After going back to the U.S. partway through my time abroad for a networking conference for careers in finance, consulting, and professional services, the trip helped me put a lot of the cultural aspects of Spain into perspective. By this I mean, I realized just how trendy people in Barcelona dress. So I started thinking, “How can I dress like the locals?” and made a list of what I’ve learned about Barcelona fashion during my time in the city. Enjoy!
- Jorts Are Back: While in the US, Jorts (aka jean shorts) might have died in the 90’s along with the battle of the boy bands and the original Rugrats, they are all the rage in Europe. Like many things in Europe, tight with frayed edges seems to be the norm.
- Abercrombie Never Left: Apparently all the cool kids in Barcelona are still sporting the official sponsor of “popular kids everywhere.” This is one arena where I think we have the Spaniards beat. Hopefully, they’ll get past this dark phase in fashion soon enough.
- Buy Local: You are sure to find a Springstein, Pull&Bear, Desigual, Zara, and Mango on every major shopping street throughout the country.
El Corte Ingles is the largest department store group in Europe and the 4th largest in the world.
- “Skinny Pants” are Just Called “Pants”: The tighter the better.
- Really, it’s just Skinny Everything… Spaniards take metrosexual to an entirely new level.
- Keep is Scruffy: Scruffy in Barcelona extends from the face and down into the chest: this means plenty of v-necks and more than a few loose buttons.
- When in Doubt, “Cuff”: If clothes here weren’t already tight and short enough, Barcelona men tend to cuff everything from shorts and pant to button-downs.
Barcelona locals tend to cuff their shorts, pants, and button-down shirts significantly more frequently than their American counterparts.
- Suede, Leather, or even Nikes: Spain is known for making some of the best shoes in the world, so it seems logical that its people are very conscious of what goes on their feet. This doesn’t always mean that they are wearing the most high-end brands, but they are generally well suited to their outfit and trendy.
- Baseball Hats & Sweatshirts are Never Fair Game: Catalonians keep it classy. Unlike American universities, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone in Spain sporting PJs to class. However, if you are searching for that lazy day compromise, harem sweat pants are where it’s at.
- Always Above the Knees: Having spent many weekends on Barcelona’s long stretch of incredibly beautiful (but also incredibly fake) sandy beaches, I can count the number of board short I’ve seen on just my two hands. Speedos and short bathing suits seem to be the swim trousers of choice.
Barceloneta is one of many beautiful beaches that line the Barcelona coast.
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