How to Dress to Impress when Abroad

Lexi Floom
May 4, 2020

It's time to throw those sweatshirts and leggings to the side and start thinking about bumping up your style when you prepare to study abroad. With so many designer brands coming out of Europe, studying abroad in a European country means being surrounded by people who get up every day with the mindset of dressing to impress. Unlike universities in America, it is uncommon to see students in other countries rolling into class in their sweats with their hair in a tassel. The task of dressing nicer for an entire semester may seem daunting, but don't worry because I am here to tell you all you need to know. 

For starters, your style abroad doesn't always have to be a whole to do. There are many ways to look presentable and fit in with the fashion trends happening around you without having to put in much effort. For starters, when packing for your semester make sure to pack a lot of things that can either be layered or paired with multiple different pieces. The best way to do this is by packing neutrals. My go-to basics are a black and white long sleeve shirt for layering, a pair of black jeans and a pair of mom jeans, and a simple black skirt. These items can be paired with so many different things and leave you feeling fashionable by simply throwing on a t-shirt or a patterned bottom to go along with it. 

If you are more on the fashionable side and looking to go full out fashionista when studying abroad, you can look online at the popular stores in your destination country to get an idea of what items are trendy to pack before you go. The store that I recommend is Zara. This is one of the most popular clothing stores in Europe for reasonably priced yet on-trend fashion. Zara has many locations in the United States as well but the stores abroad are to the next level. A few other ones to check out with locations in many countries are Pull&Bear, H&M, and Stradivarius. These stores are also amazing ones to shop at for cheap prices when you are already abroad and want to find some new pieces to add to your wardrobe. 

From my personal experience studying in London, here are my favorite trends that I adopted in my day to day wardrobe. 

1. The trench coat: In London, trench coats are a staple in most people's closets. They are perfect for the mild temperatures and look great with any outfit your wear underneath. I opted for a more flashy version which was black and white faux fur, but the traditional beige color is the most popular.

2. Tights: Referred to as pantyhose in London, tights are worn most of the time with skirts and dresses. There are many ways to make this trend your own by mixing neutral basics with colorful or patterned tights. If you are looking for inspiration there are plenty of stores in Europe dedicated solely to fun pantyhose for a great price. 

3. Combat boots: If you head down to Camden town, there are stores lining the streets selling combat boots of every size and shape imaginable. This trend is really popular with the grunge crowd in Europe but these shoes can also be paired with simple pieces like dresses, skirts, and skinny jeans to add a bit of flair to your outfit without being too outrageous.

At the end of the day, you don't need to be the next fashion icon or wear an outfit to class that could be seen on the front cover of Vogue. What matters is that you feel confident and comfortable studying in your country of choice, and fitting in with local fashion trends can make you feel more ingrained in the culture and help aid in the process of getting accumulated to your host city. The only rule you have to remember when it comes to fashion is be who you are and wear what you like. You can't go wrong when you are confident in yourself!

Lexi Floom

<p>Lexi Floom is a student at Indiana University majoring in Informatics with minors in Technology Consulting, Marketing, and Game Design. Last summer, Lexi interned abroad in Israel and strengthened her love for all things creative and adventurous. She can't wait to travel across London and Europe this semester and discover the hidden gems each country has to offer.</p>

2020 Spring
Home University:
Indiana University
Vernon Hills, IL
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