After a fantastic honeymoon in Portugal – the honeymoon blues are actually a VERY REAL THING, I am struggling to cope with this first world problem – I was very much reminded of the difference between the style I see on the streets of Dublin and what I see when I visit other European cities. In this case, Lisbon.
While I always feel the Irish are underestimated and overlooked in the style stakes, there is a real difference between what we do and what people in cities like Lisbon and Barcelona DON’T do.
Beauty Trends in Dublin
The first, and most obvious thing, is beauty. Our European sisters – and brothers – wear very little if any make-up. I did not see one contoured face on my 10 day trip. Very few red lips – what is wrong with them? – and while eyebrows were beautifully groomed and maintained, they were very much a toned down version of our (DD!) HD brows. Now, the argument here – which I pointed out to my new husband – is that they get plenty of Vitamin D which helps their fabulous, sallow completion stay lightly tanned and fresh faced most of the year. They have seasons, where they can get a nice little base tan – not too much now as we all know what the sun does to your skin –that allows them to avoid slapping on beige foundation with a trowel. I am sure it also too hot during their summers to wear a lot of make-up. But it would also seem to me, in the ads, TV and media I saw around the city, their models and females represented in their ads do not wear a lot of make-up, where I feel in Ireland – and the UK and US, from where we consume a lot of our media – the women on TV, in magazines and online wear a lot of make-up, and a ‘done face’ is the done thing – Kim K and her contouring has a lot to answer for.
Casual Style in Lisbon
The second most obvious thing is how dressed up people get. From what I saw, the Lisbon uniform is a dirty pair of Stan Smith trainers, a good quality cotton t-shirt – mainly white or grey – and great, loose jeans or a simple midi skirt. I got dressed up most evenings, and did get a few looks in my towering heels. In fairness, the coble footpaths of Lisbon and Cascais are not really conducive to heel wearing, I could have done with some Stan’s!
While I love to put my glad rags on and love a great pair of heels, I did spend a lot of time staring in admiration and jealousy at the effortlessly cool and ‘I threw this on’ style of the young men and women. (Like in Spain and Italy, the older generation do tend to make much more of an effort and love the more formal style, and a red lip.)
While shopping over there – they have AMAZING boutiques, with great unique brands and not overly expensive – I found myself draw to white trainers, any trainers really, and plain cotton tees. Minimal effort, maximum cool. As the bars and nightlife in Lisbon are quite casual, and people tend to go out most nights, not just getting dolled up for the weekly Saturday night out, their style translates easily from day to night. It’s one look for one day.
Style in Dublin
We all know that we love make up and love to get dressed up here in Ireland, but is that now the Irish/Dublin city look? Is that what visitors to our city see and report on when they come to stay here? I do think Dublin fashionistas – hate that term – tend to veer toward the flamboyant and outrageous more than the paired back. While we do have many – and I mean many – COS loving, minimalists on our city streets, I think what makes us interesting is that we do push the boat out. More is more, and sometimes, done right, it works. I will be adopting the Lisbon cool a few days a week – it takes very little effort for work – but my mantra is pile on the pom poms and pineapples, life is too short. Dublin, you do you.