Monday, October 02, 2006

the skinny on fashion

For many women, fall means it's time for new clothes, new trends, and a new look. However, I've found that when one lives in Boston, it's difficult to get a sense of the annual fashion trends. I usually appreciate Boston's more laid back approach to fashion and trends, but there are some times during the year (fall being one of them) when I wish we were just a little more fashion forward.

The high number of professors, graduate students, and preppies here keep us from taking any trend too seriously. The professors get rewarded for looking as unfashionable as possible (if you have time to think about clothes and style, you can't be taken seriously). The graduate students are too preoccupied and poor. The preppies are wearing the same clothes they wore in boarding school 15 and 20 years ago (wearing new isn't very frugal--and why buy when you can pillage your grandmother's Maine summer cottage closet?). It seems Boston chooses not to do fashion, at least not enough of us to make much of an impact.

I got to thinking about all of this because I saw a woman wearing "skinny jeans" today. Skinny jeans, the fashion magazines tell us, are an integral part of this season's "new silhouette." I've been seeing them in magazines, reading a few Web site articles about both their merits and drawbacks, and have seen them in a few stores. But up until today, I had never actually seen them on a real live human being.

I will refrain from commenting on whether I like this new look or not (mostly because I'm not sure yet--this woman could pull them off pretty well, but I'm not so sure most people could), but this fashion forward sighting once again reminded me how I miss the vibrancy and fashion risk taking of other cities such as San Francisco and New York.

I like fashion, but I don't think many people would call me a fashion risk taker. And even though I will probably never own a pair of skinny jeans (whether I live in Boston, New York, or San Francisco), I miss being around people who do. I miss being around people who take fashion seriously and have their own strong sense of style (trends or not) even more so.

Yes, fashion can be frivolous, and yes, there are many other much more important things to worry about. I fully agree that one has to be careful of putting too much stock and effort in trends and shopping. But when done well, fashion also makes wonderful street theater, can make life more pleasurable, and most importantly, makes you feel good about yourself.

Here's hoping that Boston denizens decides to take the fashion plunge. A whole city may thank you.


Blogger Chrissa said...

I hear you. I got a severe case of fashion envy in NY this weekend. But also felt like I would go crazy surrounded by all that expensive trendiness - I'd have to work hard not to get caught up in it. Thank you Boston, for being so dowdy-casual! It makes it so easy to shine ...

3:03 PM  
Blogger BubbaRayGracie said...

That was kind of long. Can you sum it up for me? I was too busy raiding my grandmother's Maine summer cottage closet to read the whole thing.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Meaghan said...

I tried on a pair of skinny jeans at the jean bar at Barney's the other weekend... I hereby reject the trend wholeheartedly.

2:07 PM  

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