New York Wants You to Dress Better
One of the first things people notice when they move to or visit New York is that people here dress very well. You notice it on the subway, you notice it when you’re walking around your neighborhood, and you notice it when people-watching at the local park. Every time I step out of my apartment, I look at how the people dress, and there’s tension. There’s tension because I’m perpetually underdressed. At the gym, I’m used to wearing loose-fitting basketball shorts and shirts, that’s been my gym uniform for years. But even at the gym, everyone is not only fit, but they’re well dressed in their gym fits. I sometimes feel like I’m at runway show for Alo or Lululemon when I go to the gym.
One of the messages New York whispers to you is to dress better. No one will explicitly say this to you. But you’ll feel it. As I do every time I step outside my apartment.
Every city has a costume, and in order to be an insider to that city you need to dress in that costume. The New York costume is not a uniform, unlike SF’s Patagonia, but it’s an aesthetic. This is the fashion capital of the world after all. If I were to describe the New York fashion aesthetic, I’d describe it as creative and experimental. Creative in the sense that I’ve seen people wear outfits and pieces I’ve never seen before. Similarly, the aesthetic is experimental in that the bar for what’s “weird” is high in New York from a fashion perspective. Just the other day, I swear I saw someone wearing a Tin Foil suit. Only in New York can someone rock that.