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I'm in Europe and I need a new wardrobe


ondreeuh
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We moved almost two weeks ago to Belgium from Alaska. Alaska is super casual - there is no pressure to adhere to a dress code or appear groomed (especially for men, anything really goes). So we arrive in Europe and I have my stack of tee shirts, jean shorts, and pair of khaki shorts, and I start to realize that I don't see ANY women wearing tee shirts. Not even plain, fitted ones. It's like 95 degrees, no one has air conditioning, and women are wearing what I would call business casual. Some women wear sleeveless shirts, but they are dressy. They wear nice jeans, slacks, or skirts, but hardly any shorts.

 

Part of me wants to follow that dress code, but when it comes down to it, I don't want to! I want to wear my comfy tee shirts and shorts.

 

I spent an obscene amount of money today from a boutique and bought really cute stuff that would be great for someone else... I am ordering some cheaper stuff from Target to supplement. Maybe with enough pieces I will grow into the style?

 

And I still haven't even thought about my hair. I did at least get some cute sandals, so now I have more than just my tevas. ;)

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I remember one summer in Europe I LIVED in palazzo pants. They were cool and breezy and cute with sandals. I wore tees with accents (scarves, vests, necklaces). Man I loved those pants. They were some sort of gauzy material.

How about some of those or some skirts. (I personally think skirts are cooler than pants).

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I know what you mean. I usually run to the grocery store after school in shorts and a nicer t-shirt and I feel like a bum next to all the women shopping after work in their business casual. If I'm going out to eat or do a family activity, then I dress a bit better. I've starting wearing skirts over bike shorts and nicer sandals on the weekend. Summer will be over before you know it though so I wouldn't spend too much for summer. You will notice that people wear the same things over and over here. But I would start shopping for fall as soon as the new styles come in unless your fall/winter wardrobe is in good shape. The women will usually wear dress boots, skirts or tight jeans and slacks. Nice coats and pretty scarves also. I think everyone is working so they are usually well dressed. 

 

If you want to keep expenses down, H&M and C&A have cheaper clothing.

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I had a bit of a fashion crisis when I moved here, too.  The best advice I got was to just go about in my usual clothes and meet new people and go new places.  And, every time I saw someone who I thought looked stylish in a way I could see myself dressing, I would compliment them on their clothes/jewellery/handbag/shoes/etc.  If they seemed approachable, I would ask them if they minded sharing where they got the item, and I would let them know I'd just moved here and didn't know the shops well.  I made a lot of new friends and acquaintances this way, and I got to know my area much better.

 

This tactic takes more time to build a wardrobe, but at least then I wasn't just buying stuff that didn't fit the fashions of my new locale or that weren't things I really liked. I could also take the time to figure out how some of the clothes I already had could fit into my new style.

 

Caveat:  I'm a people-person and not at all shy to strike up a conversation, so it is easy for me to just start talking to people I don't know.  YMMV.

Edited by Audrey
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I know what you mean. I usually run to the grocery store after school in shorts and a nicer t-shirt and I feel like a bum next to all the women shopping after work in their business casual. If I'm going out to eat or do a family activity, then I dress a bit better. I've starting wearing skirts over bike shorts and nicer sandals on the weekend. Summer will be over before you know it though so I wouldn't spend too much for summer. You will notice that people wear the same things over and over here. But I would start shopping for fall as soon as the new styles come in unless your fall/winter wardrobe is in good shape. The women will usually wear dress boots, skirts or tight jeans and slacks. Nice coats and pretty scarves also. I think everyone is working so they are usually well dressed.

 

If you want to keep expenses down, H&M and C&A have cheaper clothing.

I bought my teen clothes at C&A the other day when I realized his shorts stood out because they aren't slim fit bermudas. Prices were great! I didn't see a Plus section, though.

 

I might go into H&M today. I kept the tags on everything I bought at Paprika and will probably return some. A couple of things I bought were pretty but not practical. I have full online carts at Target and Lands End. I guess the upside is that synthetic fibers dry a lot faster than cotton, right?

 

Thanks for the heads up on fall/winter trends. I am used to jeans, tee shirt, hoodie, and Bogs boots. That is my capsule wardrobe right there.

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Hi,

 

You might want to take a look at www.bonprix.be or www.klingel.be or www.bel-en-bo.be

But realize that in July are the big sales (and in January again) called Solden.

 

Most stores don't have a lot of plus size in their physical store but might have on the internet.

Most often I buy clothes online, except for paprika, where I only buy in Solden :)

 

As written above, most people work in Belgium SAHMs are not common here.

