Four Fashion Accessories to Look Like a Local in Santiago, Chile

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After living in Chile for a while I’ve started to notice a few fashion trends here, that I’ve tried to incorporate into my wardrobe, mostly just so that I’ll fit in and people wont give me weird looks on the bus (at least not for my clothes).

1. Denim or Leather Jacket

The first thing that every chilean seems to own, is a denim or leather jacket (yeah, it’s basically 1985 here). I bought mine the first week I was here, because I packed for the anticipated “spring” climate and it was absolutely freezing, but if had waited another week, I probably would have gotten a black one.

Most people in Santiago wear black….everything!

Since I normally wear a lot of colors, I fit in about as well as a flamingo in a conspiracy of ravens (as if I didn’t look like enough of a foreigner already).

I have a limited budget so I’m not about to go out and buy an all black wardrobe, but if you’re planning a trip here, around this time of year, maybe you’ll want to take this into consideration.

2. Scarves

The next item on the list is SCARVES and LOTS of ’em! If you are a woman in Santiago, don’t be caught out in public without one. Not only is it a fashion faux-pas, but the Chilean Mámas will start giving you whatever clothe they can find to wrap around your neck, so you don’t catch a cold.

(I was also told that I would catch a cold from walking around the house with socks on and was given a pair of slippers for that. Chilean hospitality has probably done a great deal for my health.)

3. Skinny Jeans

I love my flairs and boot cuts, and normally in the US people mix it up with jean style, but I have not seen a single Chilean girl in my age group wear anything but skinny jeans, skinny chords, skinny jeggings, etc.

Probably because of the footwear, which brings me to number 5.

4. Ankle Boots

As far as footwear here goes, if you are not wearing boots, you are either a man, baby, elderly woman or a gringa.

Seriously, I don’t even think they sell women’s shoes here that aren’t boots.

I finally sucked it up and bought some. They’re normally insanely expensive here, but I found a pair near the Universidad de Chile Metro stop for only $7,000 Pesos (US$14). I’ve had them for a week and the finish is already wearing down in some places, but as long as they last the rest of my trip without falling apart, they’ll be worth it.

As you can see in the picture, my boots are calf-length, but most women here wear ankle boots. So if you really want to fit in, I’d suggest bringing a pair of those.

With those 5 things, and some Chilean swagger, you should look enough like a local that people may even ask you for directions, or where you got your boots.

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3 thoughts on “Four Fashion Accessories to Look Like a Local in Santiago, Chile

  1. Wow…fascinating.!! Maybe I went to the wrong country.! I love scarves, but usually it is too hot to wear them in playa del carmen. Also, its usually to warm for boots. Ditto on the jackets. I love wearing black – it’s most of my wardrobe. But in playa, everyone wears bright colorful neon clothes.!! Funny thing about adjusting, no? Great look by the way 🙂

  2. Hey! 1985??? Excuse me?? Haha! Well, every girl looks like the one sitting next to her in this city. That is so boring! Don’t change your style please! I like your blog, I like to see your point about few thing in this place. BTW I’m chilean. Cheers!

    1. Haha sorry! I might have been an exaggerating for comic effect about it being 1985 in Chile, but leather and jean jackets aren’t nearly as big where I’m from as they are here, and are sort of iconic of the 80s for us. Every style comes back around though, so maybe Santiago is actually ahead of us, and that trend that will hit us a little later.

      Thanks for commenting! I love having feedback from a chilean. I’ve only been here for a couple months, so I’m sure my observations are only surface deep.

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