First of all, I don’t wish to be offensive, but a thinner person looks better in the same (size notwithstanding) clothes – that’s why supermodels look so thin in the real life. America is, not to be offensive, statistically the fattest country on Earth, and a vast majority of Americans is overweight. That’s not actually horrible because Americans are also more focused on sport than Europeans – but this also means that they tend to dress for comfort rather than fashion. It’s not surprising for a clothing store in the States to stock up on wholesale tracksuits and neglect other kinds of clothes! It’s also worth remembering that the largest fashion houses are based in France and Italy – so fashion is much more expensive in the States!
Many of my friends from France are very thin by American standards – and are invariably very fashionably dressed, regardless of how much do they earn. They look good in any kind of clothes, whether it’s a designer frock or cheap tracksuits off the rack. They wouldn’t find a decently sized clothes in America – the Americans stores offer sizes up to 44, European sizes usually end at 40. You rarely see “American” size when buying pet-a-porter! In France you also don’t buy from a massive retailer like Walmart’s – many French women buy in independent small shops, often offering high-quality goods and accessories. Some Europeans also like to buy things on a budget, from second-hand stores or online. Many have also a good custom of buying cheap clothes like tracksuits wholesale, directly from the producer.
Of course, it also means that the French are under massive pressure to stay thin and look great. When they go to the store, they absolutely must put on their make-up and change sweaty clothes because someone might see them. I’ve known ladies who’ve spent ages picking their women’s tracksuits they’d wear only when jogging after work because they wanted to look stunning! I don’t think it ever happens in America.
In Italy, you focus on shoes. Clothes are important there, and because there are many major fashion designers there, the standard of clothing is way through the ceiling. When Armani, Zegna, Loro Piano are opening a factory in your town, you can wear their clothes – made without expensive name tags! And while many villages and towns of Italy have streets lain with hard cobble-stone, you never see anyone with ugly footwear in Italy, not even a pensioner. This also applies to quality – they can last years, and still look good.