Some people take pictures of buildings and attractions on a trip. I take pictures of outfits. It may be an occupational hazard, but there was no way I could avoid noticing all of the stylish women of all ages and sizes that I saw on my recent trip to Europe.
It would be one thing if all of these women were dressed up because they were in upscale restaurants or at church, but what struck me the most is what these women wore for casual occasions, from running errands to sightseeing, and even for active events like climbing a mountain or hiking up to a castle.
No matter where they went or what they were doing, they dressed.
This doesn’t mean they wore satin and pearls for mountain climbing, but it does mean that they wore real, stylish, classic clothes, always well fitting and of good quality, and chic accessories. They simply wore dressier or slightly more casual versions of these items depending on the occasion.
What I didn’t see? Activewear. Athleisure. Joggers. Leggings. Sweats. Baggy t-shirts. At all. Seriously. Not a single person walking around in workout clothes, with the exception of a runner or two jogging through a park.
It was pretty remarkable.
Of course, I spotted themes, and of course, I had to share them, because I think nothing is more valuable than seeing the way that other everyday women style themselves for their daily lives.
I hope you’ll find these as inspiring as I have.
Here, 6 style lessons we can all learn from European women.
Accessories Are Everything
I’m going to do a video specifically on accessories, but there was a lot of detail shown to bags, shoes, and jewelry as well as items like belts and scarves. The most popular bags included leather totes and crossbodies, straw baskets and totes, and shoppers like the Longchamp Le Pliage. Shoes were generally flat or low heeled, and ranged from sneakers (primarily white or beige, but some color as well – lots of Vejas), flat sandals (strappy styles as well as Birkenstock styles) and flat or low espadrilles.
Master Smart Casual
When you’re sightseeing and hiking outfits are this cute, anything is possible. These women dressed appropriately and practically but still stylishly for every occasion, donning jumpsuits, chic shorts, and casual dresses for relaxed outings.
Chic Is Ageless
One of the things that struck me was how timeless and ageless many of the styles were. These are clothes that work on every woman over 30, and look equally stylish in every decade.
Make A Statement
While we generally regard European style as subtle, they also know how to make a statement in a chic and effortless way, and are not shy when it comes to expressing their personal style.
Sneakers Can Be Chic
I didn’t see a single European woman walking around during the day in heels. (They are generally reserved for evening). They are practical as well as stylish, and sneakers are the shoe of choice for many women. While I saw primarily white and beige styles, there were trainers in every color. Veja seemed to be the brand of choice for many.
Use Color Strategically
Whether they used pops of color in an accessory or a boldly colored dress, European women did not shy away from color, and I saw red, green, hot pink and cobalt blue everywhere.
What did you think of these street style pics? Did you find them as inspiring as I did? Let me know in the comments!