College Girls Guide: Dress Like a Local in Madrid

College Girls Guide: Dress Like a Local in Madrid

College Girls Guide: Dress Like a Local in Madrid

By: Vivian Grimes

As I am currently living between the metro stops Bilbao and Quevedo, an area of true Spanish culture, I attempt to blend in as a local while I continue my day.

So what can a 5’9 Polish chick do to blend with the locals? The answer lies in one word— Fashion. When I say “fashion”, I do not mean solely being cautious as to what you put on each morning. Although that is a huge part of it, I am referring to your overall presence— the way you hold yourself while going amongst your daily activities. In the words of Coco Chanel, “Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Here are some worthwhile suggestions I have found that help me blend in as a born and raised Madrid chica.

  1. Dress for the Season.

Summer starts June 1st and ends on August 31st. So when you are wondering why everyone around you has ditched the chiffon shorts, loose tank top, and gladiator sandals for skinny jeans, an oversized sweater, scarf, and closed toed shoes in 85-degree weather, it is because summer has officially ended and fall has arrived. So DO dress in fall appropriate clothing when your calendar tells you fall has arrived; and DO prepare yourself to brew a sweat when you are simply sitting on a bench for the first two weeks in October.

  1. The Ambience of the Café Dictates Your Outfit Choice!

When I say it is all about the ambience—it is really all about the ambiance! For casual, everyday cafes to just grab a quick cup of coffee, workout attire is appropriate. But make sure to tie your hair back and avoid work out tops that scream “American”! Cafés in the fall have beautiful scenery and they are perfect for dark grey jeans and a basic V-neck. Throw on a statement scarf and don’t forget your leather jacket to pull the outfit together. You won’t stand out as a typical tourist unless you pull out the professional Nikon camera for that picture with your delicious meal.

  1. Planning on doing a lot of walking and want to avoid sore feet?

Lace up your sneaks and get ready to take on the town. Now, there are certain rules to wearing tennis shoes with your summer, fall, winter, spring outfits, but they are simple and easy to follow. They lie in two specific shoe brands: Converse and Superaga. These shoes will give you the instant approval by your local Spaniards—pain free! If you are feeling ambitious or want to spice up your look, go for the platformed Converse high tops or Superaga low tops. No matter if you are walking to school or heading out to the ‘disco,’ these sneaks can be worn at all hours of the day.

  1. The Bold Lip

Whether wearing make-up is your thing or not, a bright colored lipstick is the finishing touch to pulling your outfit together. Back home in the states, I was more inclined to wearing a neutral lip-gloss as my go-to daytime lip color and a more sophisticated colored lip-gloss for my evening look. Living in this city that truly never sleeps, I have learned that bright colored lipstick replaces your beloved lip-gloss. Bold, bright or dark, lip colors can and should be worn at all times within the 24-hour day. Here are a few shade suggestions: Dark Red, Magenta, Dolce Vita, Devil Wears Prada, and Tangerine…just to name a few!

  1. Accessorize

Backpacks are great for traveling around the city. However, you don’t want to be caught looking so “touristy” with a backpack (i.g. backpack worn frontwards). If you have a backpack, sling it over your shoulder and keep a good grip and eye on it to avoid thieves. Do not be shy when putting on accessories because what you think may be too many bracelets, the Spanish will tell you it’s not enough! Layer your bracelets on your wrists… the more the better. To pull the whole local fashion assemble together, clasp a long, simple necklace to any outfit. Many Americans are prone to wearing long necklaces with chunky and bright embellishments or pendants. This is not a local Spaniard look. Instead, choose a long necklace with thin chains and dark colored details. If you are going for an edgier look, try layering these types of Spaniard necklaces, long and short.


About the author:

I am a junior at Boston College studying Economics and Communication and hope to be working in the world of financing and fashion post-college. I love all things feminine {especially clothing and interior design} and enjoy finding & creating beauty in my surroundings. I participate in the varsity Track and Field team at Boston College, and find running to be the best stress-reliever and exercise around. This fall semester I am studying abroad in Madrid, Spain at St. Louis University where I have learned a great deal already about the many cultural differences Madrid has to offer; this recognition has helped me immerse myself better in the city.

Lisette Miranda

Written by Lisette Miranda

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