Monday, November 26, 2007

Bolly Badly Dressed No Mates

On Saturday I had tickets to see Beauty and the Beast with a friend. Now, mostly I said yes to going because I like this friend and wanted to spend some time with her, the show itself didn't really interest me that much. Also I'll jump at an invitation for anything because having worked from home all week, come the weekend I want to get out.

My company had to bail at the last minute which left me with a mission: either get rid of both tickets, get rid of the extra, or find someone else to go with me. Z2 was my only option, but he made it clear he'd rather stick hot pins in his eyes than sit through the show with me. After being showered with refusals from everyone I knew, I tried my luck at the Badminton Theatre and waited.

And waited. And waited. While I was waiting, I noticed how nicely dressed some of the children were. Then I looked around. There was not one badly dressed child there. They all looked like pictures out of a catalogue. Raising my eyes above floor level I was horribly reminded that I live in Greece, where the women dress to kill come what may. And there I was with helmet hair, dressed like trash. I made an observation - not one single other female there was wearing sports shoes, and hundreds must have passed me as I loitered trying to get rid of my tickets. Hundreds of women, wearing good shoes. I bet they didn't even own a pair of runners.

I don't know why I keep forgeting to make an effort when I step out and then end up feeling hideously out of place. This for me was a disaster. My own lack of style is one issue, but obviously people dress their kids here at the very cutting edge of fashion. My future children are doomed, I tell you.

"You know those kids, the slightly dark ones?"


"Those kids, you know them, they have a foreign mother."

"Several kids at this school have a foreign mother."

"Yes but it's those kids, the really badly dressed ones."

"Ooooh now I know who you're talking about."

As it hit showtime I gave up and took my seat plus spread all my stuff over the spare. Actually I can think of worse ways to spend a Saturday afternoon than reliving childhood memories of that moment of excitement in the Home Country when our mother would come back from the video store and wave a very badly pirated copy of the latest Disney cartoon infront of us. At least I knew all the songs.

But I can't escape the fact that the money I spent on those tickets should probably have been spent shopping for Greek lady wardrobe staples such as:

1) Several very tight turtle neck tops (current ownership: 1)

2) A gillet (current ownership: 0)

3) Several pairs of boots (current ownership: 1)

4) A few jersey dresses, knee length (current ownership: 0)

5) Bug-eye glasses (current ownership: 0)

It would be okay if I had a unique sense of style which looked good, because I don't really want to turn into a drone who looks like everyone else. But my own sense of 'style' can't even be called that. I just want to not be given that "bloody hell!" once-over the other women give me, I'm scared of them, remember. Tips, anyone?


Hope said...

One of the reasons I love reading you is because you have such good observation skills. Your five wardrobe staples of a Greek woman are SPOT ON. It made me giggle.

And this is right up my alley. I love telling people what to wear. :)

Now you obviously do not want to look like everyone else, you want to retain your own natural sense of style (you have one, even if you think you don't) but add other elements that make you look 'stylish' and more importantly not make you feel 'out of place' as you say.

For winter, I would invest in a pair of black boots that you can wear with your jeans. But the most important is your winter jacket.

Find something a little bit dramatic. Maybe something red with black buttons. Or something with an interesting print. I've seen some good ones at Zara.

As long as you have a coat that is eye-catching and fits well, then you will look put together. Under the coat, there is nothing more stylish than a great pair of jeans with a well-fitting sweater, or cardigan or a fitted man's shirt.

End the whole look with a statement accessory. Dangly earrings or a pretty necklace, or a hat,or a scarf, or a ring.

Et voila! Bolly Lovely Dressed Lots of Mates. ;)

bollybutton said...

Oh thaaankkk yooou!! Tell me something, seeing as we're all friends here, you can reveal your secrets: Greek women seem to exclusively wear heeled shoes. Now, are the shoes just better made here and don't hurt or do they just tolerate the pain? I can't wear heels for extended periods of time, only for office visits in London or special occasions. What's the secret?

I should mention that of the four sisters, I am the worst dressed. My other sisters spend their money on clothes, I spend it on books and plane tickets. So it serves me right!!!

bollybutton said...

And also, where do Greek women buy those bras that send their assets rocketing towards their chins? It's impressive and I'd like to try it.

