Here I am, my first time in the U.S.; the birth place of Ralph Lauren, Sue Wong and Tommy Hilfiger; the sacred grounds of New York Fashion Week, motherland of jeans, T-shirts and urban style.

No wonder the dominating question in the letters from my friends in Belarus and Russia is, “so what do they wear there, over the Atlantic Ocean?”

It is hard to answer this question simply, so I did a comparison between what students wear for classes in my country and here.

Firstly, in Belarus, girls spend at least half an hour getting dressed for classes. My roommate here at Fairfield told me she needed five minutes to get ready. When I told her about the difference, she asked: “What for? I’m going to classes, not to a party.”

Students in my country have another opinion; being smartly dressed up for classes is something that can’t even be doubted.

Five minutes for most of friends in

Belarus would only count for the time spent before the mirror telling themselves how beautiful they look today.

Call it weird, call it stupid, but that’s how it is.

Secondly, believe it or not, an average Belarusian girl spends a least one quarter of the day in high-heels. Yes, exactly seven hours each day – this is how long classes last in my country. Seven hours of running up and down stairs balancing on heels.

The majority of Americans will find it strange and unreasonable, but I never thought about that until my first days of classes in America.

I am a flip-flop fan right now, but when I tried to get friends in Belarus to join my fan club they told me that once I return to Belarus they will have me back in the heels in no time.

And lastly, an indispensable part of every girl’s clothes here in America – a sweatshirt. Now that word wasn’t even in my vocabulary. I would not ever have imagined that almost 70 percent of girls here wear a sweatshirt with jeans or sweatpants and flip-flops. That last part was a real shock for my friends – is it a university or a fitness club?

And you tell us that Connecticut is the richest state in the U.S.? Yeah, right.

Wearing a sweatshirt for classes in my country would be like going to an interview in a Halloween costume. Your peers wouldn’t understand it, the teachers wouldn’t understand it, you would be considered a weird person.

The typical clothes to wear for classes in Belarus are blouses, shirts, jeans, skirts and heels, all of the time, no compromising.

“I want to look good all of the time, no matter where I am and what I am doing,” one of my friends likes to say.

A lot of things can be said about the differences in culture between our two countries and the differences in mentality and attitude towards life.

We may consider each other to be weird, strange or funny, but we can also take some time to stop and think about each others points of view and hopefully get to know each other better that way.

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