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ann Nov 25th, 2001 10:09 AM

Ladies: Fashion/clothing help sought: What to wear in Spain
This is a serious message; ignore it if it isn't your thing. I'm interested in knowing what the real, thirty-something women wear in Spain. My guess is that they're not really wearing the colorful "fiesta" skirts shown in the travel books!<BR><BR>I'll be traveling alone to the Madrid and Salamanca area for three weeks in January. I basically dress in the ubiquitous "New York" black style: easy, packable, matchable -- with boots and a camel-colored leather jacket. Will this be appropriate? Are boots too winter-y?<BR><BR>It's a vacation, so I don't need professional clothes. Would appreciate some real advice. Thanks in advance.

ja Nov 25th, 2001 10:40 AM

Hi, ann-<BR> I don't know about Spain, but we were in Portugal last month, and I saw the ladies wearing smart to smart-casual pants suits/ slacks and jacket ensembles with the jackets about hip-length or slightly above and fitted, and fairly snug pants, with (of course) very chic shoes or boots. I think what you're planning to take should be okay. Hope this helps.<BR>ja

Barbara Nov 25th, 2001 12:31 PM

Spanish women are among the best dressed in Europe. The popular style is classic, black jacket is popular with a touch of color by scarfs, chal, etc. Jackets with either pants or skirts, hardly ever see Spanish women with sneakers but with leather, beautiful boots (shoes in Spain are a great buy). Typically, beautiful pins adorn the clothing. The clothes you described should be adequate.

cova Nov 25th, 2001 02:52 PM

Hi Ann,<BR>I don´t think you are wrong with your idea of clothing.<BR>This winter boots are all the rage, high heels and worn with knee-length skirts or longer. Of course, you can also wear a pair of comfortable shoes by Camper or the likes. While in Spain, check on Hispanitas, or the wonderful bags by Farrutx.<BR>If you want to have an idea of what´s the people wearing right now, check these two URLs :<BR> (a fashion spanish magazine, sorry, it´s only in spanish but it can help you)<BR> (a great designer, from the same region in Spain as ZARA, Galicia).<BR>Another thing, we don´t use a lot of make-up. The biggest seller lipstick colour in Spain is a brown colour, and the biggest perfume sellers are "O de Lancome", "Eau de Rochas" and similar ones (think fresh and herbal).<BR>Rgds, Cova<BR>

tiana Nov 25th, 2001 02:55 PM

You'll fit right in but the Spanish females have a thing for skin tight pants........

ann Nov 25th, 2001 08:12 PM

Thanks so much for your input!

mizmel Nov 26th, 2001 07:11 PM

Tiana's post was right....those skin tight pants (whether it goes with your body type or not) are prevalent among Spanish women, as is a fringed scarf, great shoes / boots and....a HUGE belt; ones that are at least 4 inches in width. Actually, I took alot of dressy type clothing for my trip in October <BR>(3 weeks)and really didn't need it. Even the "locals" are more casual than I expected. Jeans are not uncommon.<BR><BR>Melodie

cj Nov 27th, 2001 06:07 AM

Ann I wouldn't say this is a dumb question. I was in total awe when we were in Spain. The women are all beautiful and dress with class. I did notice that they wore dark colors and nice loose fitting pants. I did notice that instead of the typical blazer they were wearing capes. My frind brought me to this place called Capas and I bought a cape there. This place was so fascinating on the wall of this well know store were picutres of former presidents wives wearing one of their capes, movie stars etc. The sales people will take the time to show you at least 15 different ways.

Kate Nov 27th, 2001 07:36 AM

Ann:<BR>I've lived in southern Spain for almost 5 years now. You can't go wrong with mix and match separates in black, grey or dark brown. Our lovely hosts favor dark colors in the winter and especially love boots! Conservative is my best suggestion. Enjoy!

ohoh Nov 27th, 2001 08:18 AM

But remember to keep a scarf or other accessory in bright red or hot pink to spark up your dark clothes. I'm not an all-black or navy person. You need some color to combat the moth effect.

Becky Nov 27th, 2001 12:29 PM

What about spring time? I'm going in May. Are black and browns and greys popular all year long?<BR><BR>

cova Nov 27th, 2001 12:47 PM

Hi Becky, <BR>I think it will depend on where are you heading, north or south. May in the south can be hot, and you could need summer clothes. I think everything depends on what´s the fashion right then. Last summer has been a very white and black one, with some hints of hippy chic thrown in it from past years. And very ladylike, and that´s not good for travelling. All those high heels aren´t exactly the best thing to walk.<BR>A good idea would be to check either the stores or the websites of ZARA and MANGO ( and ) I don´t know how they do it, but they get the trends on their stores really fast, and they are a good indication of what´s being worn on the street.<BR>So, this autumn-fall we have lots of black, lots of denim (but decolorated and strange, kind of old) and a bit of aubergine and burgundy. And a bit of the seventies (long scarfs, tweed ...)<BR>Next spring, I suppose it will go in a similar way as this year´s. Of course, if you go more to the south (from Madrid down), you will see that the women wear more colours than the people in the north, but I wouldn´t recommend you a shocking-pink training suit :))<BR><BR>

Chase Nov 27th, 2001 12:49 PM

Ann,<BR>My husband and I spent several days in Madrid last February. Black pants and jackets with turtlenecks and always a huge scarf and you will be fine. Spanish women take their make-up seriously, by the way.<BR>Chase in NH

Becky Nov 27th, 2001 01:38 PM

COVA--We are heading south(Andulasia area). I was thinking that a pair of matte jersey black pants would be cool in the heat, comfortable and stylish, with interchangable tops.<BR><BR>One more question: can I wear open-toed sandels...or sandels at all? I have the most wonderful pair of aerosoles--chic and classy, but open-toed? Will they be ok outside of Madrid in towns like Seville, Ronda and Granada?<BR><BR>[You know, some things that you can get away with in a big, stylish city, don't cut it in the smaller local areas.]

cova Nov 28th, 2001 12:26 AM

Hi Becky,<BR>not a problem at all with the sandals, even in Madrid. In fact, I think that the only faux-pas would be tights with sandals. Just paint your toe nails with a funky colour (a bit of happiness down there :)).<BR>Think about looking for a long summery skirt, in a light material. I have realized that skirts are also quite handy when the heat is on, and they make a great change from trousers.

olga Dec 1st, 2001 07:41 AM

Dear Becky,<BR>I´m 31, a native of Seville married to an american and I lived in the U.S. for 5 years. As a rule, american women that have visited us here and even me after moving back from there, usually feel terribly underdressed and unsexy compared to spanish women of the same age. In May, after all the winter clothes, every spanish woman I know goes out at night wearing their sexiest clothes and make up, it´s nice and warm and there is a lot of nice flowery silky dresses, but keep it snug .<BR>Also twinsets and tight skirts and pants, no boots anymore, but sandals,wether they be high or low heels. During the day, more casual, but<BR>no jean shorts, please! Those are a <BR>definite "I´m an american tourist" flag.<BR>Instead, go for light skirts or chinos,<BR>even if they are short is ok. <BR>I agree with the Mango and Zara website<BR>idea.<BR>Also, capri or cropped pants (jeans or otherwise)are hot every spring for the<BR>past couple of years. They are the most confortable for sightseeing and can be easily dressed up or down.<BR>

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