Montag, 21. April 2008

*Brown and Black*

Brown and black are friends in the German fashion world. Some Americans would argue that the right shades together are okay, but I'm all for keeping black shoes, black shirts or tights, and black belts together and away from their brown counterparts. However, this week, due to a sleepover and some pie-making fun, I ended up with a perfectly acceptable German outfit: black, brown, and red together.

Dienstag, 15. April 2008


Readers from my other blog may remember that I, the infamous hater of nylons, tights, and all things related (well, actually, I quite love socks, especially the new ones), burned all my nylons less than a year ago.

After ten people per Sunday here in Leipzig saying, "Oh! Aren't your legs freezing? I can see the goosebumps! You're going to catch cold!" I finally gave in just to stop the madness. I am wearing tights again, despite the fact that, as I have told them, only old ladies wear nylons in Utah and that tights just hide the goosebumps that are there anyways.

After having this conversation with someone about nylons on the first day I tried skin-colored (or supposedly skin-colored) nylons, I went to the bathroom and caused a run all the way from hip to ankle. I tore the darn things off and threw them away.

So, the short of the story is that nylons/tights/whatever you want to call the hated things are another one of those things that Germans think you had better wear or you will catch cold.

Freitag, 4. April 2008


This was originally posted at my other blog on 13 December 2007:

Today I want to talk about scarves. If anyone around here is obsessed with vampires, it's Germans, as displayed by their love, or should I say need for scarves (possibly for protection against those sort that wander out of their castles in Romania). I couldn't quite figure it out. At first I thought that it was one of those cool but silly things (like a guy carrying around a ninja turtles backpack from when he was 10) when I saw guys wearing striped scarves. Then I started to realize that all guys wear scarves. Not even all girls wear scarves where I'm from, so that was surprising. I figured it must be just be one of those unconscious fashion things. Whenever we were getting ready to go anywhere, people would ask me where my scarf was and help me get it on. Then I forgot to wear my scarf one day. And that's how I figured out the purpose (for Germans) of scarves. The conversations that day went like this:

Friend: Where's your scarf?
Me: Oh, my scarf? I guess I forgot it today.
Friend: Oh no! Your neck is going to get cold.

I thought to myself, "Really. Have you ever had a cold neck?!?" The classic ears, nose, fingers get cold, but your neck?

The next conversation was even more telling:

Friend #2: Where's your scarf?
Me: I forgot to wear it today.
Friend #2: That's not good. Your neck will get cold. Zip your coat all the way up.
Me: I'll be okay.
Friend #2: You'll get sick.

Then it hit me: my friend had written about how she was so nervous about getting sick before a concert that she wore a scarf all the time. They think that a neck exposed to cold will make you sick! Do people think that in the U.S. and I just haven't noticed it?

And yes, I wear my scarf every day now. Mostly because it's nice to snuggle my cold nose in.

Mittwoch, 2. April 2008

*Tooth Jewels*

There's been a curious fad appearing around here. It's one of those fads that makes you wonder what's wrong until you realize it's supposed to be there, like those creepy snake-eye contacts that people sported a few years ago in America. Maybe I'm getting too out of touch with fashion, but putting a jewel on your tooth? Wouldn't you worry about swallowing it or having it fall out and stick to your chin or sweater like Thoroughly Modern Millie's beauty spot? It seems funny to me to bring attention to the most potentially-disgusting part of your body that is visible, but I've seen it on more and more lateral incisors of German girls who have otherwise similar tastes. As my cultural analysis, I think these jewels are an unconscious way to show off natural beauty or wealth. Think about it--since only those with perfect teeth seem to wear them, they must either have really good genes or they can afford to whiten and straighten their teeth.

I wonder if tooth jewel wearers will be embarrassed when their kids look back at pictures of them and say, "Mom, you had something stuck on your tooth in this picture!"
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