How Expats Can Dress to Impress in the Spanish Sun
We all enjoy the thrill of shopping for new clothes before our annual summer holidays on the Spanish costas. It’s so easy when you can shop online, avoiding the crowds and queues at the shops.
Those British expats living abroad in the warm Spanish climate know how much time of the year is spent wearing summer clothes as the winters on the coast are often mild. Moving to a country with a warm climate means all the heavy coats, jackets and woolly jumpers can be stored away. Although further inland, some warmer clothes are still needed as the temperature drops significantly in the winter.
Where do expats living in Spain shop for casual, comfortable summer clothes? In Spain there is only one big department store found in larger towns and cities. For expats who live in small towns, villages and rural areas, their choice is limited to boutique type shops with little choice in some areas, or local markets with no changing facilities. So it’s hard to find flattering ladies’ clothing for all age ranges.
I’ve noticed that many expats have less tolerance of the summer heat than the locals and feel more comfortable in cooler cotton or linen materials. Shorts and T shirts are always popular for everyone on summer days. Sundresses are a comfortable option with the ladies. So why are they so difficult to find, especially for those of us of a certain age who like to be fashionable as well as cool and comfortable in the soaring heat? Many shops seem well stocked with clothes in very small sizes for the slim teenagers, but for the 40 plus age group it’s exceedingly difficult to find casual comfortable ladies’ clothing for both day and night time or for that special event when invited to a Spanish wedding, baptism or communion.
One of the problems which many expats encounter, as well as coping with the different European sizing, is the opening times of the shops. They close between 2pm and 5pm for the afternoon siesta, but open again in the evening until 9pm. This is often inconvenient for many expats who still prefer to stick with British schedules and dine or socialise with their friends at this time. Many times we have been going out to British parties at 7.30 for 8pm and have seen the Spanish still busily going around the town with their latest purchases of new clothes!
Fortunately with online shopping, expats can shop at any time from home and buy their favourite style of fashionable clothes in familiar UK sizes. All delivered to their door for less than it might cost to drive to their nearest town.