It may seem cliché, but as countless students return from their travel filled fall semesters abroad, the typical “abroad changed me” jokes are bound to surface. Sure, after spending one semester in Spain, I now refer to soccer as Futbol and exclusively drink international beer, but most importantly, I have gained the understanding of a wide range of perspectives, people, and cultures. How can you not change in such a new environment?

The time I spent studying in Spain gave me a world centric view: I lived a different lifestyle, spoke a language in context that I had been studying forever, reassured my self-confidence, and became more organized. So yes, abroad changed me (all jokes aside). Surprisingly, it most significantly impacted my style!

Spain is a hub for fashion experimentation fueled by Euro influences; top Spanish brands like Zara start and capitalize on trends. While there, I was inspired by the effortlessly chic outfits everyone adorned every day. Athleisure was non-existent — everyone is constantly dressing to impress — even at an 8 am! Comfortable (to a degree) but trendy and playful in silhouette and pattern. Overall, Spanish style is so colorful and vibrant. Here’s some trends I loved seeing out on the streets in Madrid so much that I had to bring them home in my suitcase!

Combat boots

Spaniards are BIG on shoes. At each corner you can find a shoe store with every style imaginable. Lately, chunky sneakers and bulky boots have dominated. Both practical and funky, white combat boots are by far one of my favorite purchases and are the perfect addition to any outfit. They’re comfortable and durable enough to be worn in and on various occasions, but stylish enough to go with anything. Pairing them with a graphic tee and flare jeans adds a pop of brightness and color while drawing attention to and elongating the leg. A printed dress and leather jacket with these boots draws great contrast between pattern and color. These boots make me feel instantly stylish and confident. A statement piece for sure, but well worth the investment! Above you can see how I styled my white combat boots in Paris! Check out these dope combat boots from Asos.

Blazers

The idea of a blazer is perfect. You can dress up any outfit with a chic, sophisticated vibe. The coat cinches you at the waist, exaggerating your silhouette. Fun patterns like plaid and houndstooth add texture and color, and opting for a size-too-big gives a versatile and popular oversized look. Light enough to wear an additional coat, the blazer acts as the perfect transitional piece. Pairing it with booties, tights and a neutral dress will add character to your outfit. Throwing it on top of dark jeans and a blouse will make it casual, yet polished and professional. Above you can see how I styled a blazer while in London! Check out one of my favorite blazers here!

Harper and Harley

Flare jeans

Instead of opting for your traditional (classic) skinny jean look, try a flare jean! Whether it’s a straight legged or wide legged, flare jeans are the focal point of any outfit in Spain. Try these jeans in all different styles: patterned, tattered, ripped, painted, patched, or colored. Jeans are essentially a canvas and can add personality to any outfit! In Spain, jeans have become a predominant focal piece in all outfits. This looser fitting style provides comfort, while also looking cute.

Bloomingdale’s

Platforms

Platforms, platforms, platforms. Platform shoes (sneakers and booties included) are EVERYWHERE in Spain, but most specifically in the style of sandals. Espadrilles are the most common type, with variations of animal print, string sparkles, and beads that give each pair a distinctive look and personality. Espadrilles give height, elongate the leg, and act as statement pieces in outfits. The sheer variety in color, texture and look, all platformed, is mesmerizing. Espadrilles add a young and summery vibe. Pair them with a sundress for the perfect spring look. You can never have too many shoes!

My Style Vita

White

Ever heard the saying “don’t wear white past Labor Day”? Well, I’m here to tell you that is only an American thing and everyone else wears white year round; I’m LIVING for it. White jeans are a way to mix up your denim, and give off a bright summery vibe. Opting for a dose of white lightens your entire look, thus breaking up your classic “groutfit” or go to black on black combo. Try out wearing white all year long! Here are some great wide-legged white trousers!

Cover Photo: Grace Carter

Grace Carter

About Grace Carter

Grace Carter is a junior whose favorite times of the day include breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When she's not writing for our Fashion and Beauty team, she's probably eating Sriracha.