Resort Fashion – Style in Sun-Drenched Climates by Caroline Rennolds Milbank chronicles the history of resort wear staples and the start of the jet set era. “Crossing continents, styles and generations, we travel through the tradition of vacation style, from early beach pyjamas by Chanel and Schiaparelli to sailor stripes, to Pucci and Pulitzer prints, and, of course, to the bikini.” From Saint-Tropez to Montego Bay, renowned photographers like Newton and Scavullo have captured the most glamorous and playful fashions under the sun.

An exciting new world opened up for me when I first started shopping American clothing stores online, about five years ago. The sheer amount of unknown (to me) designers and brands was astounding, I felt like Alice in Fashion Wonderland. Exploring these new sartorial shores has been tons of fun. Along the way I realized there are a few fundamental differences between the Northern European and American apparel market:

  1. Seasonal items – I live in a four-season climate with chilly, rainy Winters and relatively cool Summers. The selection in stores is always in sync with our changing weather conditions. So it was a big surprise to find shops selling sandals, breezy frocks and sleeveless tops year round. It makes perfect sense, of course, U.S. stores have to cater to shoppers in very different climate zones. 
  2. Sales – Europe has two main sales periods, and that’s it. Winter clothes go on sale in January, Summer clothes in July. In comparison, the U.S. is a veritable bargain hunter’s paradise. In addition to the end-of-season sales, there are amazing deals and discounts to be found every week. And the NAS, my word, brand new Autumn and Winter merchandise discounted in the middle of July! 
  3. Resort Wear – Entire collections full of chic day and evening wear to be sported on beach holidays and exotic getaways are a decidedly American phenomenon. Up until a few years ago I had never heard of resort fashion, but I do so enjoy browsing the latest resort trends while dreaming of far-flung destinations and holiday lounging in style.

It’s fascinating how retail strategies can vary from contintent to continent, or even country to country. I’m curious to hear if resort wear pops up in the shops where you live. And have you ever noticed any other remarkable differences while shopping abroad or online?

Now in YLF Book Club

We are chatting about Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, the chilling story of Offred, a handmaid in the Republic of Gilead – a totalitarian state where women have no rights, their every move is being watched and a strict dress code is enforced. Join us in today’s kick-off thread to discuss this multifaceted novel.

YLF Book Club will be taking a short break over the Summer. We’ll be back in September with a bag full of new books and movies to discuss. In the meantime, do give us a shout if you’d like to recommend a title you love. Happy reading everyone!

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