Being a blogger based in Berlin people often ask me about what’s ‘typical’ for the city in terms of fashion. The Berlin hype has caught on internationally for quite some time now, but at the same time there doesn’t seem to be a clear idea of what’s typical for the city. And that, I might add, is not a bad thing at all. Part of the magic of Berlin is that everything goes. If you really want to stand out you have to be way out there, and even then, when people are blatantly extravagant in their style, they will often react with a nonchalant ‘whatcha looking at’ if you’re staring too hard. The best approach is to accept it: anything goes. This gives every Berliner the opportunity to really do their own thing, and to develop their style freely. Having said that, there are of course some general trends in Berlin as well, styles that crop up at every corner. My personal style has changed quite a bit since I moved here, it is strongly influenced by the vibe of the city.
How has it changed you ask?
I still wear a lot of black Not exclusively, by any stretch, but a lot. Black is a fixture in my stylistic sensibility, a cornerstone. #allblackeverything is a central component of the Berlin style, not just in Berghain, everywhere. Black looks great and symbolizes the fluency between day and night that characterizes life in Berlin. No matter where you are at any given point in time, black will work.
Unisex for the world I remember a time when my personal style was much ‘sexier’; short skirts, tight leggings, deep cleavages – all at once. Today my fashion is much less overtly feminine, especially since I discovered a love for oversized clothes. I tend to go less for tight clothes that accentuate the figure, and prefer to play with different cuts. I use my physical charms much more sparingly. I still wear skirts, but more often than not I go for wide dresses, comfy trousers and oversized sweaters. The boundaries between masculine and feminine are very fluent, and the result is an exciting contrast which I have only really discovered for myself since moving to Berlin.
I wear flat shoes much more often. I always loved boots with flat heels, but my preference has shifted to a degree that these days I only wear high heeled shoes on very special occasions. I own a couple of pairs of shoes that have high heels that are still pretty comfy, and I do wear them from time to time when I’m in other cities, but when I’m in Berlin I almost always opt for flat shoes. In part that’s due to the act that Berlin is an expansive city with wide and spacious streets, which means there are usually quite long distances to walk. Comfy shoes just work better.
Less is more. This may actually be the best was to sum up what fashion in Berlin is all about. Berliners often go for basic outfits and there seems to be a general preference for simple, individual pieces over fancy stuff. Especially in the Mitte district you see plenty of great investment pieces on the street, worn by people that make the garments look like they just grabbed them casually from their closets. Often to amazing effect: the vintage shirt perfectly matches the jeans with a perfect cut, a cool coat, sneakers and an it-bag. That’s Berlin for you. This casual approach paired with a love for detail creates a somewhat timeless effect, and it always works. So, yeah, my personal style has changed: I own a good few very simple but also very beautiful pieces, all of which work perfectly in combination. My closet is a case in point of mix and match. Having said that, every single piece is carefully selected and stands its ground on its own. And that is typical for fashion in Berlin as well.[parallax-scroll id=”40101″]
About my outfit: For today’s outfit I picked an oversized dress, which does not accentuate my figure at all, but at the same time it’s a real eye-catcher, being transparent as it is. I combine it with a long knitted dress (it’s cold here right now), an oversized coat with my favorite pattern (I love herringbone), really cool, rough boots and a statement bag. I’m especially in love with the boots, they’re all I’ve been wearing the past couple of days. They’re so Berlin, just right for this city. You’ll see me wearing them in a couple more outfits in the near future. My characteristic Berlin outfit is matched by the location for this shoot: a perfect contrast between old and new, a tension that is very pronounced here. This little park with its circular path is surrounded by slab high rises that make it seem almost out of place. Well, this mix, this particular contrast between tradition and a sense of futurism is another part of the essence that defines Berlin.
photos: Fee-Gloria Grönemeyer