Brett and I just got back from a whirlwind trip to South America, and ay, Dios was it great. We had a solid week to wander Buenos Aires and Montevideo (Uruguay), both great cities. Buenos Aires is ENORMOUS (over 12 million people in the metro area) and we saw maybe half of the neighborhoods within the city during our time there. It was a bit overwhelming, but we just made the most of the time we had there and tried to strike a good balance between pounding the pavement and seeing sights and just relaxing in cafés. Naturally, I had my finger on the pulse of all things candy and clothing in both places, and I was not disappointed.
As always, I jotted down observations in the Notes app on my iPhone so I wouldn’t forget things that I noticed in the places we were. A few things I took note of:
- abnormally high concentration of children’s clothing stores (they were EVERYWHERE!)
- people wearing layers when it was still hot out (seriously, when we were taking the subway I was sweating in a sundress while men in suits and women in sweaters and long pants looked comfortable)
- sometimes clothing stores offer a discount if you pay in cash versus a credit card
- Argentinians and Uruguayans don’t dress terribly different from Americans, but there are definitely fewer sweatpants and tempo shorts about (I’d say that, by and large, they do “casual, but not sloppy” better than Americans do, for sure)
Here are a few random snaps I grabbed of things here and there…
Just about every shoe I saw was a platform. Platforms, platforms everywhere.
Candy bounty in Montevideo. Mind: blown.
Argentinian shoe brand Paez, similar to TOMS (and at about half the price), were all over Buenos Aires.
I picked up a pair and walked all over in them.
Lost in translation in Montevideo.
Goofiness aside, I did see lots of fashion greatness whilst wandering the streets. The tough part was, because the seasons are reversed south of the Equator, it was just becoming fall down there so most stores had already cleared out their summer stock to make way for cooler weather garb. No matter, though: I scored some great accessories from a couple of new brands that gained a new fan after this trip!
The sandals I found at Gibran, a little shoe shop in Palermo where we stayed. I struck up a conversation with the shopkeeper and landed on these: they have a bit of a ‘mock’ platform to add just a bit of height, but aren’t nearly as perilous as some of the pairs I spotted throughout the trip. I also found this gem of a shop in the same neighborhood called Anika that was basically a co-op for local Buenos Aires jewelry and accessory designers. They had a bevy of amazing designs, and I snagged this leather bag by Bastardo BsAs that immediately caught my eye.
I got to practice Spanish throughout the trip, which was one of the reasons I really wanted to go to this region. I’d also never been to South America, so I got to check off another continent and add a couple more countries to my list (current count of countries visited outside the U.S.: 13). The feeling of being completely out of your element and having to figure things out like public transportation, directions, and accepted cultural norms and behaviors is something I thrive on. I just can’t explain it. I’ve got some exciting stuff coming up in this same vein that I can’t wait to share with y’all soon, so stay tuned!