Clarabella Speaks.

"It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves" - Shakespeare

Saturday, 10 November 2012

An Ode to the Great British Highstreet

Hola a todos!

It has somehow got to that time of year again when Christmas lights are going up and the supermarkets are selling Christmas food (namely turrón and panettone aquí en España), so naturally it is also time for me to trawl the internet and torture my poor mama dearest with links of clothes she can feel free to buy me.

Sounds pretty standard right? Well think again, because this year's present hunt has brought about a realisation (greater than "i have zero clothes") that has inspired this blog. Said realisation: I miss fashion. And after four months of clarabella not speaking, I miss blogging too.

You may wonder how this could be: I am in Spain, not some third world country without access to clothes shops; I still play dress up every morning until I find an outfit I like (although if you could see me right now you may wonder); Spain produces the same fashion magazines as the UK, albeit with a slight language difference; and I still have internet access. With regards to the last two points, I will admit that maybe I have gotten a little lazy (the inevitable -Durham- Erasmus mentality) and that reading ELLE in Spanish takes more effort than I at times wish to exert and that my 'to-read' list of fashion blogs is increasing without ever being read. However in my defence, even if I wasn't so vaga and was reading a magazine and blog a day, I would still not be sartorially satisfied. Why? Because I am missing the diversity and excitement of the Great British High Street, and that is something I never thought I'd say.

Topshop come back to me!

Before anyone gets up in arms and accuses me of slagging Spanish fashion, this is not what I'm doing. In fact in recent days, as my tally of amigas has quadrupled (I'm not bragging about my popularity - I started with 3), I have found myself admiring their outfits, as happens with la gente in the street too. Rather, I am lamenting the mostly conformist attitude of Spanish fashion - I have noticed that the outfits (that is those worthy of street style status) tend to be elegant with more class than brass, for example cream jumpers with indigo skinny jeans and knee high boots. 'Hang on a minute' you may think, 'isn't this the girl who is always babbling on about how the only way is chic?' And yes, I put my hands up and admit it, maybe I have been too closed minded in the past (this is painful): as much as I am an ambassador of all things chic, the world would be a very boring place if we didn't mix things up a bit. Ouch.

There's no denying that she has style but it's not very exciting!

So basically what I'm saying is that the Spanish High Street is lacking in exciting variety. Yes they've got Zara, Mango, Pull & Bear all at rather fabulous prices, and whilst you can source a good purchase alli, to be honest they are very much of a muchness. And as for H&M, the clothes may look relatively good on the hanger, but on a hanger is where they should stay if you value the quality, cut and fit of your clothes. Obviously the Spanish high street isn't confined to 4 shops but I've learnt that if you haven't heard of the store and the prices seem cheap, the clothes look it and it's better avoided.


The Great British High Street, and the brands that it connotes, such as Topshop, Warehouse, Next, River Island, is considered to be one of the best in the world but it's only now that I'm appreciating why. I used to dislike that London Street Style was celebrated for being eclectic and now I wish I saw more of it's influence when I walked down the street - bring me some of that creativity and variety! Don't get me wrong obviously the afore mentioned stores are not the be all and end all (heaven forbid), but they would certainly not go amiss here to add some fun to a stylish but rather standard selection of clothes - there's only so much a girl can do with a 20kg baggage allowance.

Okay so the makeup is a little bizarre but this is so refreshing. Her outfit makes me want to go shopping (preferably in the UK)!


I got asked this week if I missed Primark and my initial reaction was one of horror, as I quickly sought to clearly state that the answer was no. But you know what, whilst I avoid shopping there, there is something to be said for the range of styles that it offers. Again, something I never thought I'd say, but it appears this whole Year Abroad business is opening my mind to a whole range of things, not just botellons and boys with piercings. Tehe.

Un besito.

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