Colorado and Chile: Style at a Glance

Whenever I travel I tend to compare my surroundings and people to where I currently live. Because I wanted to write this blog piece, I focused more on fashion and attitude. I just spent two weeks in Santiago, Chile where I've lived in the past.  As I looked around DIA yesterday after landing back in Denver, it made me wonder what the average Denver or Colorado woman sees as an ideal way to look or dress. Because just based on Chilean women's comments and questions, it seems a bit more clear to me. When I lived there it seemed fairly easy too, everyone seemed to follow a specific style and the fashion trends every year and what was "in" was obvious. I sometimes got grief for not always making an effort, as I was an artist and loved army boots and overalls.

Women there point out that I'm thin and look fit and ask for diet tips and how often I work out. They like the jacket or necklace I'm wearing and ask me where I bought it (and there are a ton of American stores in Santiago). They comment on my daughter's blue eyes, which are more unusual in a country where most people have dark colored eyes. People always point out that I'm tall too. I noticed a difference in shoe stores in Santiago vs. Colorado ones. At the mall, for every five racks of high heels and huge platforms there is one rack displaying comfy low heels. In general most shoe stores I shop at here are almost the opposite. Seasons are backwards, so it was the end of summer when I was there. I saw tons of platform sandals on sale and the beginning of winter styles. Lots of platform boots! Though at present, I can barely tell the difference between a Chilean and American teenager and the way they dress, so these perceptions are based on adult women. But I see lots of women around Santiago wearing heels while running errands, at the mall and even while pushing their baby strollers! The lady in the photo with stroller told me the knee high boots she was wearing that day were low compared to what she usually wears. Do many of my friends in Denver make comments about my my look, makeup, height, hair... Or ask questions about how I stay fit or bought an accessory or pair of boots? Occasionally, but I would say not. Though Colorado has such a mix of cultures and lifestyles that it makes it nearly impossible generalize and even write this article. But, just based on conversations with whom I consider my more typical Colorado friends (many born and raised). I think more than specific style and look, Colorado women aspire to appear a certain way. Energetic, confident, happy, attractive, successful, fit... the details of what this encompasses as far as look and style is more complex to me. Just whatever it takes to give off that impression and what it means to that specific woman; be all these qualities real or as perceived by others. Because that is one thing I've realized is different since living here and being told at first how genuine I was. Maybe because like many of my friends in Chile I shared all of my problems, ailments, questions, doubts, and possibly whined too much. I've learned to live more by the motto: "Fake it 'til you make it!" Which actually works great as I've become a lot more positive, proactive and fit (and as long as it doesn't land you in therapy for holding everything in :)). But I like what I see in my closet since moving to Colorado, very eclectic and ready for anything, a long hike or a fun party!

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