Let’s start with a bit of honesty. Vienna is not my favorite.
The streets are beautiful but slow and quiet, where I am fast and loud. Too American, not out of pride but of speed, finding the fastest route through the crowd and passing pedestrians with each stride. I hover my two suitcases a few inches from the ground and take the stairs as people with pockets take the escalator- legs stick straight and arms gently crossed as they ride. Why would I take the escalator to stand there?
The Viennese are lovely, as I leave them on the street behind me, but I thought this was a city! I want constant chatter and 24/7 corner stores. A fight in the street just to prove the city is alive, breathing, and bleeding. But Vienna doesn’t breathe; it sighs, blowing low clouds over its streets and turning time at half speed.
The air is warm, a humid embrace. The sun pierces through constant clouds until the next fever break. The rain never lasts more than fifteen minutes, though it does chill my skin and mark the windows with its tiny universes.
My AirBnB did not have Wi-Fi. Thrice, I searched for Vienna coffee shops equipped with outlets and Wi-Fi, pulling out my laptop only to be told that laptops were not allowed. What?
They said talk, just sit here, sip your hot coffee slow. But I don’t speak that language, or German for that matter.
Yet, I was in a foreign country! How could I complain when I am not in America? My biggest problem is a lack of internet and nightlife; it could certainly be worse. I took this nine-day pill as an exercise of patience and leisure. A challenge, but a simple one.
Taking to my task, I walked for hours a day, gazed at monuments and cathedrals, read four books, and drank too many red wine spritzers- my new drink of choice for the bubbles and to make the wine last longer on my lips.
I could pass the time like this, but, I wanted more. I wanted something new to look forward to each day. Something to stamp each sun with distinction.
I knew what would make me feel better- fashion. If I was going to laze around for a week, then I was going to look good doing it! For having only two suitcases and an average-sized backpack to my name, I did have more than enough articles to keep things interesting.
And so, with no further adieu, I present you with my Vienna Fashion Week!
Starting the week strong with a Daphnie-esque look. I have been wanting to wear these purple pants for a while, but in Munich, I never found the right weather/activity combination. Thankfully, with Vienna’s cloudy days, I was presented with the perfect time for purple.
Chico’s green tank from Chicago’s Village Discount (oh, how I miss you <3).
Purple pants hand-made vintage from Shangri-La (lovely shop, but the owner can’t help herself from fat shaming everyone).
White Doc Martin Boots (not pictured).
Floral headscarf from my mother’s cousin.
Gold earrings from Thrilling Vintage (thanks, mom xoxo)
Standard jewelry: pearl necklace from Nordstrom, gold bracelet found in Arts and Letters (DePaul building), gold Fossil watch, daily rings (L-R): silver hand and onyx, gold purple stone, silver Chicago skyline, block purple, silver sun and moon, gold grandfather’s university band, and gold band (thanks Amani <3).
A casual Tuesday, I chose a classic flowy white shirt and basic jean shorts. I wandered the streets aimlessly and indulged in an accidental ice cream when I ordered the Eis Koffee. A simple fit for a simple mistake.
Button-up sleeveless Canda white top from a Viennese thrift shop, Hansel & Gretel.
Dark wash Capezio denim shorts from Village Discount.
White Asics tennis shoes (not pictured).
Silver waterfall earrings from Thrilling Vintage.
The Mozart Orchestra Concert! I had to dress to the nines. I had been waiting a while for an occasion to wear the corset (*cough* Berlin would’ve been perfect), but here was my second chance. Determined to make it work, I tried the top over a variety of shirts, dresses, and skirts until I finally decided to ditch the straps of my black dress and tuck them under the edge of the corset. Aside from some awkward adjusting, I like how it came together.
Embroidered Charolette Russe corset from Buffalo Exchange.
Black XOXO cocktail dress also from Buffalo.
White Doc Martin boots.
I followed my (crazy) night out at the orchestra with another simple denim ensemble. Not to be too boring, I added a pop of color with my pink bra under the lace top. A livening detail, yet the conservative Austrians likely thought me careless. Good, for what’s life without a bit of shock?
Black Zara lace tank from Hansel and Gretel.
Light wash Levi 550s from Village Discount.
Visage earrings from H&M (purchased in the old times of 2014).
White Asics tennis shoes.
Vroom vroom bitch we got a car shirt. This green baby tee is a bit of a comfort item for me. Packing for Europe meant saying goodbye, or at least see you later, to more than 80% of my wardrobe. A grand sacrifice, if you will, for my European freedom. I purged through my collection of car shirts and debated many of them out of my final draft. As sole agent of it’s population, this shirt represents them all and serves as a sentimental connection to my family. A gift from my mom to my sister and me, with an image of my dad’s favorite obsession. Cheesy, I know, but I promise I’m tough- just look at my car shirt.
Green baby tee from Target.
Light wash shorts by DENIM from Village Discount.
Yellow Doc Martin sandals.
Santorini canvas bag.
For the finale, I kept things Molly Ringwald with the appearance of my half-DIY pants. While in Munich, I stumbled upon these pants at a thrift store and cursed the Gods of long legs when they fell a few inches above my ankle in the dressing room. But they fit perfectly everywhere else, so I forked over the €5 and took home a project. I sewed on a bit of fabric I brought just in case, and I am glad I did. Pairing them with my favorite denim, this fit felt like a bubblegum pop.
Pink Zara tank top from Crossroads.
Denim MNGjeans vest from Willa (you killed it <3).
Pink Kapalua Jeans Pants from Second Round, another Munich thrift shop.
White Asics tennis shoes.