How to Look Like a Local in Athens

Local Flavor, Things to Do — By Paige Moore on October 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm

The temperature is in the 20’s Celsius (70 Fahrenheit) here in Athens, which means full-on Autumn. The mornings and evenings are crisp, rain comes on suddenly and without warning, and Greeks are dressed up in their Autumnal best. If you want to blend in, just follow these fashion guidelines which are based on sound, scientifically proven research techniques such as astute observation and loitering outside the entrance of Zara on Ermou.

WOMEN

Even if Greek women are traditionally conservative, fashion is being readily embraced by modern, Greek girls, with emphasis on another tradition: that of the Balkanian/Mediterranean status symbols. Things should look expensive, makeup should be liberally applied, and a little bit of flash does well on the fingers, wrists, ears, and eyepieces.

Follow the three “T’s” and you’re just about perfect.

Tall

as in, heels so high you should be experiencing vertigo. Tall boots are permissible as flat but must be worn outside of the pants which should be…(see next)

Tight (or Tights)

None of this “baggy pant” business around here, thank you. We want -almost- enough room for one of you. Short dresses and shifts demand a pair of smart woolen tights in black, gray, or purple.

Tote

Throw an over-sized bag on your shoulders, preferably expensive and leather, and you’re dressed.

Accessorize with a long scarf, a cell phone in hand, and wear your sunglasses on your head, even late.

Boots are best when tall, black, and with pointy-pointy heels.

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This woman has managed following the rules by keeping with the "outside the pants" rule and sticking to Converse, the only comfortable alternative.

MEN

While having a considerably, comparatively easier time dressing than women, Greek men also have their traditions to follow. As with the generation fifty years ago, grooming is essential. Hair product is not to be shied away from and a “fragrance wardrobe*” is advisable. The only real difference is that shaving everyday should be avoided, as the “two-day stubble” is considered top-form.

Think “preppy with an edge.” This means rugby shirts or bright sweaters over popped-collars, but paired with military jackets, tight pants and a good pair of old school Chuck Taylors. Alternatively a full suit is always in fashion.

Accessorize with koboloi (worry beads) in the pocket, a motorcycle helmet under the arm, a cell phone in hand, and wear sunglasses on your head, even late.

*A Fragrance Wardrobe, as I’m told by the people of Sephora on Ermou, is a collection of fragrances intended for different days and functions. (I didn’t know either.)

The faux-hawk: the preferred haircut of a young, Greek male.

A stylish Greek couple (note the koboloi in the man's hand)

To buy your “blending in” wardrobe, head to any of the name brand shops along Ermou off of Syntagma or Attica, the Department Store. Your wallet might not thank you for it but you’re sure to turn some well-coiffed heads.

Tags: Athens, Ermou, fashion, Greek style, Men's style, shopping, style, Syntagma, woman's style

    1 Comment

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