks EVERYWHERE so heels just don't make sense. Oh women do wear high heels, but rarely, or on a pub crawl which will end in a cab ride home. When you do see a women in pants, they are traditionally black (or some other very dark color) and very very dark dark blue jeans. And they are skinny jeans, tucked in the knee high boots. Tres chic.
Milan is a completely different story. Milan is the fashion capital of the WORLD! If there were fashion polizia the headquarters would be in Milan and I would be jailed. There is no way on this earth and my subbing salary could I dare complete with the classic, wealthy, fashionatta who reside in that city. "Money money money" as ABBA would say, gets you to be the best dressed- and when you walk the streets you can see the difference between quality, the real thing, verses my great, cheap, genuine imitation knock offs. Women wore much the same as they do in Dublin but there were obvious notable exceptions:
- Skirts are longer, usually to right above the knee and they are pencil skirts.
- Accessorizing in Milan is like breathing- bags, belts, scarves, jewels, and of course, THE SHOES.
- Women in Milan most certainly wear colour. While black is the staple and colour de rigeur, there was always a splash of colour- blues, reds, pinks, golds.
- Sweater dresses and leggings are coming back- you heard it here first. A long sweater, legging or texture stockings, and knee boots are the RAGE.
- Hair, nails and make up which might look overdone anywhere else in the world, are always done in Milan. And not that casual, fresh faced, I don't look like I'm wearing make up look, but heavily done makeup and lots of big hair.
It was amazing and wondrous and almost like a real life fairy tale- but nope, it was real. I have the genuine Italian knock off Gucci Bag to prove it...
Yours in Handbags and Glad rags,