Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Jetset Returns

It certainly has been a while, eh? As I mentioned before I spent the New Year in London. What a fantastic city! My beau and I had a great time with the sightseeing, the night scene and the amazing people we met. We'll definitely be going back. As promised, I checked out what was going on stylewise on the other side of the pond, and there are a couple of notable things I wanted to share with all of you as food for thought, and a way to add a little continental flair to your wardrobe.

The first thing I notice on almost anyone is shoes, and so I definitely noticed the trend among London's women to wear two types of footwear. One was the boot, a popular choice during winter. There were boots of all different shapes and sizes, and there seemed to be no particular rule of color, fabric or length except to tuck your pants in to your boots always! I was surprised by this, but I think more surprised that I wasn't nauseated by it. Here in America, whenever I saw a women with her jeans tucked into her boots I was put off by the idea. In London, however, it looked great. I think the main difference is that there is no wrong way to do it over there. If it's a boot, go ahead and tuck your pants in - you don't need a particular boot. Calf length, knee length, ankle length, colors, appliques, it didn't matter, and it really adds that dimension of individuality when you don't have to follow particular rules. That was my first British style lesson - be stylish by taking on a trend, but make it yours by taking it that extra step further. By the way, if you like those boots, they are Sketchers.

Another bit of popular footwear in London was the simple, understated 'minimalist' sneaker. They're perfect for tackling the long walks to the pub, the Tube or the bus, and simply scream "modern, self-sufficient woman." I had to get a pair of my own, so I picked a gray and burgundy pair, but there are so many choices of how to wear them that nearly no two women need ever wear the same shoe. The shoe at right is an example of the style I found, but that's pretty much all we'd get over here. In London you could choose from any number of myriad designs, colors and patterns, or even choose velcro over laces. Here again is the principle of embracing a trend but not following the crowd, and so I'm making these the Official Shoe of Las F. I really love mine - a mere ten pounds at Shoe Express. I think they made me walk faster than usual.

Thirdly, layering is big in London, but not only the kind of layering we're used to. When I layer, it's usually a tank top peeking out from under another shirt or sweater. Over there, there are no rules, and the more layers, the better. Mixed fabrics! Mixed patterns! Mixed colors! Anything goes when you create your own outfit. This made somewhat of a Bohemian look on the women I saw, but without the whimsy. They really know how to pile them on, and there are tons of semi-tops out there so you can put them together with your other winter favorites to create a highly individualized style. The bottom line seems to be be your stylish self, and we at Las F certainly can raise a glass to that.