On my recent trip to Turkey, I spent a few days in the great city of Istanbul. It’s filled with history, culture, tourists, technology and yes, very trendy people. The one trend that absolutely stood out was that many young Turkish women were wearing these beautiful silk headscarves, rather than a hijab (a more full head covering worn my Muslim women). I just expected that most women would have a hijab on but no, young women were wearing these silk scarves with the most beautiful patterns and colours. There was one day in particular where I watched a group of women walking down a hill. Each woman had a different coloured scarf on which captured the attention of many tourists as they walked past us – they were beautiful. In addition to the silk scarves, these young women were wearing trench coats! It was quite apparent that this was a trend amongst Turkish women because they were not only on EVERY woman that walked by but also in many clothing stores. I noticed that popular trend was metallic trench coats such as baby pink, beige, lavender and peach. While I loved the look of the trench coat and head scarves… and of course, chic sunglasses, I could only imagine just how hot it must be to wear a trench coat in the summer months (Istanbul summers are VERY hot). I do realize that Turkey is a Muslim country so women must cover themselves up but I just didn’t get the trench coat in such a warm climate. My final verdict: the fact that the headscarf and trench coat trend is so pervasive amongst young Turkish women leads me to believe that women, regardless of where they live or what they believe, will do ANYTHING (even be super uncomfortable and HOT) in the pursuit of the latest and greatest trend! :)
So I just came back from an amazing trip to Turkey. On route to our final destination, my husband and I stopped over in London for a few days to do some sightseeing… actually, I was trying to see if Will and Kate would have us over for tea. They were busy. Shortly into our London trip, I noticed something that was VERY appealing to me – men were walking around with beautifully-designed shoes. I don’t just mean trendy-looking shoes, no no. I mean great quality, amazingly-shaped, textured shoes. I noticed this not just on men in suits (the lawyers, consultants, bankers, etc) but also on casually-dressed men (like jeans, a golf shirt and GREAT shoes kinda guy). I even made my husband take notice at the unusual high proportion of totally amazing men’s shoes walking around London. So over a pint of beer and bangers and mash (I had vegetarian bangers in an ol’ English pub – HA!), my husband and I discussed this revelation (only a revelation to me I’m sure). Here’s what I landed on: Men in London have a better sense of style – my husband obviously disagreed with this generalization and proceeded to correct me using economic theory and equations drawn in the air (ok, the second part is a bit of an exaggeration). There are more men in London than there are in most Canadian cities so just in terms of sheer numbers we are bound to see more men walking around. In other words, there are many more men with GREAT shoes walking around. Competition in the marketplace is much fiercer in London so dressing the part is every bit as important as one’s skills/knowledge. London is situated close to big European shoe designers/brands and, therefore, has easier access to a more diverse selection of GREAT dress and casual shoes. The shoe conversation deteriorated after a couple pints of beer so this is really all that I came up with…. The last thing I’ll leave you with is this: I saw a middle-aged man, probably with 25+ years of work experience, wearing the most impeccable shoes. They were not brand new but they were well-designed, in great condition, and styled perfectly with his attire. So the concept of not needing/wanting to look stylish because of a certain level of substance (e.g. work experience) didn’t really seem to apply in this case. Maybe this was a one-off case but I’d rather believe that was not a single case. Why then, did this man, who clearly had a lot of work experience (ok, maybe that’s not true… just because he had salt & pepper hair, doesn’t mean he’s the CEO or something like that) put in the effort of being stylish? What do you think?