OMG, in Alabama, the all undergrad girls wear tempo running shorts, ugg boots and full runway make-up, even when it is 70 degrees. I cringe every time I see it. That is NYC in me. I want to shake them and say LOOK AT YOURSELF!
boulder takes spandex to new highs, but mostly to new lows. also there is serious fanny pack fashion. i thought that one day i would wake up and the fanny pack would be gone, but it has yet to happen. also: dreds-in-the-making hairstyles. not attractive.
I had no style when I moved to New York. None. To land my first job in New York City, my mother hit up Filene’s Basement and bought me “My First Suit.” Oh! What a getup. Navy blue pinstriped polyester-blend, shoulder pads (I may have had the foresight to cut them out), and the shirt, which was not actually a shirt, but a dickie(?!) - the collar just buttoned to the inside of the jacket. I could swap out a light blue collar for a white one. I wore it with black nylons and flats - not cute ballet flats, but a nice, solid pair of nurse-looking shoes.
Besides the suit, my initial New York wardrobe consisted of shapeless dresses, gigantic wooly sweaters, Phish tour t-shirts and comfy, fuzzy grey clogs. There is nothing wrong with any of these clothing articles, but they just weren't working. This is probably because I couldn’t find a likeminded/likedressed crew of neo-hippies, or whatever post-collegiate category I fell in to. My new friends didn’t appreciate my totally awesome bright orange Fig Newton 100-year anniversary t-shirt. Co-workers thought my kerchiefs were ridiculous. I thought they were cute and they kept my hair out of my face.
Slowly, my comfortable and practical clothes disappeared. Actually, my things are still comfortable and practical, but they are now all black. I know the “all New Yorkers wear black” thing is a huge cliché, but I buy right into it. It makes sense. It’s slimming. Everything matches everything else. Even when I’m out all night, bleary-eyed, and have to get up early for a meeting, I will always look pulled together in all-black. Black gives me structure. Black can make me glamorous or invisible, depending on my mood. For me, the all-black wardrobe has transformed me into, and made me identifiable to others as a New Yorker. So I probably still don’t have any style, but my New York “uniform” makes me feel like I do.
Oh I love this. I applaud the 100 year anniversary of the fig newton t shirt. When I was in 5th grade I had a band called the boogie six. We had t shirts. Mine said "manager" on the back. I decided this shirt was the height of irony and I wore it to a Palestinian hip hop show at that place on 5th ave in brooklyn. No one gave the shirt the respect it deserved. "boogie" is still too uncool a word to be considered ironic. Also, we may need to form a separate group on this site for people who have worn dickies and lived to tell the tale.
In Cambodia, many women in the towns and, from what I can tell, almost all of the women in the countryside, wear pajamas all day. I'm right now looking at a kindly-looking, middle-aged woman in a top and bottom PJ set of Hershey chocolate brown and yellow polka dots. No one, Khmer or otherwise, can give me an explanation for this. They just shrug. "Pjs are comfortable, what's your problem?!" I'd love to ask what these women sleep in since they wear nighties in the day. But asking that would get me lynched.
I remember one time I went all out and got the best "outfit" from Ann Taylor Loft, just like the mannequin, I was styling. I walked to the bus stop looking oh so chic (so I thought) and then some girl in all out Prada, LV, Gucci, or something was at the bus stop too and that is when I realized it doesn't matter what you really look like or dress as someone is always going to look better than you and someone is going to look worse. And that is what is so great about "fashion" in NYC!
i can attest that my visit to NYC changed my fashion style, QUITE a bit. my sister, Anna, can attest to it was well. i discovered the joy that is Soho and, mostly, H&M, a store that we don't have in Spokane (closest one is in Seattle, and even though i have visited there multiple times, i have never shopped there). the rules were laid down by my sister: no black, no t-shirts, etc...all things that i made a horrible habit of...you could even call it a LACK of style that i had when i visited. i bought a new wardrobe. and LOVE it. since coming back, i have made a point to shop for more stylish things, more color, for things i would see at a shop in Soho (but more affordable, of course). i also got a brand new haircut and came back to Spokane feeling much more confident and insanely more stylish.
a simple visit to NYC changed me in SO many different ways, and i cannot wait until two years from now, when i live in Pittsburgh, and can take a trip to NYC in the same way i can visit Seattle today. shopping trips will be at the top of my list.
i understand this site is mostly for people who have lived in NYC and are now leaving, but i love being able to explain how much i love it and how others from an outside prospective, looking in and drooling like window shopping at a bakery, see this city.