It’s true….no matter if your a Dutch male or female, you’ll end up looking like a clone of the person next to you. Even the 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants have even gotten into the act, albeit in their own cultural twist.
I first noticed how badly Dutch people dressed the first time I moved here, which was a little over 10 years ago now. Back then the style for women was a pair of denim jeans that were WAY too short. But as with typical Dutch “logic” there was a reason for the jeans being too short. It was to allow them to show off their hideous boots. Herself is a firm believer that I have a high heels fetish (boots are included), so maybe the fact that these boots were all horrible ankle boots with no heel whatsoever turned me off instantly to this fashion faux pas. The sad thing about Dutch fashion is the almost glacial pace at which it changes. In the US, UK, France or Italy, Christ, even Germany for that matter, fashion changes with the seasons. There’s a reason why there is a fashion week every Spring and every Autumn in these first four countries.
Anyway, this trend slowly evolved into the “jeans AND a dress” ensemble. Yes indeed….should you be one of the few lucky ones to spot a Dutch girl showing off any bare leg flesh, then savour that moment. Because even to this very day, they will opt for either a pair of boring black leggings or something in a Day Glo fluorescent colour. But the “jeans AND a dress” style hung around for a while. I never understood this one…there seemed no logic (other than that of covering up their modest leg flesh) and it just looked liked they fell out of bed and couldn’t make up their mind what to wear, so decided “I’ll wear BOTH a dress AND my jeans at the same time”….maybe that was the Dutch logic at play?
So the glacial pace of women’s fashion has slowly ebbed towards the leggings and a skirt style. Herself is a big fan of high heels and a skirt/short shorts….and when you have the assets she has, you can understand why. However, I have never understood that with a nation who prides itself on having the “tallest women in the world” they either choose NOT to wear high heels OR show off their leggy assets. Instead they opt for flat ugly boots or flat boring court shoes, or worse yet….sneakers….and cover everything up. It’s like women’s lib took hold of the country and taught people to be ashamed of their figures or their bodies….hide it all up underneath some baggy non-descript top and a pair of jeans.
The men by the way are equally bad….no, in fact I would go so far as to say that they’re WORSE than their female counterparts.
Top of the agenda for every Dutch male is his hair. I honestly think that companies specialising in hair products must do bumper business here. There isn’t a single Dutch guy I have met or seen who has not got SOMETHING in his hair. As I mentioned in a previous post, Dutch men typically wear their hair long. And as is the way in Holland, the pace of change with both male and female hair styles is also glacial. So in order to keep their locks from flopping around and taking someone’s eye out, they’ll either slick it back completely with half a tub of Brylcreem into a hairstyle reminiscent of something in the movie “Grease” or, they’ll rub wax or God knows what else in it to have it hang round their ears like some kind of wet, greasy shaggy dog.
The added disadvantage that the Dutch male has to contend with is “Male Pattern Baldness”. It’s not uncommon for a Dutchie to start going bald and losing his prized locks from quite an early age. I’ve not yet figured out if this is purely a genetics thing, or if the copious amounts of hair product used have had a detrimental impact to this affliction…but I can’t believe that it helps.
Enough with the hair….the next thing to come across Homo Cloggus’ mind in the morning is what to wear, and more importantly what shoes to pair it with. Or rather, it’s the other way ’round. You see, it doesn’t matter if he chooses to go casual, smart casual or formal…he’ll almost always choose to wear his favourite pair of brown leather shoes. Unless of course it’s the weekend, in which case it’ll be a pair of some trendy branded sports shoe/sneaker.
Yes, the brown leather shoe is a staple in the Dutchman’s wardrobe. And what makes me laugh is that they’ll quite happily wear them with a dark suit, which, by the way will have a trouser leg length MUCH too short. So the resulting image is a pair of trousers that don’t fit them. But fear not, because Dutch “logic” has struck once again. It’s so Homo Cloggus can “show-off” his prized pair of brown brogues. I kid you not. In fact I will make a solemn guarantee. The next time you find yourself at the airport, look around, and when you find some tall, greasy long-haired, short legged trousered, brown shoe wearing bloke standing near you, go over and ask him if he’s Dutch!
When Homo Cloggus is feeling in a casual mood, you can usually find him wearing something utterly outrageous and more appropriate for the golf course than the office…yes indeed, it’s those famous RED TROUSERS. Every Dutchman has a pair hanging in his closet. I have to confess, I have never seen them in any of the clothing stores I shopped in, but then, I’ve never actually gone out looking for a pair. But my guess is that there must be a secret Red Trousers shop somewhere in the country where they all buy them.
Other staples of the Dutchman’s wardrobe are anything with the Ralph Lauren polo pony on it, or anything from either McGregor, Gaastra, Hilfiger or G-Star. In fact, so enamoured are the Dutch with the first two that their corporate websites have Dutch as the ONLY other foreign language choice!! There’s no other foreign language version of their websites. G-Star is a home grown brand. In fact, unlike their female counterparts, who are more comfortable looking like H&M clones, the Dutch male is all about the brand. It’s almost like a peacock, showing off his plumage, and emphasising to the Dutch women how big his bank balance is. But the savvier Dutchmen do their shopping in outlet malls in the U.S. where the same shit can be bought for half the price…but they’ll never admit that to the ladies
The fun part for any visitors wanting to spot a Dutchie is that despite the seasons changing, the fashion style never follows suit, so you can rest assured that no matter what the time of year, you’ll be able to spot them from miles away.