Shopping and style in Lisboa

July 5, 2012

By Cristina Boydell

I went on a holiday to Lisbon, Portugal, recently and decided to report back on the latest trends and shopping districts to all of our FAJO readers. My main focus was to compare Portugese fashion to what I’m used to seeing in the U.K. and North America – specifically looking at what the American stores there have to offer, since this is FAJO‘s American issue.

Avenida da Liberdade is the main avenue for luxurious international fashion houses, such as Armani, Burberry, Hermés and Prada – this is home to expensive designer brands that would be found in the United States on the likes of Rodeo Drive in L.A. and 5th Avenue in New York.

Lisboners prefer casual, comfortable chic.

Portuguese shops are mainly based downtown: ‘Baixa’ in the Bairro Alto and Chiado regions. Chiado has more high-street brands, while Bairro Alto has many streetwear shops and alternative fashions. I stayed in the Chiado district and was surrounded by popular high-street retailers, global brands, independent shops and boutiques. A small department store, Armazens do Chiado, was outside our doorstep, while main shopping streets, Rua do Carmo, Rua Augusta and Rua Nova do Almada were lined with H&M and Inditex stores (including Spanish labels Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka and Stradivarius).

The city has some of the biggest shopping malls in Europe. The largest and most popular one is Colombo, while the largest department store is the Spanish El Corte Ingles (first reported during my trip to Valencia last year).

There are many shopping options in Lisbon, including American stores, international brands and local boutiques.

My favourite summer trends spotted included coloured jeans and cargos, bright handbags, cool wedges and high-tops, all topped off with stylish (and practical!) sunglasses. It seemed the Portugese dress in a stylish casual, but practical manner. Their style reflects the uptown chic, similar to the easy-to-wear collections we can find from all-American designer Michael Kors.

The clothes of people in London are more experimental and funky. Portugese seemed to be more sporty and focused on comfy elegance (think more brights and sunglasses in comparison to an often wet London where lots of layers are required).

Overall, I fell in love with Lisbon – its sites, culture, history, nightlife and shopping. You may be wondering what I purchased? I found some great buys at Zara (same prices as in the U.K., by the way), where I picked a cool mint-green, knit and printed, ‘PJ’-style trousers. I also managed to snag a fun pair of gladiator sandals with orange and leopard print details from a shoe and accessories boutique, which I ended up wearing for most of my trip!

The streets of Lisbon

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