This will be a blog, unfortunately, without pictures as taking pictures of the subject matter through a store window leaves a lot to be desired.
After living on a remote island for 12 years, the only exposure I have had to fashion are the tight, polyester clothing that the Hondurans seem to like. If it is so tight that you can see every ripple or roll, that it leaves nothing to the imagination and shows cleavage while showing a black bra strap under a beige top – then it is fashion in Honduras!
Having been in Europe 3 weeks now I have discovered that there is a world of fashion out there and it is not polyester! Gucci, Calvin Klein, Dior, Armani, Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Miss Sixty (which I had never heard of and when I saw the sign I thought "ohh, a store for me" without even knowing what they had!)
In Croatia, Germany and Italy, clothing stores display the newest and latest in fashion and I am here to tell you that it is stylish, exciting and innovative. I have seen really chic outfits in the windows. The shoes are beautifully crafted in wonderful leathers of many colors and creative designs. The purses are more than I could hope for and the scarves are of lustrious materials in fantastic designs. There is something for everyone and a price to match. It makes me pine for fashionable outfits, sexy shoes, functional but stylish purses and accessories that make even the simplest garment jump out at you.
While I have seen some really tacky outfits on many women (mostly the younger ones but a few older women who should know better), most are dressed quite casually. I don’t know who is buying all these beautiful designs but surely they must be selling because there are so many shops coompeting for your money.
On the island it is not functional to wear high heels or any heels at all. Tennis shoes or sandals are the norm. Lovely silks or special fabrics would be ruined in the heat. We are mostly a jean to short wearing with a functional blouse/shirt and a bag not to accessorize but to carry our groceries in type of society. I really miss accessorizing and dressing up. I miss wearing nice jewelry and looking special when I go out.
Alas, even buying leather purses or shoes is almost a no-no. If you do not wear them often enough or keep them aired out or constantly cleaned, mildew and mold set in! Of course I do like the natural cotton materials because they breathe and are more comfortable. But, oh, the feel and look of silk and other glorious fabrics. With hot flashes, it is not practical to wear these types of outfits on the island!
I did purchase a few items on the internet before I left for Europe. I am enjoying them but they are functional and can be worn on the island. I brought a lovely crushable/packable dress and jacket and a skirt of the same type of material and have only worn them once to go out. I am hoping that the one week I spend in Florida I will be able to wear them a few times.
We have two women (and girls you know who you are!) on the island that travel between the U.S. and the island several times of year and have the best of both worlds. They are always dressed very fashionably and hardly a hair out of place. They are what I would aspire to look like except I'm on the island 11 1/2 months a year and it just doesn't work on a daily basis! It is fun to see them return and get a peek at what the outside world of fashion is wearing! Keep it up girls, you make our lives more informed!
So, I walk by the lovely display windows in Croatia, Germany and Italy and remember a time when I, too, could dress fashionably and maybe turn a head or two.