Over the course of our six weeks in Europe, we observed many fashion trends that I thought would be of interest to our readers at home. I’m also curious to see whether some of these trends will make the jump across the Atlantic and turn up on our own streets and in our own shop windows. I’ve done some research since we returned home and at least a few of the trends shown below are already making an appearance stateside — with a bit of controversy, in some cases.
In this post, I’ll cover the following trends:
- Wedding couture
- Men in orange pants
- Italian police apparel
- Drop-crotch pants
- Stirrup pants
While walking around Rome (our first stop in Italy) on a beautiful weekend afternoon, we spotted several soon-to-be-married couples posing for photos in their full wedding attire. It was hard not to notice a trend of quite over-the-top outfits, such as dresses with many layers of cascading ruffles and suits fashioned out of shiny, sharkskin-inspired material. While not my personal style, these were still swank pieces and definitely constituted a “look.”
A couple poses in Rome on their wedding day.
Men in orange pants
It was in Florence, Italy, that I began to notice the trend of men wearing bright orange — and sometimes yellow — trousers. Throughout our time in Italy I continued to spot very stylish, middle-aged men who pulled off the look with panache. The whole idea reminded me a bit of Nantucket red pants in the way this look gave an air of relaxed class.
Fashionable orange trousers in Milan. (Here’s another great photo from The Sartorialist’s blog.)
Italian police apparel
I was impressed by the stylish uniforms and accessories that the Italian police force wore and thought the overall look was completely fitting. The photo below is a representative sample of what we saw all over Italy — white leather bag, white leather belt with hooks for various tools, and dapper white hats. Also, take note of the civilized white leather gun holster. In this traveler’s opinion, the attire of the Italian police force puts our American counterparts to shame in terms of style and polish.
Street police in Florence. We’re fairly certain this was a friendly encounter between police and casual walkers.
Perhaps the most interesting trend was that of drop-crotch pants. I started noticing these in Italy, but continued to spot them all over Spain and also sporadically in France. This look is basically a pair of pants that fits snugly at the waist, as well as from approximately knee to ankle, but has a crotch that is dropped at times almost to the knee. Like the orange trousers, this was a look that some very stylish women wore with an urban flair (see photo below). Other examples were less elegant, but still trendy, such as the hordes of teenage girls in Granada, Spain, who were all sporting this look in denim. I spotted drop-crotch pants in store windows ranging from fashion-forward Zara to the many chains selling inexpensive and trendy clothing geared toward teenagers. Curious about whether we’ll soon see this trend in the United States — and also fairly certain that Seattle would not be the first place to herald its arrival — I contacted three different friends in New York to find out if this was something they had seen out on the streets of their city. As it turns out, none of my friends had noticed the trend, but I did a bit of online research and found several mentions. Interestingly, it appears the trend is also popping up in men’s fashion. The look has been met with a fair bit of controversy and it remains to be seen whether these pants will make a real mark in the United States. In my opinion, certain individuals can rock the look effectively, but I have never seen it work on a woman in denim.
A fashionable example of drop-crotch pants in Florence.
One final trend to mention is that of stirrup pants — one of the most-loved fashion staples of my youth. In Sevilla, Spain, I spotted a window display highlighting stirrup pants. I’m curious to see if my formerly beloved stirrup pants make it back to the style pages of the United States. What I can say for sure is that this mannequin has a much better look than the one I sported in 1986 — blue cotton stirrup pants tucked into my high-top Reeboks. Believe it or not, I was at the height of ten-year-old fashion in Seattle.
A window display features stirrup pants in Sevilla.