New York Style

There’s one myth about New York City that really needs to be debunked: New York is supposedly „the capital city of fashion”. If so, I fail to see it; people who come to the city of yellow cabs as tourists fail to see it, too. My mom, upon visiting me here, even said that “people here look raggedy”. Those who live here and care about fashion, are usually excited about a visit to London, Paris, or Milan, for those places enable them to “see real fashion in the streets”. I agree with that statement: if it’s fashion you’re after, look for it in Europe. Of course, you will meet people in the streets here wearing fantastic outfits (after all, there are 8 million people here, and even a few millionaires), but most people here value comfort above anything else, and comfortable clothes sometimes do look kind of raggedy. If you want to see people wearing great (and expensive) outfits, go to SoHo, which for me is the main fashion district of New York.

Still, I have to admit there is something I would call a New York style, which I like a lot and which would allow me to recognize a New Yorker anywhere in the world. I believe so, but I am not certain: as I was recently looking at photos from different parts of the world, I started wondering if the style I am referring to is not by chance simply an urban style, typical in big cities.

What are some of its characteristics? There are a few main ones. First of all, the colors: black, white, lots of gray and occasional beige. Jeans is obligatory. New Yorkers love hats of all kinds – hats, beanies, baseball caps are present in every New York closet. Every New Yorker also has several pairs of sneakers and leather boots and/or loafers. I expect the absolute best-seller is still a white t-shirt. And, of course, there’s the leather jacket, usually black, with a hoodie underneath (I wrote of hoodies recently at Just Like NY). The entire style is best epitomized by one brand of clothes I am still saving my money for Rag & Bone. 

In general, toned-down colors dominate, jeans and leather reign supreme, and everything gets enlivened by interesting accessories, with sunglasses at the top of the list. The clothes are usually loose, not particularly underlining one’s shapes, as well as making the general impression of having been picked on a whim, as something that just happened to hang in the closet. Contrary to what you might think, most of those clothes are actually good brands, costing a good deal more than they look. I like the style since it makes everything go nicely together and befits a street walk, a date, and a social meeting equally well. And it so happens that it always looks quite fashionable.