How to Dress Like an Argentine, Or At Least Fit In Posted on 13 May 04:31 , 0 comments

Advice by Sharon Salt.

Before we begin, I apologize. As you may have gathered, I am not, in fact, Argentine, and so I must admit that the best I can give you here is an approximation of what Argentines are wearing. Likewise, fashion is a vast and terrifying monster, and no amount of generalizations will ever capture all the trends in all the groups. For example, even I can tell the inside of Studio Crobar from Kika in a hot second based on outfits alone. But I digress.

You have probably already read other articles telling you to ditch the flip flops and chacos and running shoes, and all of that is true. But those articles rarely mention what to wear instead. This is a shame, because knowing what to wear is the easiest way to blend in and MAYBE NOT GET ROBBED SO MUCH. Until you open your mouth, that is. (Also, just kidding, there are other benefits to blending in.) 

So in the name of helping you cover your body and get out the door, for those of you who want to fit in as desperately as a middle schooler going through puberty, I have compiled for you my observations. Hopefully the distillation of all of this will guide you in packing/going shopping/getting dressed, maybe, before you are here long enough to make observations of your own.

(Also, sorry but I’m only paying attention to women here, so all the guys can scram and hope for a better day. Also, sorry but I’m going to name trends and years, blahblahblah, and yes, I want to slap myself, too.) 

HAIR

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A friend of mine maintains that “[Argentine fashion] gets worse as you go down,” so let’s start here. (Please note: this sentiment does not reflect the opinion of the author.)

Hair should be long, straight, and dark. If there is any color, it’s probably an ombre, which is a dyeing technique in which only the ends are lightened, as though your hair changed color gradually and naturally in the sweet rays of the summer sun. Or, you know, like very grown-out roots. In Buenos Aires, ombre is called desgaste, which literally means “worn,” as in worn in. Best thing about an ombre: no roots. Second best thing about an ombre: you can always cut it off.

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I know I know, ombre picked up stateside in 2013, but I have seen plenty of ombre in Buenos Aires since my first visit circa 2011, and a lot of women are still doing it now. (Sidenote: trend of the trends — Buenos Aires is typically edgier and on top of many trends before they ever hit the States. Case in point: ugly sandals coming to you summer of 2014, you’re welcome.)

Also, I have seen more big plastic claw clips here than anywhere since my babysitter’s bathroom in the 90’s. I use one too now, probably because they’re PRACTICAL and don’t break your tresses (yes I said tresses) like a typical hair tie.

MAKE-UP/JEWELRY

 

Oh God I don’t really know but a good dark eye, probably.

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As for jewelry, lots of oversized crosses on religious and non-religious girls alike. Similarly, those necklaces with a lot of spikes, or short golden chains with oversized links. No one is playing it delicate here, so keep your single-diamond pendant at home. Better yet, general tip: keep all your expensive jewelry at home. 

CLOTHES

Okay, this one is harder because there are a lot of combinations, but I’m going to paint in broad strokes.

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Play with volume. Safest bet: a loose, flowy, oversized top — like a clean but expensive-seeming t-shirt (?? you know what I mean) — with black leggings. Or black tights, a short and fitted black skirt, and a semi-see-through black shirt, studs and/or other embellishments optional. Second to a semi-see-through or mesh black shirt is a shirt with cut-outs.

SHOES

Wedges and platforms are queen, whether it’s a sandal, a boot, or a heel. If you’re going out, you can get away with pumps or stilettos, but often even the high-heels here will have blocky heels, thick soles, or some kind strange club-footed shape.

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In general, the clunkier, the better. Don’t shy away from suede or patent leather or crazy embellishments, either. Ever seen a platformed, pink suede Birkenstock? You will here.

If you happen to have any Doc Martens at home, in the back of your closet, bring those. Wear them and get compliments or sell them like hotcakes, the choice is yours.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Umbrellas > rain coats.

Now get dressed, go out, have fun! You are going to look very, very typical. Congratulations.