Meredith Moss sees spring is in the air and with that, the chance to check out the latest Lux-style fashion.
If the fine readers of this publication were to see me in broad daylight, they would see someone who appears to be both confused by her gender, age and/or looks potentially homeless. Women’s magazines and fashion websites are wasted on me. So it amused me to be asked to focus my latest musings on style in the city.
When I first learned we might be embarking on a life in Luxembourg, I naturally turned to one of my favourite quirky websites, everyculture.com* and looked up the Duchy. And this is what hit me:
…People of Luxembourg wear modern Western-style clothing. Luxembourgers are influenced by fashion trends in neighboring France and Germany, and by Italian fashions as well. Women tend to wear skirts and dresses more often than slacks, and men favor hats. In public, Luxembourgers are always neatly and carefully dressed. Old, worn clothing is reserved for at-home wear and sporting activities.
What the Heel?
First let’s discuss the shoes. Walk into Auchan at any hour of the day and you will see women grocery shopping in heels. HEELS.
When I wear heels, I look like a toddler wearing a nappy full of poop.
I walk like a drunk flamingo even though I’ve not actually had a sip of alcohol. Heels are not made for me; they are made for women with perfectly coiffed hair, wearing a sweater set and front pleated slacks currently standing in a grocery store somewhere in Luxembourg, examining pomegranates.
Fact: I have never owned a pair of front pleated slacks nor a sweater set and these women put me to shame.
The way they wear their hats (and speedos)
Another item of clothing indicative to the average resident in winter is the hat. Let me first qualify what I mean. My American brother lives in a baseball cap and I’ve seen quite a few American women rocking it in the city centre, and this, my friend, is a trend I frankly cannot get behind. I’m talking about the fedora.
When a man or woman hits the cobblestones wearing a fedora, I cannot help but nod my head and salute their boldness. These are the same men who have their suits fitted by the mantra ‘If it ain’t tight, it ain’t right,’ but again, I salute their European splendour.
One thing my British husband always asks me in a nervous whisper when we go to visit friends and family in Texas is ‘Why do the men wear their trousers pulled up to just under their nipples?’ I have no answer to this, nor can I explain why it is mandatory for men to wear speedos in public swimming pools in Luxembourg.
I simply know that I relish their sheer commitment, both to the hat and to the budgie smuggler (although generally not worn at the same time).
Scarves at the ready
Scarves can playfully introduce colour to an otherwise bland outfit and no one knows this better than the average Luxembourg inhabitant. In fact Xavier Bettel’s scarves are so famous, one of them has its own twitter account.
As Xavier Bettel knows, with great scarves come great responsibilities.
I love everything about a good scarf; in fact, my husband pointed out in a moment of exasperation that I own exactly 57 scarves. However, to most Americans and Brits, the scarf becomes an oddity when worn throughout the day inside an office. And surely anyone chancing to observe a Luxembourgish man running on the treadmill at gym would find their curiosity aroused by this rather odd accoutrement. Yes, dear readers, you read correctly, a girlfriend shared with me the story of a man whom she encountered running with a loosely slung, yet very trendy scarf…while running….indoors.
Now I know no one is asking me but if I were to give my advice to people who want to embrace the style of Lux, I would simply say:
Ditch the mobile phone worn on your belt, drop your waistline below your nipples, be loud and proud with your scarf, even if you look like you are wearing your duvet. Accept the influences from bordering countries too – buy a beret, cloche or beanie… and put on your banana hammock!
* I am fairly sure everyculture.com is not meant for someone who speaks english as their first language. Perhaps it is written for an audience who have spent the past 20 years in someone’s basement or fixated on their own navel on a remote island without internet connection or any knowledge of pop culture in 99% of the world. It’s my favourite thing.