How to tell the difference between American Classic and Euro chic…

American Classic – Day 28

I’ve been asked a few times what is the difference between the American Classic look and Euro chic, so I thought I would explain, to the best of my ability (attention: rudimentary knowledge alert!) the subtle variations of these two styles….

First, I’ll start with two style icons

Jackie_Kennedy

Jackie Kennedy is American Classic….

Deneuve_Catherine

Catherine Deneuve is Euro chic

Next, I’ll put them in a story.  Imagine that Jackie Kennedy and Catherine Deuveve are on a road trip together to see the “Mall of America”.  On their way, they plan to do some camping, hit a water park or two and eat at as many “Cracker Barrels” as humanly possible.  They both brought one suitcase each with the plan of sharing clothes.  There are a few items that Jackie, the American Classic and Catherine, the Euro-chicer, can definitely swap – a chic trench coat, the perfect little black dress and some understated, fabulous gold jewelry – to name a few.  But there are some clothes that just don’t hop the fashion pond.  In particular, they are —

Footwear – Euro chic is all about fancy shoes… really fancy shoes… like shoes normal women would wear to meet the President, Euro chicers wear to get the mail…  American Classics have good shoes too, but there is a more sensible aspect to their footwear.  For example, when Jackie and Catherine made a pit stop to see the “World’s Largest Ball of Twine” in Kansas, Jackie opted for some cute Tretorns…

tretorn

While Catherine wore less twine-friendly footwear…

manolo_diamond

Color – American Classics don’t shy away from bright colors whether it’s a chic red, white and blue dress on Fourth of July or a snowman Christmas sweater for the holidays.   The color pallet for a Euro chicer is decidedly much darker.  They tend to stick to black, grey, silver and burgundy.  This really worked out for Catherine when she entered a “Johnny Cash look-a-like” contest in Branson and won a fifty-pound side of beef.  Jackie was so jealous she was as green as her Chanel suit and the car ride out of Branson was uncomfortably quiet…

Fabric – American Classics have slightly more wash and wear clothes than Euro Chicers.  Lux is the name of the game for the Euro chicer – silk, cashmere, crocodile heels – all fabulous, but nothing Catherine would ever let Jackie borrow – especially considering Jackie won’t stop gnawing on the fifty-pound side of beef in the back seat of the car.

And that’s it, really.  Those are the big differences in style.  There’s subtlety, of course.  American Classics tend to be a little more preppy and Euro chicers more sexy, but both styles are clothes that were created for the wealthy elite.

As for my Jackie and Catherine fantasy road trip story, it has an unfortunate ending.  Right before Jackie and Catherine reached the “Mall of America”, they stopped at a bar to have a few drinks.  Catherine got way too drunk, flirted with the wrong guy and Jackie was forced to shoot him in the parking lot…

American_Classic_Thelma_Louise

And now they find themselves running from the law (but having the time of their lives) and trying to get to Mexico as fast as they can…

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