Allow me to begin my first blog post by saying this. I intend on posting many in depth blogs, simply do to the fact that I want other people to get a sense of real views, written by a real person, on fun, or on rare occassions more serious topics. Don't worry, as you read more of my blog posts, you'll start to get a better feel for my personality, and understand that all of my blogging is intended to be a positive and fun experience to read and hopefully shed some light, insight ,or inspiration on matters of interest. On this note, I hope you enjoy my posts and look forward to giving you some insight or at least smile every now and then. Now, please excuse my while I vent and discuss a matter that has literally turned my world of style as I know it, upside down...
I have to admit, Ive always considered myself a fashionista. Anything that has to do with fashion, style, decor, beauty... well really, anything that has to do with being a girl in general, I absolutely adore. Not only have I always had a love for styling and fashion, but (please excuse me if I say so myself) Ive always found myself to be pretty good at it. I remember as a young girl, the excitement of laying out my outfit for the following school day, the anticipation of thinking about what to wear next, and ultimately realizing how it made me probably happier than it should have. Haha. Ive always enjoyed giving advice to friends on what to wear, how to style a new wardrobe piece, or even finding the best affordable and fashionable options and sharing it amongst my social group, however, Much of that aspect of my life changed when I took the plunge and moved to Europe.
I want you to understand two things. The first, I am in every sense of the word an American girl that left the world as I knew it behind to embark on a new journey of a life in Europe. The second, not only did I move to Europe, but I moved to Norway, Northern Europe! Originally from the warm and year round sunny Florida beach weather to a country that experiences Florida beach weather maybe a month or two out of the year, in other words...COLD! Not only have I been introduced to the scandinavian or European way of styling when it comes to fashion, but I've also had to adjust to learning how to dress fashionably in a Parka, or better yet, winter wardrobe! Wow, The challenges.....Let me just tell you. Putting on your favourite swimsuit with a cute pair of shorts and new trendy summer top is no longer an option when walking out the door for this Florida native. YIKES!
I first noticed as soon as I moved here, that compared to the States, Norway as a whole (or all of scandinavia I'm assuming) is a place where much of the society dresses pretty similar. In the states, we're more prone to really, a large part of our society having a wide range of different, or unique styles and looks. Maybe one person prefers vibrant colors and patterns, opposed to the next that owns a closet full of neutrals and solids. Generally, one person does not typically dress or appear to look very similar to the next. Here it is completely different, and here's why....
I'd like to consider Norway one of the most uniformed, but stylish countries I have ever been to. Maybe everyone looks so effortlessly put together in my eyes due to the simple fact that Norwegians are all extremely naturally beautiful people, I mean literally, I have never seen a society that can go about their everyday life with not a lick of makeup on, or have perfectly unstyled hair, and STILL be stunning! It must be those dominate viking features. Yeah, I did it, I mentioned the vikings. Ha! Girls and guys here tend to be more all about the natural look, and they have every right to do so. Of course, you still have your girls that apply their full makeup and pride themselves on their beautiful styled hair everyday, but not as commonly as in the states. Girls tend to not wear much makeup, and you can find most sporting their long straigh blonde locks. As an American, Ive always found it normal for me to apply my makeup just so, just about everyday, and make it a point to have my hair perfectly styled before going to work, or happily meeting friends for a lunch date. Here, its perfectly normal for me to put my hair in a quick pony and visit the girls for a lunch, and still feel dressed up. However, do not DARE to leave the house without your sunnies. Sunglasses are a MUST here in Norway. It might have to do with the fact that the sun is I'm sure extremely bright after not experiencing much of it for a few months, or just the simple Posh factor. Who knows, either way, don't be caught without them! Also, if blonde hair is your thing, than Norway is where its at! I have never seen so many heads full of blonde beautiful hair. I used to feel that blonde hair in the states (Florida at least) somewhat separated me from the group, well, those days are long gone...Blonde hair is EVERYWHERE here, and I mean EVERYWHERE!!!! Men, women, children, old, young, it doesn't matter, these vikings have the blonde thing on lock, and I mean they own it!
Now to move on to the lovely struggles Ive endured while living abroad on the fashion side...ahhh, where to begin. First off, In America, Im an expert at which stores to shop at to get the desired intended look, or basically just knowing the in's and out's of the stores and the best places to shop. Here, Although now learning my way, I was completely lost! Aside from being guilty of sticking to my known , trusted and familiar world of H&M or Zara here in Norway, I was completely and utterly lost in my own field of expertise. I felt like an endangered wild cat born and raised into captivity, that one day was suddenly released into the wild! So much to learn, and everything so new to me. Here, where sneakers worn with tights are perfectly acceptable and common to be worn with skirts, dresses, pretty much anything, was such a foreign concept to me. How about parkas! I never even hardly knew what a parka was, yet how to style one. I had a lot of challenges ahead of me in the world of fashion when I first moved here, and trust me, it was a slippery slope... haha. Like having to rely on your boyfriend to show you the ropes on proper mountain gear and how it's meant to be worn! yeah, that didn't go over too well..WHOOPS! I had no idea what the trends were here, or how to incorporate tights into my everyday wardrobe, or how to even begin to try dressing much like a Scandinavian for warmth and survival, yet trying to look stylish, what stores had the cutest shoes, or just simply where to find my stylish yearly summer swimsuits. It's little things like this, you realize quickly how much you used to take for granted back home. Basically, just trying to dress yourself in the mornings, and being good at doing it. Haha. Thank God for online shopping is all I have to say.
One year later, and Im still sorting out my struggles, but I guess that's one thing you sign up for when moving to a new country. It's the unknown and the experience that makes a journey worth it. However, I did have some luck on the aspect of feeling like I always had a bit more of a European sense for clothing, or at least colour. Much of my closet is made up of neutrals, more subtle and solid pieces, which I find to be very common in Europe. Although, girls In Norway do tend to dress pretty similar and pretty uniformed, I find this to be not a negative thing at all. Neutral colors and traditional styles just seem to have a certain elegance that is very appealing to the eye. Its classic, it never goes out of style. My occasional bold, Christmas red peacoat and more vibrant summery style choices some days might be something a little more out of the Norm here in Norway, but that's what makes style so great!. No two people will ever be exactly the same, or express themselves in exactly the same way, nor should they. This is why, of course, it's natural to want to conform or have the want to fit in a bit more in any given situation, but I would never change the fact that I am different. I'm an American living in Europe, Norway for that matter, and If I choose to wear that vibrant red coat on any given day, or choose to wear my more "Out of the Norm" American style clothing, then I shall do so, and I would never think a twice about it. Style is what gives everyone individuality, and it's so important to embrace the person that you are and the style that you possess, its what makes you you, and nobody could ever be as good at being you, than YOU!
Lifestyle & Fashion Blogger