Friday, June 22, 2018

Zagreb Style. . .

Do you remember that when I first visited Zagreb last year, Dottoressa introduced me to spica, the Zagrebian custom of dressing up and meeting friends for coffee on Saturday morning? Sadly, we didn't have a Saturday in Zagreb this visit, but the rows and rows of tables and chairs under umbrellas spread down the centre of so many pedestrianised streets were full, nonetheless, of well-dressed folk chatting animatedly with friends over coffee. Too late, I realized what a great opportunity this was for sketching, and I pencilled a few attempts, added a bit of paint back at the apartment.

Perhaps I was slow to note the opportunity because I was still marvelling at the number of polished outfits we'd seen in the 20 minutes or so it had taken us to wander past the tempting shop windows on Ilica.  . .

I will pause to remind you that it was 28 degrees Celsius (82 Farenheit) and very humid. . . These women could give lessons on dressing well in hot weather. . . Linen abounds here, in so many easy yet elegant shapes, and wrinkles don't seem to be a problem. As well, cotton-- shirtdresses especially, and long ones, worn with sneakers just to show that elegance doesn't have to mean giving up Street Edge. . .

While there was much evidence of dressing in polished neutrals (the three women in the top two photos, for example), there was also lively use of colour -- doesn't this yellow pop beautifully against that Zagreb-tram blue?!
 Simple, strong looks on women of all ages. The woman below was "of a certain age" who pulled off that vibrant skirt with élan.

And I saw some wonderful examples of colour and print combinations -- this woman's bag strap was such a great complement to her skirt that I tried to get a better shot, but remember, I'm trying to stay "on the down-low" here, and my stealth skills are negligible. . .
 but if you look at the cropped and enlarged capture below, perhaps you'll see what I mean. . .
 This combination was so good, although she'd hurried past me before I registered that I loved and wanted a photo of the outfit. Bold. with the textured white skirt, that printed shirt, the contrasting bag and sandals. . . And even (or especially?) with these more edgy combinations, the hair and makeup always polished -- not overdone, very natural, but clearly given attention.
Below -- isn't this great? Long, flowing but never overwhelming, summer dresses and flat or platformed shoes, almost always with an element of interest, whether colour or shine or fringe or bow. . . Polished ease. . .
And you can begin to grasp the scope of the outdoor coffee culture, can't you? Of course, these shaded tables are also available for beer, sparkling water, a glass of Prosecco, and many of them serve food as well, but coffee rules here.

 Rows and rows and rows of shaded tables, with a Style Parade of pedestrians walking past to check out for the latest shoe or bag or skirt styles while we catch up with our friends over the drink of our choice. . .
We're leaving Zagreb today, and I'll soon be looking at Paris Street Style. . . But I'll be thinking about this beautiful old city, and making some inevitable comparisons. I have many more photos of Zagreb style to show you -- unfortunately, not a single one from our visit with Dottoressa yesterday. We were simply to busy catching up on our respective travels, on our reading, our families, world politics, lamentable leaders. . . As she emailed me later, our quick good-bye when her taxi rolled up in front of the Konoba we'd lunched at (another of those almost-three-hour lunches) was very Cinderella like. The taxi didn't quite turn into a pumpkin, but I'm not sure if she got home with both her shoes. . . ;-)


  1. Lots more great pics . Do you remember when different nationalities took pride in their national costumes ? Used to fascinate me as a child . All gone now & it is impossible to know where people are from by the way they dress . Having said that , I love some of these outfits . Nothing too precious , just perfect dressing for hot weather . Here in the UK our summers are so fleeting ( though this year is pretty good so far ) that we don’t need much of a hot weather wardrobe & don’t really do it very well . My favourite is the stripey white linen frock but I fear it would spend its life on a hanger .
    Wendy in York

  2. There's a certain juste milieu in European fashion--neither formal nor sloppy, just a little dressy; makeup that's neither artificial/overdone nor nonexistent/don't care, it's just natural-plus. People put themselves together with care and consideration but don't go overboard.

  3. They look like women here, though perhaps we wear more stripes (or they were not in your photos?)

  4. How lovely. And no too short denim cut-off shorts with parts on display that we'd all rather not see. We need to start a trend here in Canada... a dress up in airy summer fashions to have coffee with friends trend. I'm in!

  5. I was also noting the absence of gynecologically explicit short shorts.....which are very prevalent here in the heat on both visitors and locals. In a city where one spends time on escalators coming and going from the subway, and thus with one's head at the butt level of the people a step or two up, it seems so much more sharing than appropriate. I like the longer dresses better!


  6. Linen is so cool! What I have noticed here (at home in Canada) is a lot of women wearing dresses a bit too short. Knee caps are really not an elegant feature. All of your Zagreb photos show a sense of "smart casual" style. Enjoy Paris!

  7. Looking at your photos I realized that I would not be surprised to meet any of these ladies on the streets of my neighbourhood. So I tend to agree that there seems to exist a kind of generalized casual urban chic (with room for individuality) which you can find in many places in Europe. (Whether that is also true for Canada and the US, I cannot say.) What did strike me on my last trip to Munich, however, was the number of people dressed and groomed in an obviously (even conspicuously) expensive way. (Which does not necessarily make them more stylish.) So it seems that style tells more about social than about national or regional background. And there seem to be certain places in certain cities where “conspicuous styling” accumulates. Zagreb does not appear to be one of them, which makes the city all the more likeable.

  8. Great photo essay on the street style and coffee culture of Zagreb. So relatable - easy to imagine myself and some girlfriends dressed like that and enjoying those cafes. As Sue mentioned that trend should be started here!
    Thanks for posting, Suz from Vancouver

  9. Once again, Zagreb sounds like the cool place to visit these days. So many places to see. So little time!

    Ann in Missouri

  10. We were enjoying the "real life",friendly meeting,forgetting to "document" it.
    All shoes safely at home:-)
    Our farewell was really abrupt (Zagreb taxis don't wait long)-but it was actually good , in a "see you soon again" mode (hopefully!)
    Thank you very much for your compliments-our women (and men)are, and were, always stylish,even before, and independently if they were buying their clothes in high end stores or in the open air market

    You have to establish the croatian coffee culture trend in Canada,ladies-it's a very funny and friendly one :-)

  11. I always enjoy your sketches. There is real talent there!



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