Russia. What do you think about this country when you hear it mentioned?
I guess that you are imagining a woman using a scarf with flower pattern along with a long-out-of-date- skirt. If so then, you are totally wrong.
Despite what you imagine about this country. Russian women are famous for their fashion. In short, they have really good dress sense (sometimes). Their clothes are always in fashion. Some of them (I bet) update their wardrobe every few months in a year, while some of them just have a good instinct for how to mix and match their clothes. Fashion is everything in Russia. Don’t dare to imagine that they still use a middle age costume like in museum. In every department store, shopping center or even on the street, you will find a bunch of clothing stores, starting from H&M to Louis Vuitton.
For French or Italian, it might sound shallow as they ARE the center of fashion. But, as I am just an Indonesian, I was a bit amazed when I arrived in Moscow with my scruffy jeans and messy hair. I looked like something that the cat dragged in. They condemn it! It’s a big sin if you go outside with only your slippers and pyjamas (like I did in Indonesia).
High heels, stiletto, high boots and fur jackets are the things that accompanied my first week in Moscow. The Metro, roads and department stores have become a catwalk for them. Honestly, I felt beaten, and lost confidence and again. I wanted to go home soon and feel like a human being again. Russians perceive that style and appearance are everything. They even have a special profession for this - image maker. They also believe that good choice of dress plays an important role in life, whether it’s your career or something else. People are free to choose their style (that’s what they say) but if I wear something strange on the street, they will stare at me (so it’s not totally free, or maybe free for them, but not free for everybody). What I envy in them is - confidence. They have an extremely high confidence. I want to be like that as well. Not over like what I see on the street sometimes, of course. But, at least, enough to make me feel confident wearing strange things on the street without caring too much what people think about me.
Typical Russian Clothes in Winter
A Shuba or fur jacket is made of fur (whether it’s fox, rabbit or something like that, NOT cat or dog like what you might read in a hoax article). It’s very popular among women. Young and old. Beautiful and ugly. Rich and poor. Everybody likes Shubas. Shubas are really warm for the Russian winter. They are heavy and EXPENSIVE! A real shuba costs 1000 USD - 50.000 rubles - 900 euro - 10.000.000 IDR. With such a price, I could buy a return ticket to Indonesia + a return ticket to Belgium. So, a Shuba is not really affordable for the one who hasn’t got a healthy bank account or for the one who loves to spend their money on holiday, like me.
You can get a shuba in some special stores. Before winter comes or in the summer, the store will give you a big discount for their collections. Up to 50%. So it will be 500 USD. Still, I’d need to think more than twice to buy it.
It’s common in Russia that a man (in this case a husband or maybe parents) presents a Shuba to their beloved one as a gift. The poor man... he must spend his 3 or 4 months salary for this thing. I would like to have it, but I am not ready yet to see that somebody on the street wears a similar Shuba to mine. Yes, if you really want a Shuba, it means you need to feel okay to find out that around you, thousands of people are wearing an identical Shuba to yours. Me? I surely don’t want that.
This one is cheaper than a Shuba but I like it more though. I have a fake Dublyonka (Don’t tell anybody, please). It’s also made of furs. Yet, it’s different from a Shuba, you won’t find the fur in the outer part, but inside. It will keep you warm but won’t make you look like a walking fur (in case somebody doesn’t like it).
3. Palto (coat)
This one is my favorite one. Not only cheaper, but it also looks more elegant. It won’t make you feel like Snegurochka (granddaughter of Ded Moroz - Russian St. Claus) or a walking fur, but you will feel a bit trendy as its shape is not so different from a normal coat which Londoners use in a winter. Despite its look, a Palto is warm enough for winter. It’s made from wool and not so heavy.
Do you remember the Michelin advertisement? The Michelin man? If you do, I think I don’t need to explain more about how this jacket looks in real life. This kind of winter jacket is the easiest to find. It is also the cheapest among the ones I’ve mentioned and the funniest. Why do I say it’s funny? It is because you need to be careful if you choose this jacket. Not only about the size, but you must pay attention to the style and the shape so it won’t look strange on you. I have a puhovik. The color is white. So...I will be the next Michelin man.
Where to buy such jackets?
There are millions and millions of stores, both local and international, where you can buy these winter costumes. Splurge on Kalyaev for example, is one of the best options as they seldom have discounts before or after the season. I don’t know too much about where to buy Shuba. But, sometimes people buy their Shuba at the market (believe me it’s a street market that is called ‘Yarmarka’) or in a special store such as Snezhnaya Koroleva (Snow Queen), Kalyaev and many other stores. Or even, if you want a real Shuba of the highest quality, some of my acquaintances said that we can obtain it in Dubai in the UAE.
If you only need a Puhovik, you can buy in a local store such as Ostin (the cheapest Puhovik costs 5000 rub - around 90 dollars), also Lamoda.ru (if you are a couch potato). Not only in local stores, you can also obtain a Puhovik in an international store such as Mango, Zara and so forth.