Originally Posted by Walter
I have been living in Paris (on and off) for about 3 years now and I cant say I am particularly impressed with the way Parisians dress.
Same thing in London or New York, from what I have seen.
The only place in the world where I am constantly amazed at the great lengths anybody would go to be elegant is virtually any city in Italy.
Amen to that, Brother. This is exactly what I said in my prior post in this thread.
The Italians are just simply, far and away, the most stylish/well dressed people I've ever experienced, followed -- on a per capita basis -- by the Argentines. While there is a clear qualitative difference between what one might see on the streets of Rome, Milan or Florence v.s. Buenos Aires, there is no mistaking the genuine effort in each culture to be "respectably presentable." This simply does not exist in Paris, let alone anywhere in the U.S.
The preferred manner of dress of the Italians and Argentines appears to be less about vanity and more about civic notions of showing respect to one's neighbors. While healthy numbers of well dressed people can seen all over NY, Paris and London, on a per capita basis, they're just not there in the numbers found in Italy or Argentina, especially Italy. The Italians just reek of passion and elegance in all that they do, whether car design, leather goods, violins, the arts -- sculpture, painting, opera, etc. They are an elegant lot.
An example: I was once in a candy store/chocolate shop in Florence and even the friggin' male cashier was outfitted in a natty suit and tie. Granted, it was his family's shop, and had been around for a few decades, but when compared to a typical cashier in a U.S. candy store (who, at best, may be wearing a corporate imposed uniform to pre-empt the individual preference for t-shirt, jeans and flip flops) it was quite impressive.