Every region has its own specific fashion features, influenced by the history, attitude of the people and perhaps climatic features unique to that region. European fashion trends are observed across various countries in Europe.
Though we say people are the same everywhere, their attitude, behavior and dressing sense does exhibit subtle and not so subtle differences depending on which part of the world they are from. Think about it, isn’t it easy to spot a ‘foreigner’ in your midst? “Oh he is so American”, you often say of people you see on the streets. How do you know that? He has not told you, he is a stranger. You know nothing of his behavior and attitude. What perhaps gave him away was the way he has dressed. Thus dress and fashion trends can often become an identifying characteristic.
Europe – The Nerve Center of World Fashion
Europe is considered the capital of world fashion with three buzzing fashion centers here – London, Milan and Paris. These cities annually hold two fashion shows that preview the forthcoming fashion trends every year- the Spring/Summer shows and the Autumn/Winter shows. These shows are amongst the most anticipated in the world of fashion with seats being booked months in advance. Comprising some of the most talented designers in the world, European fashion shows and trends are important contributors to the ‘business of fashion’ world wide.
What Makes European Fashion Trends Unique
European trends are unique and very different from what you might see in the US. Though there are different countries in Europe, there is a common fashion thread running through them. The most stand-out feature in European fashion is that people in Europe in general dress more formally than in the US. One of the most important European fashion tips is to make sure that your suits and dresses fit well and that your accessories are understated and elegant. Everything in Europe is subtle. Anything over the top and blingy is fashion taboo in Europe.
European Fashion Trends for Men
The general trends in Europe for men include fitted suits/jackets, fitted trousers and formal shoes. Sneakers are light (not bulky) and used occasionally.
All in all, the European man’s look is sexy, stylish and uber sophisticated.
(a) Formal Wear
For men for formal wear include immaculately tailored, fitted suits. Rarely do European men wear oversized suits.
European men are often found in plaid shirts. No oversize sweat shirts, bright T-shirts and particularly T-shirts with company logo that is a unique American fashion trend.
(c) Jeans and Trousers
Of course European men wear jeans, but not baggy. Well fitted and skinny are the European trends in jeans. And definitely no rips or tears in them.
Again with respect to trousers, European men prefer formal over informal. Straight cut trousers are the predominant style.
While dressing for casual occasions the top European fashion tips include slacks in neutral colors and knee length or longer shorts. No khakhis or short shorts.
When it comes to footwear, again the focus is on formal shoes and boots. Europeans do wear sneakers, but these are specifically for jogging/walking or restricted to the gym and they are in darker shades. White, bulky sneakers are a dead American give away. Again, flip-flops and sandals are rare in European fashion trends for men and they are used only on certain occasions like relaxing by the pool side.
European Fashion Trends for Women – Revolve around pencil skirts, A-line skirts, and well fitted trousers.
You have probably heard the term ‘Parisian chic’, which is how ladies in Paris dress. To get the Parisian chic look, you have to dress in dark colored skirts, which are slimming and flattering rather than bright colors. To complement summer/spring, the fashion trends for European women move towards delicate florals and prints. Again, nothing loud or over the top.
More focused towards enhancing the femininity of women as compared to, say, American trends where one observes a more unisex approach to fashion in general. In the US, you may find most women in jeans and T-shirts most of the time, but European women prefer to wear dresses. Light summery dresses are popular for the day, while more formal occasions demand a black dress that highlights elegance and sophistication.
Cardigans are a very popular European style for men and women and can be paired up with trousers or skirt and over blouses and shirts.
European Fashion Trends 2013
While these are some of the timeless trends in European fashion, the question is ‘what are the current fashion trends in Europe’. Fashion moves so fast but we have included some popular styles below. An analysis of the looks presented on the ramps at London, Paris and Milan reiterate that the trends are in line with what is traditionally European fashion, while bringing in a sense of modernity based on the creativity of the designers.
(a) Elegant Dresses
The Temperley London collection showcased dresses that were the last word in elegance – black and white colors as well multicolored hues. But in keeping with the general European trends theme, the look was subtle and graceful and not bright.
One of the most important European Fashion trends 2013 to emerge from the runways this year was the increased incorporation of ruffles into the outfits. The Gucci collection 2013 presented ruffles on the sleeves and curvy ruffles were seen on the fitted tops paired with well designed trousers. All in all, a sexy look.
If you are a European, chances are you are already unconsciously following theses trends. Because that is the way we dress always, only perhaps you were not aware that these are actually European fashion trends. And for those of you who are non-Europeans and planning a trip to Europe, you can use this as a guide to dress while on your trip.
As they say, when in Rome do as the Romans. By following these fashion trends, the next time you are in Europe you can match up with the popular styles no matter what city you are visiting. We would love to hear from you, let us know what European styles you like below.