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PostHeaderIcon Another World of Fashion

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Travel takes us out of our ordinary lives and reminds us there is a big world out there. Going to another country often throws us into a new dimension, where everything from the food to the driving rules (or lack there of) to the fashion is different.

Last month I went home, to Lithuania, and then to Italy, and since people-watching is one of my favorite things to do, I’ve been itching to share my observations.

My first stop was Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, which still feels like home. After spending 11 years in multicultural California, people in Lithuania look almost alike, sort of like cousins.

Recession or not, people there are still spending money on clothes and buying pretty fashionable outfits. If you sit down for a coffee in the old town, you're definitely going to see some playful color combinations, daring designs and always creative and unique accessories.

Every time I go to Vilnius, I can't resist getting new pair of eyeglasses because I always find something unique at my all- time favorite shop- Universiteto Optika. The quaint, cute boutiques that carry items by local designers aim for universal appeal yet manage to keep their personal touch, are always pleasure to visit. I never skip Ramune's Piekautaite's salon where simplicity, confidence and elegance of design match perfectly. Check out - www.ramunepiekautaite.com

Women are watching their waistlines and most of them are slim and fit. Yet, what was interesting to me is that pizza restaurants are now on every corner and I wonder if pizza is becoming the national dish of Lithuania? Watch those carbs, ladies!

You won't see lots of flip-flops in Vilnius but Crocks, the clog style sandals made of rubber and perfect as garden shoes, rule the town. Sometimes they're even worn with socks. I guess people don’t always look in the mirror before they leave the house.

We also went to Rome, where there were tons of tourists, heat, and chaos on the streets, colossal ruins and cathedrals, women on scooters in business attire, and men in dashing suits. I could talk and talk about the men in suits in Rome. It doesn't matter if they're walking on the street or riding a scooter in the heat, sitting in a cafe or on the train, young or older, they all look perfectly polished, sharp, and comfortable.

There's something more than the impeccably tailored suit and fine quality fabric. It’s the ease and sophistication of wearing the suit that seems perfectly natural to these guys.

We also went to Sorento, a cute and green beach town where people come to vacation, relax, eat good food and to have fun. Dining starts at 7 p.m. and restaurants get inundated with people up until 11:30 p.m. Many people are still on the streets at midnight.

The look: white fedora hats, halter summer dresses, lightweight jumpsuits, shorts, white pants, sandals and heels. The hottest hat this summer, the fedora, looks great on women and men, goes well with summer dresses as well as with pants. The most noticeable trend among men is the short sleeve polo shirt with the collar up. It doesn't matter if this a fashion-conscious guy walking down the street to meet his date, or a ferry boat crew member assisting the passengers on a boat- the style seems to fit all.

Naples, the third largest city in Italy, is almost non-European because it looks pretty gloomy, with lots of trash and few tourists. If you decide to take a walk on a Sunday, you might feel as though people have abandoned this strange big city with incredibly impressive (but forgotten) historical buildings. I can totally see Tim Burton of Alice Wonderland fame filming his movies there.

The city livens up after 5 p.m when you'll see locals filling up the streets, pizzerias, and stores. There is a modest shopping area with some bigger names, but fashion doesn't seem to play an important part there.  The city has a lot of strange charm though, and I can still see narrow streets with tall, old buildings and rows of fresh laundry hanging out to dry.

I can still picture a father with his two young daughters playing accordion on a street corner. I can still smell a freshly baked pizza Napoletana coming right out of the real brick oven with this incredible spongy crust, big slices of freshly picked tomatoes and rounds of mozzarella.

My trip brought back for me a quote from a great fashion designer:"Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." ---Coco Chanel

As a freelance wardrobe consultant, Diana Placiakiene, AICI, MBA, works with men and women who are looking to advance their professional and personal image.  Most of her clients are professionals who want to take their business to the next level.  In her practice, Diana combines her business skiills, understanding of human psychology, natural visual talents and passion for fashion to help people have more ease, fun and success.

To contact Diana, e-mail
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  You can also find her through www.linkedin.com/in/dianaplaciakiene, www.facebook.com/pages/ispeakstyle/17026118958 or twitter.com/dianaPlaciak.

Last Updated (Wednesday, 28 November 2012 07:37)



0 #7 2010-07-29 23:05
I loved your article, Diana! I'm a big people watcher, also. We just got home from Chicago. It was wonderful seeing all of the well dressed people there. People in Denver are extremely casual.
0 #6 2010-07-28 00:12
I feel I have just been to Europe, sat in a cafe and people watched. You have put a smile on my face this afternoon - thank you! You are a very talented writer.
0 #5 2010-07-27 15:59
Great Reading!!! Very vivid and entertaining description. I felt I was there amongst those beautifully dressed men. Didn't realize you were a fashion consultant. No wonder you are impeccable every time I see you. Loved your shoes, etc Sunday.
0 #4 2010-07-27 03:40
what a great post! i felt like i was walking the streets as i read...
and i'm sure you know which would be my favorite part...men in suits in rome...
something about it...they wear it well...and with such ease...
0 #3 2010-07-27 03:11
Diana, I love your writing style. Your so descriptive and I can totally imagine what you did during your travels in my head. It seems like you had a lot of fun. I enjoyed reading about your little adventure :)

0 #2 2010-07-26 03:53
Bellisimo... Your images of Italian streets are very vivid ( you captivate your reader with aromas and colors) I like the combination of fashion observations and lifestyle comments in this new article of yours.
0 #1 2010-07-25 16:47
Enjoyed reading it! I was following you in my imagination to all the places and it feels I visited them with you. Even Universiteto Optika. And I don't even wear glasses I feel it is worth stopping there just to appreciate designs. And the scooters with formal attire in Italy.. You made me ache to schedule the trip to Italy again.. I hope soon.. Not to Naples though. Was not impressed with it either.. Some say pizza came from Naples. Ironically, that was the worst pizza I've even had. It was undercooked too..
Thank you for that, Diana, enjoyed it very much!

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