Tel Aviv Street Style: Be yourself

Style coach Elana Shap and photographer Natalie Muallem search for style personality on the streets of Tel Aviv.

Classic chic (photo credit: NATALIE MUALLEM)
Classic chic
(photo credit: NATALIE MUALLEM)
In helping people to look and feel great, one of the key areas covered in style coaching sessions is the topic of style personality – the way you express your personality or passions through the way you dress. The process can be fun and enlightening at the same time, as we discuss how the way you dress changes during the different stages in your life (teenage years, pre- and post-motherhood, etc.) and the influences on your look.
When doing Street Style, what is clear is that all the people we spot for inclusion in this column have a highly developed sense of style personality, and they enjoy telling us why they dress as they do. Read on.
Classic chic
Lev was working hard on his laptop at Lehem Maksim on Dizengoff Street, but we were persuasive in making him take a break as we loved his classic elegance – white Bermuda shorts, denim shirt, espadrilles and Armani glasses.
Do you always dress so well?
I love dressing well and I am in a very European stage at this time. I love their style and getting inspired when I travel there.
Did you always have such a classic style?
No, after I finished the army I used to organize dance parties for the Russian community. The music is all in Russian and it’s a different atmosphere – so in that period, I dressed more in a party style. My Mohawk hairstyle is still from that period. Sorry, I have to get back to work now.
Trendy chic
Odelia looked so fresh in her soft lemon shirt and heart-shaped mirror sunglasses that we had to photograph and interview her for Street Style.
Your look is feminine and tomboyish at the same time, right?
It’s interesting you say that, as actually I am bisexual and my girlfriend tends to be more masculine in the way she dresses – so I guess I also play up the feminine side more.
How did you dress as a teenager?
I’m from a religious family but I always pushed the boundaries of the way I dressed, even if it was modest. I guess I was trying to fit in, although at the same time I didn’t really want to belong in that world.
Is your style Tel Avivian in any way?
The city is very casual and open to everything, so yes, my look is inspired by where I am.
You look so good in this lemon color, is it a favorite?
I always wear white, so this is very unusual for me. But thanks.
Summer chic
With her white linen shirt, panama hat and Converse All-Star sneakers adding an element of fun, we had to talk to Eti about her style as she was doing some window-shopping. (She then informed us that we had interviewed her daughter for this column a year ago – so style definitely runs in the family.)
It seems like the fun side of your personality comes out in your dress sense, as we can see by your striped trousers, jaunty hat and that you wear only one earring.
Yes, I suppose it’s an expression of my personality.
Where do you shop?
Actually, I don’t like shopping; I live on Kibbutz Hatzerim near Beersheba, and I do all my shopping there. I either buy from a friend on the kibbutz who makes clothes, or from designers who come and sell their work on the kibbutz. I’m here to pick up the dress I bought for my daughter’s wedding.
Do you like monochromatic colors?
I mostly wear gray, white and black except for my All-Stars. I love them and have a collection in all colors.
Boho chic
The statuesque Ester caught our eye as she was walking down Dizengoff Street. We loved the way her look was put together – the color turquoise being picked up in both the big beads of her necklace and sandals, a short denim bolero over an ethnic dress and her trendy, short haircut.
Could it be that you work in fashion?
Yes, how did you guess? I’m a fashion designer who makes evening and bridal wear in a Rishon Lezion studio.
What are the trends in the area today?
Our clients like sexy dresses with lots of beads and see-through fabric in skin color, Oriental-style.
We like the addition of your retro denim bolero to your ethnic dress.
The jacket belongs to my 21-year-old daughter.
Wow, you look too young to have a daughter of that age?
Yes, she was born when I was 16 so I am a very young mom, but I love it because we can share clothes.
How do you think Israeli teenagers dress today?
I think they dress too revealingly. I try to teach my daughter to be more modest – so if she is wearing something with an open back, she should match it with trousers and not a miniskirt; or if she wears a miniskirt, match it with a closed top that is tucked in and not showing her bellybutton.
How did you dress as a teenager?
I grew up in Russia and was very into a rocker style with torn jeans and lots of black. But as I became a mom so early, it didn’t last long.
Elana Shap ( is a style coach who is passionate about helping people discover their personal style, colors and body confidence.
Natalie Muallem ( is a photographer who specializes in commercial and family portraits.