Friday, May 09, 2003

:: Weather and wardrobe 3 ::

The weather has lightened up a bit and we’ve even had a bit of sun these last couple of days. It’s funny to see how people back in Manila seek the comfort of air-conditioned malls and offices when the sun is out but people in Pamplona turn out in droves and fill up the benches in the parks and other opens paces to soak in the sun whenever it comes out.

Until my first visit to Spain last year, I don’t really remember the last time I saw anyone wearing cords (yes, as in corduroy). It must have been way back in the 1970s, as the only things I remember from the 1980s are crayon shoes, Annie Hall shirts for the girls, and espadrilles. Here in Spain (or here in Pamplona, at least), they never seem to have gone out of style—both men and women don corduroy jeans, slacks, and jackets, in different colors (green, tan, maroon, etc.) and with both thin and thick cords. A friend remarked to me that their sense of fashion seems to have been stuck in the 1980s. Along with corduroy pants and jackets you will also see a lot of penny loafers, checkered shirts, and topsiders.

To be completely fair, though, only a minority of the people wear these fashion classics (“relics” seems to be too unkind a word), but the members of this minority are plentiful enough so that everywhere you turn you will see them.

Pamplona is far from being a hick town inhabited by conservative pueblo dwellers. It is a thoroughly modern city, with all the amenities except for a mall (thought they will have one—El Corte Ingles—by 2004). It is also a Filipino fashion shopper’s delight. Judging by the logos that I see on the clothes worn by people on the street, the more popular brands are Burberry, Polo, and Hilfiger for the older ones, and the usual Adidas and Nike sports stuff for the younger ones. If you wish, though, you could also get yourself a suit by Zegna or by Armani in any of a number boutiques on Carlos III street, which is the commercial center of the city.