Hope said...

I'm a ballerina flat shoe kind of girl. But I bring out the heels for evenings out or when I just feel like feeling hot!

Heels have this power. You put them on and you automatically think you're twice as good looking as before.

My secret is to find a heel that I feel comfortable walking in. It doesn't have to be four inches. Even a 2cm heel can make all the difference. Plus, its comfortable. You may also want to consider wedge heeled shoes (i.e platforms), they're much easier to walk in.

Greek shoes are well made but not THAT well made. Wearing heels is like drinking alcohol. The more you wear them the more tolerance you build. I think that is the only reason Greek women appear to be comfortable when wearing heels.

I spend most of my money on books too! And have noticed that the most stylish people I know don't have a lot of clothes. They just know how to shop.

Good luck!

Rositta said...

Being from Canada the first thing I noticed in Greece (and Germany too) were the shoes. Very nice but when you are sightseeing at my age with one artificial hip and another one on the way out, high heels don't seem to work very well, at least not for me. I spent 30 years wearing stilettos and now I'm paying for it...sigh.
As for dress style, well we spend most of the winter just trying to stay warm and helmet hair, well that just goes with the territory...ciao

Blackbird said...

Haha, I loved this post so much. And the picture you chose.

Being younger I think I can get away with occasionally dressing like a bum off the streets but I dread to think what will happen once I turn 21, eek.

Hope gave such great advice and I would echo the part about getting a unique winter jacket - I think you should choose something that stands out because to tell you the truth, Greece has great potential yet most of the women dress... generically. Extremely well dressed but boring. Obviously not everyone tries to dress up, but for those that do you only need to take a look at street fashion blogs such as to see that in other cities it takes more than just some 'nice' clothes to be thought of as well-dressed.
Bla bla bla, anyway what I'm saying is a coat that's not the usual black or brown would look fantastic, haha.

If you're always grabbing the sport shoes when you go out because of comfort, maybe try investing in a pair of flat boots without heels - there are some great slouchy ones in all sorts of soft materials in the stores, and as I own about 3 pairs I can tell you they are really easy on the feet. A pair of boots with heels, as Hope said, will do nothing short of wonders to make you feel fashionable but they can really take their toll on your feet. If sport shoes are your favourite, Puma makes great-looking ones and I see a lot of women wearing those out when they dress 'casually'.

Anyway, thanks for providing the laughs today - but don't take that the wrong way; I completely empathize with your situation!

Sophia said...

Haha, I *so* know what you mean!! I'm greek myself, living in the Netherlands for the past 16 months and I can't tell you how happy I am that I don't have to "dress to kill" anymore! Not that I ever did that when I still lived in Greece; on the contrary, I was always and still remain, at the mature age of 26 *cough cough*, fashion-unconcious, to the great disappointment of my younger sister.

Hope has some very interesting stylistic suggestions, which I'm thinking of using too. The smart things is to try and find a few basic pieces that match together and alternate between them. As for heels, I've alternated between wearing 4-7 cm heels, to sports shoes and then back to heels; it is indeed true that in time you tend to build a sort of 'tolerance'.

I have to say that I really like your blog and the way you describe life here among the greeks; many of your observation are spot-on (that's probably the reason why you've been attacked in the past; greeks have a very nasty habit of refusing to accept anything even remotely negative about them...)I say, do not despair; don't let those fashionistas get the better of you!

bollybutton said...

Girls I can't thank you enough! All the advice is great. Yesterday I had a bash at being fashionable and instead got laughs from my man. How rude! I was trying!

I might go shopping this very eve seeing as its late openings today.

deviousdiva said...

Sweetie, at my age I really don't give a damn. Cultivate a style and if people don't like it... don't be bothered with their hang-ups.

My advice sucks I know but it costs less.

AL said...

I don't have the right winter shoes either. And i do still wear white sneakers here. My jeans that at one point were fitted are now loose.

I do however have to put face powder, eyeliner and some lipstick before i go see the public here now.

Ahhh... i dont really care anymore... i give up already.

AL said...

Another thought crossed my mind today as i was rushing to classes.

If you really love your white sneakers so much,... how about changing the laces to gold/ silver ones!? Greeks love metallic stuff as far as i know. Bling it out babeh!