When I visit Romania — and we take a stroll downtown — I look severely underdressed, a fact that amuses me a great deal.
I’ve lived in Southern California for the past twenty-two years, where dressing up is for special occasions. Otherwise, I’m more interested in comfort — jeans or comfy slacks, and since we have long and hot summers, shorts and slippers during the weekends.
But that’s a fashion faux paus in European cities. God forbid one goes out in slippers, or just any old t-shirt over a pair of classic jeans.
When I accompanied my niece to a Bucharest hair salon, the stylist — who knew my niece would bring her relative from the U.S. — looked around our group and asked: Which one is your relative from America? I pointed to another family member and said: I’m the driver.
But seriously, Europeans, especially urbanites, love their fashion.
I still remember a time when I wouldn’t have left the house without proper makeup and spiffy clothes. I would have never ventured to the local coffee shop, as folks do here for a run to Starbucks, in sweat pants and some plain t-shirt.
Sure, in Romania fashion awareness is a condition of the youth. For the most part. And times are changing. I see more and more casual wear than ever before. More comfort-minded people. But even as casual wear enters the Romanian consciousness, fashion is, and will probably always be, the go-to style.
Me, well, I thank my lucky stars I don’t have to worry about style anymore. It’s exhausting.
~~ With this short post, my dear friends, we close the first A-Z week. I greatly enjoyed reading your comments and your blogs. See you on Monday, when we have F for Frigarui (Romanian kebab).