Are These Countries The Most Stylish Places On Earth?
In a world where retail powerhouses like Topshop and H&M are ubiquitous in many areas of the Western world, a bad dress sense is almost inexcusable, regardless of the reputation of your nation's style.
With that in mind, and to honor the many countries who know the difference between a Marc Jacob's suit and a pack of Jacob's Cream Crackers, we at The Travel Lane thought we'd chronicle some of the most stylish nations on Earth and why they continue setting trends year-on-year.
The Land of the Free has a rich history of fashion. As well as being the birthplace of iconic brands like Levis and Calvin Klein; it's also home to Hollywood: a place where its stars regularly set fashion trends.
Admittedly, powerhouse brands like Levis don't usually rely on star endorsers to sell their products. However, you'll be hard-pressed to read a fashion magazine and not find pictures of Ryan Gosling going to Starbucks in a sherpa-lined Levi jacket or Lan Del Rey looking every inch the rock star in the classic American attire of converse and jeans.
Cowboy shirts, preppy polo shirts and leather jackets, the latter of which has seen a renaissance in recent years, are also items of apparel synonymous with the States.
Everything about Brazil screams sexy, and that's reflected in its approach to fashion. Teamed with bright colors and light materials, clothing in Brazil is designed with a tropical climate in mind.
The feeling of being in Brazil is also infectious, and many of its inhabitants are loud and passionate and live life to the fullest, meaning clothes of a more understated nature are rarely sported. Instead, you'll find many clothes in one-piece designs and carnival-inspired garments, while others living on the coast take a more relaxed approach and are just as happy in their swimwear as they are in their dancing shoes.
Much like Brazil, Australia isn't a country susceptible to the cold, meaning in its fashion primarily focuses on summer designs. There are nuanced differences, however, with the Australians typically opting for paler colors opposed to the fluorescent colors displayed by the Brazilians.
As most Australians live by the coast, the young often sport a more rugged look first popularised by Californian surfers in the mid 20th century while at night, the fashion is much the same as many other parts of the Western world.
World class tailoring and vintage brands are synonymous with Britain, and in recent years, the British clothing company Burberry has become one of the most successful high-end brands in the world.
But tailored suits, trench coats, and slim pencil skirts aren't only found in England. Designers like Vivienne Westwood championed a more unconventional approach to fashion in her early years as a fashion designer, and it wasn't long before modern punk and new wave fashions entered the mainstream, with late artists like David Bowie one of the first high-profile figures to dress in such a way.
Unlike Tokyo's rip-roaring buzz and many neon lights that hang ominously above the sprawling walkways, its fashion seems to be of a more understated nature with subtle shades of greys, whites, and blacks favored among Japan's more fashion-conscious citizens.
Japanese people are usually on the small side, so their garments are almost always slim-fitted and smaller by default, with long-sleeve tunics, withered shirts and for women, the customary tartan skirt, proving most popular.
The French are among some of the most sophisticated and fashion-conscious people on Earth, and their fashion is pretty much an embodiment of themselves with bold and colorful attire blending with less showy whites and blacks.
An honorable mention must also go to their tweed skirts and leather jackets. They may not have originated from The Hexagon, but few could rival a masculine, chain-smoking French dude clad in a leather jacket. Or Marion Coulthard in a tweed skirt. She's just the best.
Home to fashion brands like Dolce & Gabanna and Armani, Italy is a country synonymous with fashion- particularly in the North. For men, the focus lies more in tailored and slim-fitted attire, though it is not uncommon to see well-groomed men looking good in nothing but a pair of well-fitted jeans and v-neck shirt.
For women, the options a more wide-ranging, with laced garments, high-heels and ready-to-go- clothes such as silk chiffon blouses and cardigan sweaters proving most popular in a country (in the North, at least) that don't dress too dissimilarly to many other parts of Western Europe.