Sunday, June 04, 2006

Carnivale: Local Fashion

Rebecca at The Space Between My Peers asks the most excellent question for this week's Carnivale of Couture:
Suppose you stepped off a plane in your neighborhood, city, or country. Could you tell you were home by how people were dressed? Is there a Regional Casual Uniform? What do people (and you may narrow down to a specific segment of the population if you like) wear when they are going out, during the day, going to be seen, but not needing to dress up?
This will definitely stretch the limits of my powers of observation, which have eluded me all my life. Still--I'll give it a try.

Philadelphia, as the poorer, less hip cousin of New York, is a pretty laid-back city in both mores and dress. While there is no local "uniform," the local feel of young women's fashion is a colorful, relaxed one, favoring an abundance of low-slung jeans or breezy skirts and pretty tops bursting with color, be them of the Urban Outfitters or of the H&M variety. Oversized, striking handbags (either very colorful or overly embellished) are also toted around with nonchalance, a detail which makes Scarpediem quite happy!

What I love about Philadelphia's women is how they've mastered the art of layering and accessorizing. You can be sure to see an abundance of pretty scarves, hats, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, hair accessories, bags and varia always enveloping our busy urban amazons in a flirty mist of colorful flair.

Last but by no means least, the footwear: since Philly is a walker's city, you won't see stilettos, absurdly high heels, or other variety of uncomfortable wear too often--not as day wear, anyway. Painful and pretty shoes are reserved for the evening, for dates, for the car-to-bar trodden paths. Mostly, however, young women will wear flats, mostly ballerinas, espadrilles, wedges, and sportsy footwear. Women love their comfortable shoes here, and Scarpediem must happily approve!

However, there is one choice of shoes that Scarpediem must frown consistently upon: flip-flops, which now, with the return of the summer, have become the uniform footwear for about 3 out of 5 young women. This is most regrettable, indeed, and I can only hope that in the future flip-flops will become less of a staple of urban wear and will indeed be confined to the beach or the pool, where they really belong.

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I couldn't agree with you more about the flip-flops. That trend has got to be about done, hasn't it? Ugh!

 
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