Far from the madding crowd


in the major cities i've been to, anything goes, style-wise. it's easy to take it for granted. a trip outside of that territory quickly delivers a reminder that this is not the case everywhere.

does your style translate when you're not in familiar territory?
have you ever experienced being a fish out of water?

9 comments:

Iheartfashion said...

YES! I feel like a fish out of water a lot of the time (but don't really mind; after all, I could conform if I wanted to). Here in Providence anything goes, but in the little suburb where my kids go to school, the dress code is what I'd call "extreme preppy": lots of Lily Pulitzer, capri pants, twin sets and Crocs, so I'm a little out of my element.

Candid Cool said...

Exactly what Iheart said.
I figure i'm going to get stared at regardless, i know im not dressed in a clown costume when i leave the house so after awhile i dont notice it so much.

GenX Theorist said...

Hi all,

Whew, my new job's been a whirlwind...I miss my blogs!

So, Priscilla - one of my "most defining" movies ever!

I came into this life as a fish out of water. First as a second grader in Southern California with a wardrobe from Amsterdam. Then as a high-schooler with a penchant for thrift stores and punk (ok, so Molly Ringwald was the epitome of cool - but in real life that look didn't get you in with any crowd at Riverside Poly High in 1987 - believe you me.)

Anyway, all that changed when I moved north and grunge was invented - which led to a good fifteen years of urban living in which, relatively speaking (um, San Francisco) I was just an average joe-ella. (If by average you mean that dressing up like The Countess for the Sound of Music Sing-a-Long at the Castro Theatre was pretty much, by me, considered my attempt at drag.) (and yeah, I'm a girl, sort of.)

But now, in my mid-30s, I am once again a fish out of water, a little. Like the Pricilla gang, I drove my drag bus North...where I realize that my hyper-femme look is considered by most to be, just, crazy? Or, something? Women seem shocked by my Chloe platforms. Men seemed threatened by my Gwen Stephani updos.

Slowly, over time, I am finding others like me. But it hasn't been easy. And it's made me question how we use fashion as a tool to either stand out, or fit in.

editor said...

iheartfashion - it's funny, i am nowhere near the (unintentional) style rebel i was in high school, yet i can tell i'm always just a touch off in comparison to my peers. i get just enough comments, or looks, or whathaveyou, to let me know this.
i'm glad you're doing your thing!

candid cool - hee hee "clown costume."
sometimes i'm regarded as if i were wearing one...

genx theorist - i can safely say "i've been there." seriously, i was up in portland, OR for my trip 2 weeks ago. do not submit!!!

editor said...

oh, and genx theorist - hi, welcome back! :)

GenX Theorist said...

Hi Editor! :) - That is amazing...you were here? Dudettes, we need to have a fashion nerdista blogger convention, non?

Ok, so what did you see? Lots of fleece/ North Face jackets and ill-fitting jeans? Maybe an urban hipster or two? I'm dying to know.

The really weird thing is, there's great shopping here - and an amazing smart fashion group that mostly exists within the fashion retail world. I found it within a few months of being here. But...it doesn't translate out to the street in a visible way.

Some of the sub-culture stuff is around - you can have sightings - but...I don't know...it's a funny place. I'm curious to have your take on it.

For sure, I am a fish out of water here.

editor said...

have you ever been to halo shoes? that seems like evidence of fashion evolution in portland. where do the customers live/work/play?
i didn't see much while i was there. landed in portland and went off to the suburbs. i saw good transportation (gotta love that red train!), and after that, general suburbia. yeah, at the airport i saw nothing but fleece and hiking boots. i remember at my home airport, before boarding, reflecting on the no-nonsense footwear and wondered if it would be a wet flight or something - those oregonians are committed to their outdoorsy thing.

GenX Theorist said...

Wow - birds of a feather...Halo shoes was one of the main reasons I was convinced that it would be OK to move here. Our friend lives in the Broadway area and Halo was one of the first places I visited.

OK, so that's a great example. There are lots of cool people - like the owner of Halo - who are really savvy fashion people. And, the great thing about Portland is it still has affordable room for the independent boutique owner. As a result, there are lots of great shops here. Better yet, owned by really wonderful, down to earth folks with whom one can hang out and chat about fashion week in Milan til the sun goes down.

I really love it.

Yes, but fashion sightings seem to be mostly in the city proper - and within the night/ club scene. You just don't see much around the streets, during the day, the way you do in SF. It does seem to be somewhat related to the outdoorsy-weather thing, although that doesn't stop Londoners so I wonder why it stops the NW?

If it's not fleece and jeans, there's also a sort of "fancy conservative" look here which is kindof funny to me.

I'm sure there's plenty of greatness to be seen if one ventures out to a show at the Crystal Ballroom or a Pearl Art Event - but I sure miss being able to get my fashion fix just by stepping out my front door. Un peu bit.

landis smithers said...

i've reached the stage where my style pretty much translates wherever i travel, but i dial the details up or down depending on the locale.

so, los angeles? a bit more james perse and a touch more neutral (mainly in rebellion against all the baaaad color/detail/ed hardy crap)

new york? darker, harder soled shoes, more outerwear, bigger sunglasses.

and now hong kong. wishing i had a bit more flash in the travel attire. . . but lord knows you can buy it here.