Author Topic: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?  (Read 11952 times)

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afbluebelle

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Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« on: April 20, 2012, 09:40:03 AM »
Can someone explain the whole "jeans and sneakers will make people think you aren't European thing" in Europe. As I've never stepped foot on real European soil (but lots of airports), I would like to hear more on this subject. I'm pretty easy to spot as an American in airports... something about the U.S. Air Force label on my chest.  :P
My inner (r-word) is having a field day with this one.
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Irishkitty

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 09:52:09 AM »
I haven't head of that. I was wearing jeans and runners (trainers/sneakers) yesterday and I'm 100% European. In fact the majority of people wear them as an everyday and or weekend casual look.

When I see people wearing jeans, white socks and black shoes I think "American!". (Though this may be just on TV and I'm coloured by 1990's shows such as 90210) Or I see two people walking down the street in matching rain jackets & baseball caps (generally with a map and or camera) I think "tourists, probably American"...


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Thipu1

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 10:26:54 AM »
I haven't head of that. I was wearing jeans and runners (trainers/sneakers) yesterday and I'm 100% European. In fact the majority of people wear them as an everyday and or weekend casual look.

When I see people wearing jeans, white socks and black shoes I think "American!". (Though this may be just on TV and I'm coloured by 1990's shows such as 90210) Or I see two people walking down the street in matching rain jackets & baseball caps (generally with a map and or camera) I think "tourists, probably American"...

When we're in Europe we've found that jeans and sneakers are popular with tourists from all countries.  After all, if you live in Scotland and you're visiting London on holiday you almost certainly won't be wearing a business suit and heels for sightseeing.  You'll dress up a bit better to go to dinner  but respectable comfort is the first consideration. 

I do agree that a baseball cap from the Bay Ridge Memorial Day parade teamed with a map and a camera could be a give-away.


agentsmith

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 10:40:09 AM »
I spend about a month every other year in various European countries.  IME, many, many people just out and about will be in jeans.  Sneakers too, but solid dark colors, low cut,  and much sleeker than the stereotypical white walking sneaker of American tourists.  One thing I've noticed is that young Euro women are likely to wear casual knee-length skirts/dresses with their sneakers. 

Sophia

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2012, 11:06:27 AM »
The jeans/sneakers are different.  Maybe it is the way they are worn.  But in Europe I can tell at a glance whether or not a person wearing jeans/sneakers is American. 

Carotte

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2012, 11:40:00 AM »
But, but, jeans and sneakers are the basic wardrobe of 80% of guys and 60% of girls between 10 and 25 (or even 35) y./olds in France!
Unless by sneakers you mean the white ones used for running/jogging because we don't wear those (unless we go running that is), I call sneakers everything that isn't too formal. After 25, when most people start working, even if their workplace allows jeans (with a clean cut and dark colors) most will start wearing formal leather "grown up" shoes.
So yes, if on a week day you walk around Paris you can spot the tourists because they're not wearing suits, and because most teens/students would still be in school ect, but on the week ends there's not much difference ( except the whole camera/map/backpack/cap..)

veryfluffy

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2012, 11:54:07 AM »
But, but, jeans and sneakers are the basic wardrobe of 80% of guys and 60% of girls between 10 and 25 (or even 35) y./olds in France!

I think that generally, in Europe (including the UK), jeans and trainers are generally not worn for everyday wear by those over 25, unless they are doing something extremely casual like walking the dog or fairly low-level job. So in towns and cities, you wouldn't really see people in their 30s or older wearing jeans to go shopping or out on the streets. If they are wearing jeans, it would be more likely to be fashionable ones, and not worn with trainers.
   

WillyNilly

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2012, 01:59:55 PM »
But, but, jeans and sneakers are the basic wardrobe of 80% of guys and 60% of girls between 10 and 25 (or even 35) y./olds in France!

I think that generally, in Europe (including the UK), jeans and trainers are generally not worn for everyday wear by those over 25, unless they are doing something extremely casual like walking the dog or fairly low-level job. So in towns and cities, you wouldn't really see people in their 30s or older wearing jeans to go shopping or out on the streets. If they are wearing jeans, it would be more likely to be fashionable ones, and not worn with trainers.

I live and work in NYC.  I just got back from lunch outside in midtown.  Honestly I would say less then half the people on the streets here were wearing jeans & sneakers, and the ones who were?  Mostly European tourists  :D

Now in a mall or on a weekend things might be different, or out in a rural area, but in NYC jeans & sneakers aren't unusual at all, but certainly they don't overwhelm the popular wardrobe.

