As you all know, I love Budapest almost as much as my own mother. Living here for more than three years, made me see a lot of things going on here. Some of them I like, some of them are shocking and some of them are totally not understandable to me. Since my very first days I was asking myself a fundamental question – why Budapest is not a fashion capital? How is that possible, if this city has such amazing fashion designers such as nanushka, Dora Abodi, NUBU or Used unused. Also there are a numerous foreigners, who live here for a short span or longer and always bring some fashion trends from their home countries. I would never say, that Budapest is just another capital in Eastern Europe, it’s extremely creative and a lively city, which can inspire all of us. But still there is a gap.
Walking numerous of kilometers from posh to poor districts everywhere I see almost the same look: a lot of horrible, Chinese bags and shoes full of shiny jets. Too tight jeans on fat bodies, sweatpants and ugly snickers on young and middle age woman. Finally some horrible outfits such as imitated leather leggings combined with short imitated leather jacket (leggings black , jacket ecru) plus long, wool socks and my favorite – visible pants (this is not a joke, one girl who is working in my company carries this kind of look almost every day!).
Guys don’t get me wrong, but the view just kill my eyes every morning, when I am in metro/office/shop. To understand this phenomenon a bit better I finally started to ask my friends about the reasons behind it, and of course I got a very predictable answer – lack of money.
Well, this is the first common excuse everyone is using to avoid the truth, which is:
1. I do not have a personal style
2. In smaller size (than my original) I feel better as it keeps me deluded, that I am slimmer
3. Shiny and short dresses/skirt make me feel sexy, gives me confidence and so on..
I could more understand this type of look in smaller cities/villages, where there are lack of choices in terms of stores with clothes/bags/shoes, lower paid jobs or no jobs, limited access to fashion venues or similar events. But for God sake, Budapest is a capital, where everything is in your hands!
There was a period when I was thinking, that I am too cruel and maybe judging too much, but at the same time a lot of my friends from Poland/UK/USA or France visited me and asked the same questions – why are those people wearing such weird clothes? Should I answer – lack of money? Which is obviously not true.
Why am I so convinced that lack of money is not a reason behind lack of well dressed people in Budapest? Well, the reason is very simple, no matter which stores you go for shopping, prices are more or less the same. Either in a Railway station underground or a big mall, either in Bershka or H&M, there is not much difference. Most of the Hungarians who live in Budapest buy clothes from the stores in big malls, where the choice of clothes/bags/shoes and other accessories is unlimited. And trust me – the regular prices are pretty high and you can usually buy something cheaper when the sale period comes (during this period, I am the most frequent guest). So, if we live in a big city (capital), doing our shopping in malls and buying branded clothes – where is the problem? The problem is lack of taste. Either we buy clothes which does not match our figure (too tight/too loose), or blindly follow the latest trends, which does not suit us at all. Also, we are putting on some clothes which do not match to each other at all.
I mentioned in the beginning that Budapest has a lot of great designers who have their stores in the city. I do admit, that clothes there are much more expensive (quality and innovative pattern costs obviously more) but, isn’t this a good solution just to visit those showrooms and see what is trendy in particular season and try to find the same sort of pieces in cheaper stores? Chanel and Dior every season dictate new trends, which doesn’t mean we are running to their showrooms to buy the latest pieces – we simply go to the malls to pick up the cheaper version of the same trend.
Finally there are some groups of girls who have heard the word ‘fashion’, read some magazines devoted to this theme, saw some celebrities. They are trying very hard to look cool but somehow there is still something missing in their look – lack of ingenuity. They just copy the exact look from fashion magazines for instance: long cardigan, leather jacket, wool scarf, big bag, emu boots and of course beanie.
or Leather short jacket, long fur vest, skinny jeans or leggings, boots and of course beanie.
I even stopped counting how many girls with such outfits passing me by every day while going to my work. I am not even saying that this look is bad, it’s just when you see it several times during a day it just becomes boring. Why not to make some minor changes to look trendy but without blindly copying everything from fashion magazines? Simply get rid of the beanie – instead use earmuffs, change your leather jacket and fur vest to fur jacket, instead of big bag choose some bigger clutch.
Or instead of a beanie, make usage of your woolen scarf and swathe on your head. Get rid of long cardigan and leather jacket – in winters, this does not make much sense, instead use some short coat. We should also think about emu boots – they don’t look sophisticated at all!
Of course not to be so pessimistic I have to admit, there are some hot spots in Budapest, where you can find trendy, well dressed people. One of my favorite ones, mentioned couple of times on my blog, is Telep, bar/gallery located at Madach Imre ter also Toldi (club/cinema on Bajcsy – Zilinsky ut). Some people claim that many posers or hipsters come there as regulars. Partially it’s true, you can find some young girls who desperately want to look like Rihanna but this is just the minority of such people. Usually you will find very well dressed people with a bit of Berlin vibe, (strongly recommended!). Surely there is more hip and happening places, where you can find well dressed people but the point is, to see them on the random streets. Budapest is an international capital(at least it sounds like one). Therefore, it is an obligation for it to be a fashion hub.
How about the level of fashion, in cities you live? Do you like it?