Monday, November 14, 2011

The Geography of Style


The divine Bourbon and Pearls has got me thinking about the connection between geography and style. If like me, you are an expat, do you find that when you moved to your new country you took on the fashion mantle of your new home? I must say I did!

I do feel a bit like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz since getting to sun drenched Baltimore many a moon ago. I have stepped from black and white into technicolour although thankfully I have yet to encounter any flying monkies.

My UK look except less Maria Rinaldi more M&S (posed by model obviously)!!

When I lived in London I dressed in dreary black, grey, off-white, eggshell, navy, sludge, taupe, with a touch of dark red. I also covered my body up a lot with layers of wool and thermal undergarments. That is mainly because it is freezing in England for much of the time.

Emma's US signature look: Hot Pink and bare to dare skirts

Eleven years on my wardrobe screams with clashing shades of hot pink, black, white, light blue, light green, and is peppered with short skirts, shorts, barely there t-shirts and flimsy linen blouses. That is because it is mostly very hot here.

I don't really emulate Baltimore style because I don't think much of it. It is preppy and boring and when taken to extremes can look just plain hideous:




I think New Yorkers are more stylish but there is not much individuality there alas. On a trip to Manhattan in February every single woman was wearing black leggings, knee length boots and a black long anorak coat. It looked hot though and I snapped up a dozen pairs of black leggings and some flat boots!


The New York look that is somehow insanely hot

What about you? How has your signature style changed since you moved to hotter or colder climes? And do add pics if you have them!

Also do check out my fabulous new interview over at Blog Expat where I dish about ex-pat life warts and all:


Expat Interview


Share

14 comments:

Bourbon&Pearls said...

Whenever I'm in LA I start dressing like a teenager, when I get home and see myself I blame it on sunstroke!

Steve said...

I'm still in my original clime so my signature style has not changed at all. Still as uterly styleless as I always was.

Expat mum said...

Here in the Mid West, a lot of people look like they've stepped straight out of a Lands End or LL Bean catalog. It's very tempting to join in because it's so easy just to put on the same jeans, cords or khakis and a boring top every day. Having said that. I went looking for some interesting sweaters last week and came up with nothing. Oh, I bought a nice cable one in the end, because I was desperate, but it really wasn't what I had in mind.

Mikal Ann said...

I got so fed up with the Glasgow black, it was a relief to move to Oxford and start wearing brilliant colours (you can get away with anything here, unlike in Glasgow). I'm only now after a couple of years finding myself willing to wear sombre colours again. But not black - it is so dreary!

Vicki Psarias said...

I love bright colours and even more so when the weather is drizzly and shit as it sometimes is in the UK!

Ram said...

Living in Las Vegas is a whole 'nother level, because its warm/hot, skin is in, and colors are hip and varied. And I'm not talking tourists or showgirls.

And @ExpatMum - just say no to Bean and LL! Please!!?!

I was astounded - apropos of your comments about London - when I changed planes in Brussels and saw nothing but black and grey - a sea of depression to my eye...

EmmaK said...

Ram...kill me before I put on anything by LL Bean!!! I'd rather wear a flourescent Snuggie

Stay-At-Home Indie-Pop said...

As US men only seem to wear knee-length chinos, a baseball cap and a faded t-shirt advertising a college they may or may not have studied at, it's not been easy to resist a conversion to local 'style'. I strut around defiantly in DMs and Ben Sherman shirts. Funnily enough, I never wore Ben Shermans back in the UK - must be some sort of post-colonial signifier.

Ram said...

@Stay-at-home -- Ouch!!
Well, just say no to ascots though, ok?

Class factotum said...

I moved from Memphis to Milwaukee. In the winter, I wear all my clothes at once. It's that or double our heating bill, which is already $300 a month and that's with half the house closed off.

In addition to wearing more clothes (long underwear, t-shirt, turtleneck, sweater, scarf), I make sure to fatten up for the winter. Ten extra pounds makes a big difference between being freezing cold and just uncomfortable. It's not like anyone can tell, anyhow, with all those layers.

I hate winter.

EmmaK said...

Stay at Home Indie Pop.....good for you for staging a UK fashion rebellion amongst the back to front baseball caps and football sweaters. I suppose a Ben Sherman is best worn with that kind of pasty spotty complexion all those Mods had in Quadrophenia ...difficult to achieve with all the sun in the USA but keep working on it!

MUMMY'S LITTLE MONKEY (@Jax2000) said...

Deffo!!!! In New Zealand the fashion is very understated - you don't really go out of your way to stand out. In Sydney it's either beach-y or very feminine size zero body-con (I was beach-y...) and in London it became funky fashionable - layers, jackets, boots. And each style would look quite out of place if I wore them in the wrong cities...

Mrs. Tuna said...

I have an ugly confession. I have a What Not to Wear album on Facebook. Candid shots I catch of people who apparently don't give a hoot how they look before wandering out.

theliberator12 said...

I'm still in my original clime so my signature style has not changed at all. Still as uterly styleless as I always was.
Sex Furniture