Why Europeans do not attach importance to clothing, is it greed or practicality?

Often you can hear a common phrase, they say, the inhabitants of the post-Soviet space in Western countries can not be confused with the locals. This applies equally not only to Russians, but also to Ukrainians, Belarusians and other citizens of the republics of the former Soviet Union. And the point here is not only in the features of behavior and mentality, but also in appearance and manner of dressing.

The attitude of Europeans to clothing

In Western countries, more than one decade has been practicing the free style of wearing clothes. Here, “West” should be understood, first of all, Western Europe and the USA, which are very closely related to each other in an ethnocultural sense. The main difference between Europeans and Russians, as stylists and designers note, is a simpler attitude to everyday clothes . For example, Europeans will not, like our compatriots, before going to the grocery store for half an hour choose what to wear, and then apply makeup in front of the mirror the same time.

For a native West European who grew up somewhere in Germany, Great Britain or the Netherlands, practicality and convenience of the thing he wears is in the first place . He can easily go in shorts and an elongated sweater to study at the university, in the cinema, on a date. And this applies not only to “commoners” - in European capitals you can often meet people of aristocratic blood, freely walking along the street in frayed jeans and sneakers. The same applies to family members of local oligarchs and major officials.

Typical attire of a middle-class European resident, wealth and middle-aged, in the 2010s:

  • Man. Jeans or trousers with a simple cut, in winter - a puffer or leather jacket, as an option - a short coat. In spring and autumn, a jacket with jeans is most often worn; in the summer heat, a European can easily go to the city in shorts and a loose T-shirt. On the feet, most often you can see sneakers, in second place in popularity are simple classic shoes.
  • Woman. A medium-sized puffer jacket or coat, skinny jeans or leggings. Sneakers or boots on a low platform are on their feet in the cool time, in summer - shoes without heels or ordinary wedge sandals, or even rubber slippers. Younger Europeans can wear tight tights with a pattern or bright leggings.

As for the color scheme, preference is given to not too catchy colors: gray, brown, black. Some accessories may be bright - straps, belts, scarves, berets . In general, the appearance of the average German or Englishman is completely unpretentious, to say the least - inexpressive. But this does not mean that the clothes they wear are cheap. Often these are well-known and expensive brands: for example, denim products are often Versace Jeans, Calvin Klein, Armani Jeans.

Why do they prefer to dress with restraint?

There are several reasons for this restraint in clothing. Firstly, it has not been customary to stand out from the crowd in the west for several decades, since the time when various youth cultural revolutions died down. After all, once on the streets of European cities everywhere one could meet brightly painted punks with "Iroquois" on their heads, metal-hung fans of hard rock, or the same long-haired "children of flowers" with a dreamy-romantic smile.

Modern Westerners, even young people, often prefer their own comfort in choosing clothes, rather than the desire to stand out and impress everyone with their appearance . Moreover, flashy clothes here today are perceived as bad manners, kitsch, lack of taste. In an extreme case - as an anachronism that came from the already distant 70–80s. At the same time, it is not customary in the West to publicly discuss the appearance of others. This, as they say in America, is their privacy, or, to put it in Russian, is their personal affair. This principle of non-interference in the private life of a neighbor is a fundamental rule of the European hostel .

And indeed, it is impossible not to recognize the undoubted advantages of a simple attitude to everyday clothes. Many women will agree that it is much more pleasant and convenient to rush about their business in light shoes on a flat “wedge” than on a heel of 5-10 cm height. And men admit that it’s much more comfortable to sit in a summer heat driving a car in a spacious T-shirt and Bermuda shorts than in a jacket and tie. But, as the ancients said, suum cuique.

Greed or practicality?

Some of our compatriots, prejudiced against the inhabitants of the Western world, tend to see in such unpretentiousness regarding the choice of casual clothes the notorious stinginess of Europeans. Is this really greed, or is it more appropriate to talk about practicality? It seems that the choice of simple, inexpressive attire has little to do with greed .

Firstly, as already noted above, the most modest, at first glance, European clothing can actually cost more than one hundred euros . Secondly, the inhabitants of Western European countries are not at all deprived of the notion of good taste and the appropriateness of wearing a certain type of clothing in a particular situation. Few of the office workers would have the idea to come to work in a T-shirt and shorts, even if the company does not have an officially established dress code.

A European woman will always wear a dress suitable for this event at a social event or other official appearance. Even if in 99% of cases she goes to the city in worn jeans and an outstretched sweater. As for the desire to stand out in front of others, it is sometimes also not alien to the inhabitants of the West. But it is customary to stand out here at a higher level than casual clothes . For example, a country house, a solid car or a yacht, and children studying at a prestigious university are a sign of human solvency.

But what about the Russians?

Our compatriots and, to an even greater extent, compatriots are much more scrupulous in choosing clothes for shopping, visiting or just for a walk. The main principle here is not to face in the dirt in front of neighbors or acquaintances, to show everyone that we are not bastards . As one comedian said on this occasion: "Let the pasta be at home from food, but on the feet of Prada." The proverb born in the dashing 90s: “Pont is more expensive than money!” Defines this extroversion more precisely.

At the heart of the desire to certainly stand out in front of others, many stylists see a purely psychological complex generated by the general “equalization” of Soviet times . The total deficit of everything and everything, including beautiful high-quality clothing, forced Soviet citizens to get imported jeans, sweaters, blouses, tights by hook or by crook. Such things served as a real pride of their owners and the black envy of those who did not have them.

Then came the era of the free market, and a real sea of ​​inexpensive consumer goods from around the world poured into the country, primarily from China and Turkey. Here, our compatriots who "left" the standard school uniforms got the opportunity to recoup during the years of universal equality . And where else could the simple Russian show off his maid in China outfits at that time? Yes, only on the street, in a store or visiting friends.

According to fashion historians, the modern attitude of Russians towards everyday wear is an echo of that turbulent transitional era . And, perhaps, over time, this desire will certainly, out of place and out of place, show off your outfits, sink into oblivion, giving way to European practicality. But one should not take too severely the desire of the Russians to always look “at 100”. Many people, even abroad, believe that such an indifferent attitude to their appearance favorably distinguishes us from Europeans and Americans.