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Hi,

 

You might want to take a look at www.bonprix.be or www.klingel.be or www.bel-en-bo.be

But realize that in July are the big sales (and in January again) called Solden.

 

Most stores don't have a lot of plus size in their physical store but might have on the internet.

Most often I buy clothes online, except for paprika, where I only buy in Solden :)

 

As written above, most people work in Belgium SAHMs are not common here.

Thank you! I know there is a Bel en Bo nearby; do they carry any plus in the store? I will look into the others. Thanks for the tip about Solden. I can wait until then.

 

I have an APO (United States military mailbox) address, so I can get American stuff pretty easily. I just prefer to try on in the store if I can. I just bought lots to try at Target online. They have free returns, so it's not too much of a risk.

 

When does it get cold here? I am around Mons. This heat wave is really tiring. I'm ready for cooler weather.

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C&A and H&M do have larger sizes. I think 44 and up are like US Large and XL. C&A online has plus sizes, too. There used to be a shop called MS Mode that was plus size and less expensive. I haven't seen one near me in a while though. At C&A you might find your size in their Canda brand. Avoid the Clockhouse brand, that's for teens. I tried on winter coats in XL in Clockhouse by mistake and I couldn't even get my arms in. The INNO department store has larger sizes too. I find the German brands to be more generously cut. 

 

Since you're coming from Alaska, you probably won't think it ever gets cold here. The weather patterns very a lot, but generally September and October can be beautiful Indian summer months. Then we are in for a lot of rain, damp, gray and cold. Usually a sweater or fleece with a good rain coat is sufficient. When the Christmas markets start late November/December you will need a winter coat and warmer boots if you're going to be out for a while. I have a heavy Land's End parka that I've only used once or twice. Usually one of those medium weight quilted coats are sufficient on the coldest days. And always a scarf. I like buying scarves here, they always fit. ;)

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Thank you! I know there is a Bel en Bo nearby; do they carry any plus in the store? I will look into the others. Thanks for the tip about Solden. I can wait until then.

 

I have an APO (United States military mailbox) address, so I can get American stuff pretty easily. I just prefer to try on in the store if I can. I just bought lots to try at Target online. They have free returns, so it's not too much of a risk.

 

When does it get cold here? I am around Mons. This heat wave is really tiring. I'm ready for cooler weather.

Our bel & bo has plus sizes in the local store.

Mostly skirts and dresses ;) but they are absolutely colorful :)

 

Really cold ( as in freezing, snowing) happens not often and mostly in january / february.

The weather is good in grey days, with or without rain.

But as I experience 23 degrees of Celsius already as 'warm' it indicates that most temperatures are lowe then that.

I think any temperature between 10-19 degrees celsius is normal, and 21+ degrees are just for spring / summer.

 

We don't have feally fixed seasons anymore so it might happen that july and august are rainy and chilly, but september is warm again.

In my youth we changed the clothes on our shelves a few times per year.

Now I have a basic set of clothes for all seasons, and one box for freezing temperatures and one box for heat waves.

 

I used to live in southern Belgium before (west - flanders)

But live now at the northern border in Antwerp Area.

 

Belgium sizes are not similar to dutch or german sizes.

So a Belgic XXXL might be a Dutch or German XL / XXL.

That makes shopping sometimes terrible frustrating.

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C&A and H&M do have larger sizes. I think 44 and up are like US Large and XL. C&A online has plus sizes, too. There used to be a shop called MS Mode that was plus size and less expensive. I haven't seen one near me in a while though. At C&A you might find your size in their Canda brand. Avoid the Clockhouse brand, that's for teens. I tried on winter coats in XL in Clockhouse by mistake and I couldn't even get my arms in. The INNO department store has larger sizes too. I find the German brands to be more generously cut.

 

Since you're coming from Alaska, you probably won't think it ever gets cold here. The weather patterns very a lot, but generally September and October can be beautiful Indian summer months. Then we are in for a lot of rain, damp, gray and cold. Usually a sweater or fleece with a good rain coat is sufficient. When the Christmas markets start late November/December you will need a winter coat and warmer boots if you're going to be out for a while. I have a heavy Land's End parka that I've only used once or twice. Usually one of those medium weight quilted coats are sufficient on the coldest days. And always a scarf. I like buying scarves here, they always fit. ;)

I just missed a fantastic lands end flash sale by a few hours. :/. I'm taking the bus to the mall today. Gotta get the boys European swimsuits (dh calls them budgie smugglers)! My teen is thrilled about that, lol!

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