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Don’t judge by the chapter you walked into.
It’s a new year, so I want you to change one thing. I would say “we,” but I’ve already been working on it the last two years (not that I’ve mastered it yet). Don’...

Why Some Women Don’t Want to Have Kids (And Why the Reason Is Not What You Think It Is)
Yes, I want to write about it (again), because it bothers me. I recently realized I don’t want to have kids (now and maybe ever). And I realized how difficult it is for a woman not only to adm...

You’re Fine
2018 has been a very successful year for me, because I finally understand that I’m completely fine. I just look at myself and I finally see myself. It took me half my life to understand it, bu...

It’s Profound to Be Understood
As Whoopi Goldberg said in her book „If He Says: ‚You complete me’ — Run!”, which I’ve already written about on JLNY some time ago, people tend to mistake love fo...

You’re Always Becoming
Michelle Obama released her book memoir, „Becoming”, and I keep seeing it everywhere in NYC. I haven’t read it yet and now I really want to. Not because I consider Barack Obam...

Drop This Attitude
I just had my best friend Gosia visited me from Chicago a few weeks ago. We spent the whole weekend together excited about each other. We did a few activities, but what was the most important was th...

Is Your Partner’s Skin Color or Country of Origin Relevant At All?
I will answer the titular question right away: „I don’t think so”. And I’m pretty sure I am right. I honestly don’t understand this whole theory about having a partner ...

How To Get the Body You Want
Have you ever said to yourself: “I’m so fat”…? Or “I can’t even look at myself”…?. Or “I will never lose all this weight”…? Or &l...

Accept the challenge
Until now, my favorite sentence was always: “Hope he’ll change after we get married.” (Yeah,  sure, into a pumpkin…) But there is a new contender that I find equally ...

NY Love Story A.D. 2019
I don’t like romantic comedies. And I can tell you why. Once, it used to be my favorite genre, but I grew up since then (a bit). Also — I moved to NY. Romantic comedies just don’t ...

When Was the Last Time Your Journal Embarrassed You?
When was the last time you said to yourself: “This is embarrassing”, and you actually meant yourself…? Well, it just happened to me. I sat down to write about something else and I...

Why It’s Important To Not Look Like Shit
Here is my question: Why do you think it’s a good idea to look like shit at home? Some people put on their worst clothes at home - clothes with holes, stretched out, worn out, old and ugly. (B...

You Are What You Wear

added: 2013-07-23 , category: Living in NY

You are likely to hear more than once that, according to popular wisdom, „Americans like to dress comfortably”. It is true that the preferred feature of what they wear is not getting in the way of how they function in their everyday lives. New Yorkers are a different story, though. It’s true that they like comfort and prize it highly, but it’s far more important to them to stand out from the crowd. They don’t forget they live in one of world centers of fashion. You have to live up to that.

New Yorkers know it’s not enough to wear something fashionable to become or just look en vogue, not to mention to get noticed and commented upon. The outfit has to contain a specific personality – only then is it “complete”. How do you do that, though? How do you stand out among millions of other people who try to do exactly the same thing? You think that all it takes is to wear pink hot pants and dye your hair accordingly and everyone will “go crazy”? Not only nobody will, but more than likely you won’t even get noticed. Pink hair…? Try shaving off 1/8 of it and write something like “Free the rabbits!” with black spray paint on your head – maybe someone will notice you, before saying: “Next!”

What’s important (and I’m speaking to all those unsure of their own taste), there’s no such thing as „inappropriate wear” over here. New Yorkers don’t mind popular trends (some do, of course, and will buy any “latest thing”, no matter how absurd) and prefer to create their own. You can wear anything and pretend that it’s all the rage. Any hairdo, any kind of piercing, any green hair you can think of won’t get laughed at or ridiculed. When it comes to fashion, all bets are off in New York City.

Clothes over here can shock, amaze, stupefy, raise eyebrows and cause you to smile at their inventiveness. Even though you can wonder sometimes which garbage pile is responsible for the bracelet you just see someone wearing, you’d still have to admit that New Yorkers’ creativity reaches absolute peaks. I never went to Tokio, but I imagine that city alone can compete with NYC in the “you-ain’t-seen-nothing-yet” category.

The most interesting „specimens” can be found in Manhattan, at 14th street and below. Another spotting ground is the first Brooklyn station of the L train, “Bedford” in Williamsburg, which belongs to artists and hipsters.

I guarantee that during the first few days of walking the streets of NYC you will stare at all the fashion freaks, often marveling at the courage some people have. It is courageous to wear what you want and show who you are, paying no attention to “what people will say”. You’re entitled to that here. There’s no greater manifestation of one’s independence that the clothes we wear – they can say more about us than we even dare to say out loud.

Watch out how long you stare and who are you staring at, though. You can be “politely” admonished and asked: “What is your problem?” 

*I will try to muster up some courage and take pictures of the more interesting examples.



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