The wine, the witch and the wardrobe

It was a wonderful weekend in Riga. The sun shone, temperatures crept up to the high teens, Latvians celebrated the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia – and I celebrated a three-day weekend and not having to wear tights any more. It was the kind of weekend that almost made you forget winter had ever happened.

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The wine flowed; music filled the parks, cafes and bars; old men gathered to play chess in the bright sunshine; couples took boat trips along the canal and a flower arrangement in the shape of Latvia was displayed at the base of the Freedom Monument.

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A bar girl screamed at a customer over a dispute about the bill, cold food that should have been hot was served with a shrug, and I discovered that the only thing more entertaining than a bunch of miserable-looking Latvians is a bunch of miserable-looking Latvians in traditional dress.

Speaking of clothing, the change in season also means a change in wardrobe. If you’re a woman, the ‘in’ thing seems to be trying to resemble a two-tone highlighter marker or post-it pad as much as possible. So a fluorescent green suit could be paired with fluorescent pink patent shoes, for example. If you’re not feeling that brave, simply find as many clashing colours and prints as you can, top off the look with jewellery Pat Butcher would consider a bit much and you’re good to go.

Pat Butcher - fashion icon?

Pat Butcher – fashion icon?

For the gentlemen among you, you’ve got quite a range of attire to choose from. Anything from a young Axl Rose to Snoop Dogg to Don Johnson (circa his Miami Vice heyday) will do. Or simply sport skinny jeans and a t-shirt with a snappy slogan like the optimistic young chap I spotted today. ‘Look but don’t touch’ his t-shirt warned. I don’t think he was in much danger of anyone touching him but it’s good to make these things clear. Just in case.

You also always know where you stand with the old ladies of Latvia. They keep it real in caps, scarves, anoraks, dark trousers and sensible shoes all year round.

Winter-Spring Collection 2013

Winter-Spring Collection 2013

Is it wrong that I prefer this look?

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About BerLinda

Adjusting to life in Germany, after living in Latvia for four years. Should be easy, right?
This entry was posted in Fashion, Humor, Rudeness, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to The wine, the witch and the wardrobe

  1. Oh how lovely it must be to be in Riga when it’s not freezing! I do love the fashion commentary – particularly the old ladies. Too funny! ~Terri

  2. Maxima says:

    Beautiful blog, post,and author, Thank you for share your words, emotions, imagination and ideas, Have nice day

  3. Why didn’t you suggest Eurotrash on my “What to wear in Europe” post?

    • Expat Eye says:

      I think it was ‘What to wear in Italy’! Not sure this would be suitable! But if you’re popping over Eastern Europe way, then definitely!

  4. rjschutte says:

    You never get bored watching people during spring and summer. Enjoying a cold beer sitting on comfortable chairs outside of a coffee shop or a bar in Riga. Sometimes they even look more sensational then a Picasso.

  5. By ‘traditional dress’ I take it you mean nine-inch heels and belts worn as skirts…?

    • Expat Eye says:

      Normally yes, but in this case it was a celebration so I meant actual traditional costumes! Long skirts and flower garlands etc…

  6. Sounds like a wonderful time of year – the weather and the people watching are embracing Spring!

  7. The Latvian old lady look is so much easier – no need to worry about which fluorescent colour to wear, or which shoes will clash with it the best! 😉

  8. Pecora Nera says:

    Me thinks you are going to get some Latvian hate mail.. lol

  9. pollyheath says:

    It was about 70 here yesterday (uuuuh, I mean 21 degrees) and I saw an old lady swagged out in a full-length, leopard-print fur coat. It was awesome. I respect old ladies’ commitment to never being cold here.

    • Expat Eye says:

      Me too! And the random collection of plastic bags they carry around with them. Would love to know what’s so essential that they need 3 or 4 plastic bags to carry it around at all times!

  10. 1WriteWay says:

    I prefer the sensible old lady look too. It sounds like Latvians are color-starved over the winter 🙂

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