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The Top Five Status Symbols in Amsterdam

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The Top Five Status Symbols In Amsterdam

In a country with Calvinistic roots, it’s not always easy to spot what passes for status symbols in Amsterdam.  Compared to London or Moscow where it’s easy to spot the wealthy by the way they dress and the kind of cars they drive, in Amsterdam things are often a lot more subtle. Which is why I’ve put together this handy little guide which will help you spot the signs of people of material substance. No need to thank me.

The things I do for my readers!

5. Designer high top sneakers

Ok, this might come as a surprise to you, (as it did for me) but high top sneakers, with their velcro straps for easy fastening which look like the kind of things that a two-year-old child who can’t tie their own laces should wear, are actually quite a status symbol. They might look hideous and be ridiculously priced (410 Euros at De Bijenkorf) but nothing says “I’m an affluent lady about town” more than wearing a pair of Isabel Marant sneakers. Doe maar!

a status symbol in Amsterdam Isabel Marant high top sneakers
“They look like crap but they cost 410 euros!. What was that? Do I want to buy London Bridge?”

 

4. Living in an apartment that has a bath

Affordable properties for both renting and buying are so scarce in Amsterdam that if you view an apartment whose description claims to have a shower, but then when you go and view the place all it has is a curtain dividing the living room behind which is a bucket in the corner and a hose attached to a sink, don’t complain. Even a decent shower is a luxury here.

This explains why if you’ve ever browsed through Tinder, (for a friend, not for yourself), you’ve probably seen profile photos of people sitting in baths. Having an apartment with an actual bath is an incredible luxury. If the photo shows two sinks in the bathroom then you’ve struck the jackpot, they’re filthy stinking rich!

man in bath with a duck
Looking for an open minded Amsterdammer to join us for a trio.

3. Electric bikes

There was a time when cyclists in Amsterdam who were brave enough to wear crash helmets would have faced nothing but ridicule. But how quickly things have changed. The prices of electric bikes are shocking! (Sorry couldn’t resist that pun). They can start at 1500 euros and cost thousands more. Which is why their owners tend to wear crash helmets. It’s a subtle way of saying, “look at me, I’m not a tourist or a dumb property price increasing tax benefit stealing expat, nee! I can afford an electric bike, worship me as I overtake you suddenly at high speed and leave you with nothing but a fleeting glimpse of my perfectly shaped buttocks as you slowly pedal along like an old aged pensioner.  Plebians!”

one of the status symbols in Amsterdam an electric bike
The working class can kiss my arse I’ve got an electric fiets at last

 

2. Hot water in the WC

Most Dutch homes have a WC or what we in the UK would call a “loo”. Inexplicably, finding a loo in Amsterdam that actually has a tap with hot water, is like finding a Dutchman who doesn’t send a tikkie after a first date. Pretty bloody rare!

If you visit someone’s home and use the facilities only to find that they have a hot water tap, then regardless of how the apartment might look, you’re dealing with a person of substantial wealth and status.

dirty toilet amsterdam apartment
Not only do they have a double sink in the WC but it has hot water!

1. The ultimate status symbol in Amsterdam

In the Netherlands, a land which has more bikes, white sneakers and leopard print clothing than people, it’s no surprise at all that the ultimate status symbol in not only Amsterdam but the entire country is the cargo bike or bakfiets.

Dutch bakfiets or cargo bike
The ultimate status symbol

To the uninitiated, the cargo bike/bakfiets might look like an open coffin on wheels. But in fact, this humble looking monstrosity is a sign of affluence, gentrification and social apartheid as middle-class mummies and daddies buy properties in the ethnically diverse neighbourhoods  of Amsterdam and other cities for a knockdown price and pedal their little Jeroen’s and Anouk’s as far away from the minorities with their black schools as possible to drop their kids off at schools whiter than a free Tommy Robinson rally. Echt leuk hoor!

If you want to impress potential partners, don’t waste your money on a Porsche or Tesla. Just pull up outside a bar on your bakfiets, you’ll be fighting admirers off.

No bakfietsmoeders were hurt during the writing of this post.

Until next time, if you don’t like it here………….

 

About Simon Woolcot

Infamous blogger, annoyance and self-confessed Shallow Man. Simon is a British expat who has lived in Amsterdam since 2004. As well as writing this blog, Simon also has a YouTube channel of the same name, writes and directs videos and hosts seminars about life in the Netherlands. He also works as a content marketing and SEO specialist.