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The Colombian Non-safari Look

CATALINA.jpg The city I am from is getting more touristic every day. So, on my way to university it is not unusual to find people wearing these safari looks in the middle of what seems to  be a normally dressed crowd. Beige outfits, shorts, sandals. They just pop out: Hi, dear misinformed foreigners! :)

It is hilarious to see how some people assume that Colombia’s weather is just hot. I wonder how they feel once they realize those other pedestrians around are wearing much warmer clothes. Bogota’s average temperature is 50-60 F and Medellin’s is 65-75; I know it is not extremely cold, but it is not safari-like either. Others would wear American or our national brands for casual clothing. Executives could be found everywhere also taking public transportation and, of course, they would be wearing suits.

Regarding the weather, even though some designers insist on launching their collections based on seasons, they are nonexistent in Colombia, at least to the naked eye (that is everyone except scientists and fashion designers). We do not have dark winters (no daylight saving time applies), nor springs (flowers and trees blossom pretty much anytime of the year), nor real summers (you barely notice it gets windier in August), nor falls (leaves fall whenever they want, too). What we do have are random foggy or cloudy times in the day, as well as rainy days or weeks. And the weather there is also getting crazier every year, or let’s say, less predictable than usual… This is the naked eye talking again :P

Moving back to what people wear, particularly young people (like university students), who can think and care about what they wear, I would say they do not follow seasonal color patterns, but some trends. According to what I have seen, less than half of the students like to keep their wardrobe with basic or classic pieces; the rest like to be trendier, whether it is a whole look or just the hot type of shirt or accessory of the moment. Here are some of the latest collections of the most famous and affordable national brands (they’re so popular that it’s hard not to see the same items you happily bought on someone else)*:

Regarding production, the fashion and textile industry is one of the biggest in the country. Here you can find some interesting facts about it, like some well-known American brands manufactured in Colombia. They are not cheap for us, though. It just means they are produced there, shipped to America, and imported again so we pay a lot more. :(

And here are some final tips:

  • Color is always welcome, and it is elegant in Colombia just as black is in other parts of the world. Wearing a lot of black normally implies some not very appealing or fancy things about your personality like self-consciousness, apathy…
  • Out of the ten main cities in the country, six of them are not hot. Pack your spring clothes, too.
  • Carry an umbrella every day because when it rains, it normally pours!
  • Oh, yeah, and this is a video I love. It was made in Medellin as an ad for the Flower Fair. Just take a look. You will find a bunch of regular people dancing in what is the city’s most centric point. Notice the color, the outfits, and how different we are.

* Taken from www.tennis.com.co and www.gef.com.co

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