Columnist Eleonore af Schaumburg-Lippe writes in her weekly column about life as an expat in Romania. This week she tells about how one can integrate in the Romanian society by becoming a Romanian fashionista.
Recently Women’s Day was celebrated here in Romania too, so I’ll have a glance at the looks popular with Romanian women and give female expats some tips on how to become a Romanian fashionista, because there is lot to be learned.
Going out in Romania as an expat to different events – it can be anything from receptions, openings, theaters or embassy events – as a woman, and as when going out in any country, you will think about what to wear. That’s just how it is. Even as a man you will also think, but the options for what to wear are wider for a woman.
Being an Expat in Romania, you will quickly realize that the Romanian women dress up. When going to an event in Denmark, we usually don’t dress up that much, the rule is: Dress appropriately for the event. And the colors of the “Danish national costume for going out” will usually be blacks, blues, greys, beiges or whites, with maybe an extra color, for example some red.
In Romania it is just the opposite, here the rule seems to be: you can never be overdressed. So the Danish dress code cannot be applied in Romania. In Romania women look like women, even if they just go out to go shopping, you can see them looking impeccable, but when they go to an event, they dress up even more. This of course does not apply to all Romanian women, but most of the women in Bucharest look good, even at times amazing, I must admit, and some are what I would call true fashionistas (addicted to fashion trends).
Usually you will see them in beautifully colored dresses, high stilettos, wearing lots of make-up and hair perfectly arranged, they follow the trends of fashion, so whatever fashion dictates, they wear it. Romanian women mostly have gorgeous long hair, and what always fascinates me, is that they don’t take a big piece of hair and put it in a ponytail, no, they gently arrange it lock by lock, it’s quite fascinating to observe.
I have actually learned a lot from the Romanian women, I for sure haven’t turned into a Romanian fashionista, simply because the thought of spending hours at the hairdresser doesn’t suit my temper, and I keep my Danish values of being dressed appropriately, but not going over the top.
In Denmark wearing brands and “showing off” brands is not really something we do, and if you do, people will actually look down on you a bit. Wearing brands, yes, we do it, but showing off that you are wearing brands, that is a no go. Flashing brands and wearing a lot of bling is not something you will see much in Denmark, but in Romania, the more, the better.
So just putting your hair in a pony-tale and putting some mascara on your eyelashes won’t take you far, if you want to integrate in Romanian fashionista society.
Pony-tale is a no go – here the hair has to be organized by a hairdresser, sometimes even just to see a movie. And mascara is just one piece of equipment in the Romanian woman’s make-up box.
This article is written in appreciation, in Romania the women look very feminine, something that fore sure the expats appreciate also here in Romania, and even if most Danish women look beautiful in their own natural under-dressed way, a middle line between the Danish and the Romanian look could work.
So here are a few tips for expat women who want to integrate.
Hair, make-up and nails have to be down by a hairdresser and make-up expert. So book an appointment before you go to an event. Stilettos are a must, which can be a problem, not because of the pain after hours of wearing high heels, the problem is more that you can get too tall, as many Romanians are not that tall, but a little heel can also do the trick.
Dress up when you go out, bling, feathers, dig into your clothes and find the things that you would never wear in your own country, go for long evening dresses even for a reception, and no worries about standing out. If you are hesitating before going out, unsure whether to wear a simple or a more flashy dresses, go for the flashy one, to avoid feeling like: simple was too simple for that event.
Mix colors and combinations. Here mostly one color is not worn, instead patterns and fabrics and mixed, and a lot of colors are mixed.
Accessories are a big thing here, you will very rarely see a Romanian woman without a handbag the size of a tree, so here we don’t talk about a little purse, no, here we talk about a big branded handbag, so if need be, go out and shop.
Enjoy your fashionista integration, the sky is the limit!
By Eleonore af Schaumburg-Lippe, columnist
Eleonore is Danish, she holds a BA in Organization and Management and specializes in Corporate Communication & Strategic Development. She is also a Market Economist and a Multimedia Designer. She is currently working in Bucharest as the Executive Director of UAPR the Romanian Advertising Association. As a Danish Viking in Romania, with a great passion for ’covrigi’, she has a burning desire to find out more about Romania especially Bucharest, and enlighten the small differences in the culture between Denmark and Romania.. Her weekly columns will give you insights into an expats life in Bucharest written with humor and a big Danish smile.
(photo source: Photoxpress.com)