New Zealand Style

New Zealand Style

I have been fortunate enough to spend the last month grabbing the last of the summer rays in Europe. On my travels I visited London, Paris, southern France, Monaco, and Italy from the lake district to Rome via Venice and Tuscany. I kept my 'eye on the style' the whole time.

Europe is of course a season ahead of us so what we are seeing now in New Zealand such as patterned trousers and sheer blouses, was not very prevalent on the streets of London, Paris and Rome. I was saddened to see that in the shops of Europe for Autumn/Winter 12/13 there was a heck of a lot of black. Sigh. Just what we don't need, especially here in Wellington! Colour jeans and trousers were still a very strong trend, as was lots of sparkly gold.

My observations did highlight that as a nation, we can be very casual dressers. I had to smile when I saw the ladies of France tottering down cobbled streets in their high heels on the way to the local market to buy their daily fruit and veg. Bless them they looked so well put together in classic, well cut styles. I was particularly impressed with the 50+ age group of ladies. There is no such thing as 'letting yourself go' in France or Italy for that matter. It made for very enjoyable people watching.

The men and women of Europe do seem to have more of a consistency in dressing. It is not often you see anyone looking really scruffy in Europe. Styles vary, but there is an overall culture of dressing in current trends and looking well put together. I was really impressed with how trendy many men were. Scarves were really big and this went across all ages. I saw pre-teen boys plus all the ages up to about 50 wearing scarves. I don't see this becoming a big look for NZ men, certainly not these types of fashion scarves instead of practical woolly ones.

We are a practical, sporty wee nation and this is definitely reflected in how many of us dress. It was a lovely to come home and be greeted with shorts and jandals at Auckland airport. I think we can take inspiration from how Europeans dress but there is also much pleasure, - like a pair of comfy track pants you don't leave the house in (take note!) - in a more relaxed, less manicured but individual way of getting dressed each morning.


Trudi Bennett is director of Wardrobe Flair and can be contact on

+ Text Size -



WOW is a visual and creative extravaganza of epic proportions

Wearing White, Why Wouldn't You? Plenty of reasons

Join us on Facebook Join us on Twitter