Ereine

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 02:13:25 PM »
And Europe is a large place and very diverse, what applies to Paris doesn't necessarily apply to other places. Finland isn't particularly known for being chic and jeans tend to be appropriate at most office jobs, apart from a few fields. I don't like the look of running show type sneakers so I wouldn't wear them unless I was exercising but many people do. I don't know if Converse shoes count as sneakers but everyone seems to be wearing them at the moment.

Kikki

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2012, 02:46:21 PM »
But, but, jeans and sneakers are the basic wardrobe of 80% of guys and 60% of girls between 10 and 25 (or even 35) y./olds in France!

I think that generally, in Europe (including the UK), jeans and trainers are generally not worn for everyday wear by those over 25, unless they are doing something extremely casual like walking the dog or fairly low-level job. So in towns and cities, you wouldn't really see people in their 30s or older wearing jeans to go shopping or out on the streets. If they are wearing jeans, it would be more likely to be fashionable ones, and not worn with trainers.

I'm in Sweden, am 43 y/o, in a very well salaried white collar job. I wear jeans and red converse to work at least once a week.
My office is rather casual (no indecent holes and a nice smell is about it when it comes to dress code) but if you're out on the streets you will see lots of people wearing jeans, not just kids.



Clair Seulement

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2012, 02:59:13 PM »
Slightly OT but I was in Amsterdam for the first time recently; I'd previously been to Barcelona once and that's it. On the train into the city from the airport I was excitedly taking everything in and noticed a man with a long but neatly trimmed beard, a tweed cap, scarf, neat trousers...I had just said to my husband "I love it, he looks so classically European" when the man's cell phone rang and he bellowed "HEY--WHAT'S UP" in perfect East-Coast American English. So much for my confident duds assessment...

saki

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2012, 03:48:50 AM »
Obviously, it is a generalisation but, I see a lot of tourists as I live and work in central London and - although there are exceptions both ways - Americans are more likely to wear really casual and loose fitting clothing than Europeans are. I see Americans tourists in baggy jeans/ sweatpants/white trainers/T shirts all the time. The European tourists are in comfortable clothing but clothing that still looks nice - tailored jeans, skirts/dresses, often collared casual shirts for the men, comfortable flat shoes/sandals but in leather and colours that match the whole outfit.

Barney girl

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2012, 04:01:15 AM »
It's not just recognising Americans though. There seems to be something subtly different about the way different countries dress. I live in a cathedral city and if I go into town on a Saturday I'll sometimes see groups of young people hanging around near the river. Sometimes from a distance I can tell they're not one of the local groups, but French. It something to do with hair styles and clothes. On the other hand we have quite a lot of eastern European people living here now and generally I don't notice them until I hear them speaking. Presumably that's because they're buying their clothes and having their hair cut locally.
Other examples - I've just been reading two articles in my paper, one about Iceland and one about Norway and had been mentally noting that there was something about the women politicians shown that meant you'd never think they were British. To me they would be interchangeable. To Norwegians and Icelanders, probably not.
Some years back I walke the Mont Blanc circuit. As you go round you pass over into France, Switzerland and Italy and you greet fellow walkers in the relevant language, but sometimes people would say hello in English before we'd said anything. Our guide said it was our clothes that marked us out.

Teenyweeny

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2012, 06:08:47 AM »
Hmmmm. I can always tell american tourists. I think, as another poster said, the casual clothes are just more casual.

That's not to say that people in the UK don't wear jeans and trainers! But, the jeans will be 'smarter' (fitted, probably a darker colour), and the trainers will be more of a 'casual shoe' . Most women I know wear proper shoes (mostly ballet flats or similar) or boots with their jeans.

A looser cut of jeans is generally for things that you need to be a bit scruffy for.  Jeans and trainers (as in running shoes) are basically for teenagers or *very* casual situations. Actually, most teenagers/young people I know wear more of a converse-type shoe.

So yes, If I see anybody over 25 in joggers, jeans-with-trainers or similarly casual attire, and they aren't at the gym or doing their gardening, then I'm pretty confident that I could peg them as american (or as scallies/neds, but that's a completely different kettle of fish  ;D).






Steve

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Re: Jeans/sneakers in Europe?
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2012, 06:48:43 AM »
I think that the T-shirt usually tips me off on Americans, not so much the shoes and pants. American T-shirts are very different from the dutch norm. Our T-shirts are usually chosen for more eastetic reasons: we like the way it looks, but do not care what it says. In the US that is usually the other way around.
Ofcourse, there one must assume that everyone can and will read and understand what it says.