I'll give you my justifications:
- When I started inviting friends to come along and celebrate the Jubilee at a garden party and advised them that as my house would be dressed then so should they be the girls immediately started considering their wardrobes, whether they had a suitable frock or whether a shopping expedition was called for. The couple of Germans I've invited (after all this is an English celebration and therefore more suited to expat fun) I felt I had to be more explicit about the 'dress code', because if they turn up in jeans they (the girls) are going to feel really out of place, as I'm quite sure that there will be at least one hat making an appearance. You see we Brits (and I include the Commonwealth countries here) know how to dress up and how to dress for the occasion.
- The wearing of black (head to toe) in winter and then white the moment the sun appears in spring is not stylish when everyone one does it. It becomes a uniform. The world (and the shops) is full of pretty colours outside of black and white, and no, grey and beige and greige are never fashion/style statements.
- Ugly feet are a sin, probably not one listed in the bible but as I'm a fully paid up atheist I can make up my own list of sins. If you have to wear sensible (i.e. ugly but comfortable) open toed sandals to accompany your white or greige outfit then please have the decency to either paint your toe nails or get a pedicure. Naked toes are quite simply, naked.
- There is a style of linen clothing available here that I had never come across before moving to Germany tending towards 'sack'. There are tunics that come to mid thigh and skirts and trousers that come to mid calf and all seem to have a fake wrap around look to them (even the trousers) and all of course come in 'natural' hues, i.e. shades of brown, grey and black. All are meant to be worn together and teamed with godawful ugly shoes that have cork or wooden soles with their seams on the outside. There is a shop here in Kettwig that sells this stuff and only this stuff and has managed to stay in business for at least three years so far, so the locals clearly like it.
- A friend of mine (Welsh) got married to a German a few months ago, she was so concerned that all the non British guests would turn up looking as though they'd wandered in off the streets that she had the wedding in Britain and themed it, 1920's, so that everyone had to make an effort. Seriously, I've seen photos of weddings here and it's upsetting. The first thing a Brit does on receiving a wedding invite is plan the outfit, hat, shoes, bag, dress, accessories...the whole she-bang. Here, people look as though they came from work. Another expat friend plans that should her German boyfriend ever propose then the wedding will be in the UK and there will be a dress code.
- Socks with sandals. Almost as heinous a crime as naked nails in book. No, no, no.
- The wearing of a scarf, all day, every day, come rain or shine, winter or summer is not a fashion statement. It is repetitive and boring and also completely unnecessary, and if you have a sore throat it will not make it better.
- When we were at the theatre on Sunday we rather enjoyed passing comment on the (lack of) sartorial elegance parading past. Marianne voiced the thought, "Do you think there's any demand for personal stylists here?" Now the answer to that is clearly that the need (in our eyes) is there (shorts to see Cate Blanchett at the theatre? No!) But that the people needing pointing in the right direction and steering away from the greige don't realise what they're doing wrong and so would never think to go to a personal stylist and have their wardrobe...enlivened.
Phew. I'm glad I've got that off my chest.