A year ago at this time, I was studying abroad and living a dream-worthy life in Belgium. Naturally, I’m drawn to the memories of my time in Europe and find myself scrolling endlessly through photos, envious of my own past. One of the most incredible aspects of living abroad for a brief five months was the opportunity to explore fashion. The impermanence of my living situation made me fearless to try new prints, shapes, and fabrics that I would have never dared to step out in back home. Before, my style had hit a safe plateau, and studying abroad—surrounded by unapologetic fashion sense and vibrant culture—sparked an interest in me to explore my own creativity and bring some of that back home with me.
This article is an ode to the experience that revived my love of fashion and further molded my personal style. Featured here is an ensemble from last spring that was one of my go-to looks for warm days spent strolling around botanical gardens, shopping, or jumping on a train to explore a new city.
Another love of mine that grew in Europe was thrift shopping. I frequented the same vintage secondhand store and never left empty handed. Everything worn here is from that shop, aside from the shoes and tank top. The eye-catching piece in this outfit is definitely the high-waisted printed shorts. I love how the cinched waist and loose fit create a feminine silhouette and give the illusion of a skirt. On warmer days, these shorts remain very comfortable and breathable. Adding a simple rib-knit tank top contributes texture to the look and gives some body-hugging structure to contrast the flowy, lightweight coat.
One of my favorite details from this particular look is how the bag pulls from a single piece of color in the shorts. I chose to accent the print’s blue details with a blue statement satchel—a nice change from the usual brown or black that I usually opt for. Doing this creates interest and brings in more color that still cohesively blends with the ensemble but in a less obvious way. To polish everything off, a pair of neutral, heeled sandals adds a touch of formality while still allowing my patterned shorts to steal the show.
The links in this article draw from the overall feel of my outfit but with a different color palette and some modernized details. One of the the best aspects of fashion is that you can pick and choose what you’re drawn to and adapt someone else’s style to fit your own.
Reflecting on my European-inspired style has motivated me to approach this spring with fresh eyes and also incorporate some memorable favorites. How are you planning to change up your look this season?