Many of my clients lament (rightfully so) the style rut that has taken over their wardrobes. It may have started with incorporating a trend that makes you feel skinny, or is easy to find in stores, is popular in your city, or is functional for an active lifestyle– like motherhood. Whatever the reason, you find yourself wearing the same things every day, everywhere. It may have started as part of your Signature Style, but eventually morphed into a fashion ball and chain.
2018 Euro Street Trends
There’s nothing like a trip across the pond to get a fresh perspective on your style strategy. My husband and I just returned from a trip to Prague, Krakow, and Berlin. Along the way, I noticed some Euro fashion trends that would be easy for American women to adopt into their daily wear. To make things easy, you can think of it as a style swap! Trade in a worn out piece for a cool adornment with European flair.
Below are 5 easy style swaps that effectively shake up your daily wardrobe without spending a ton of money. Click on the links to browse collections from Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales. If you’re not ready to jump into a style swap, but would like to reevaluate your personal style, start with The Intentional Makeover: 5 Steps To Creating a Signature Style That Says Who You Are & Where You’re Going for $3.99 (US).
Note: Purchases you make from these links may result in me receiving a commission, which supports this web site and the free content provided. Thank you for your support!
Style Swap #1
Swap Out: Yoga pants
Swap In: Cropped, wide-legged trousers
You don’t have to trade in comfort for style. Women rode their bikes around Berlin, both for work and for play, in this trending pant style. Depending on the print, leg style, and waist designs, just about any body type can rock these pants to everything in your schedule.
A few style tips: If you carry your weight in your midsection, look for stretch waists or side zippers and avoid sashes, large buttons or belts (they add volume). If you’re top heavy in the chest/shoulders/arms, choose a top that is form fitting in a color darker than the pant. If you carry your weight from the hips down, wear tops that are light and bright compared to the pant and add some height with heeled/platform shoes.
Opt for a straight leg cropped version if the wide-leg pant adds to much volume to your silhouette, especially if you’re petite.
Style Swap #2
Swap Out: Birkenstocks
Swap In: Platform sandals
American women have a sentimental affinity for Birkenstock sandals. Perhaps because it reminds us of those good ol’ college days, or because they’re made in the U.S. I’m not one of these women because I turn into a big-footed hobbit every time one slips onto my foot (talk about a fairy tale ending gone wrong). Thankfully, European women are onto something with platform sandals that are chic yet still functional for power shopping and running errands. Walking the cobblestone sidewalks and streets of Prague and Krakow require a sturdy, fashionable shoe. Platform sandals are the popular shoe solution.
Warning: Flat-platform espadrilles tend to be stiff for some reason. If the heel pulls aggressively downward on your skin when trying them on at the store, re-consider. It may be due to lack of flexibility, which will wreak havoc on your feet by the day’s end.
Style Swap #3
Swap Out: Backpacks
Swap In: Cross-body packs
It’s probably time to retire the backpack or pass it on to your kids. Throughout Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Germany, I saw a lot of women (and men!) wearing cross-body packs in their travels. They are less bulky and can be worn on the front if you’re in a city known for gypsy pickpockets. I’m getting one for my adventures in the New York subway system and Soccer Mom events. It’s nice to be hands free when standing in a crowded car or cheering for your future soccer star.
Note: Many belt bags are worn as cross-body packs, so experiment! If you’re large busted, this may not be comfortable or flattering. Stick with a belt bag (a.k.a fanny pack) come in all kinds of cool designs now!
Style Swap #4
Swap Out: Over-sized round frames
Swap In: The “New” Classic Ray Bans
Perhaps the most iconic paid placement in cinema history was the square-framed Wayfarer Ray Ban sunglasses Tom Cruise famously wore in Risky Business. In fact, that placement saved the company from going bankrupt. Fast forward 35 years and Ray Bans are back! They are all the rage in Berlin; I even chatted with a South African couple who both wore them to a Pearl Jam concert.
The Wayfarers now come in a “new” classic frame– slightly smaller and a softer eye shape. They may be your choice if the originals feel to masculine or clunky. Even better? You can now customize your sunglasses with modern colors, lenses, and materials to match your signature style. I added my initials on the external temples.
Style Swap #5
Swap Out: Bare legs
Swap In: Tights or stockings
I’ve aged out of shorts and miniskirts. They’ve never been the best clothing options for my body type, even with beautiful legs of youth. But there’s renewed hope for me when it comes to shorts and short skirts: tights and stockings. Typically, I reserved stockings for dresses, but they are so much more multi-functional when you want to downplay exposed skin.
Black is slimming so it’s the standard you see walking around Prague. If you have great stems and want to show them off, go with exciting prints or weaves to amp it up (keep the rest of the outfit fairly tame as not to overwhelm). Along with the Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales selections, I recommend MyStockings.co.uk. Their stockings are amazing and FREE shipping in the UK (or internationally with purchases over £75.00).