Dressing to impress your neighbors

My husband Joe has experienced a style evolution. Over the last few months, he’s slowly stepped up his style, trading baseball hats and ratty t-shirts for newsboy caps and trendy man-shirts.

Upon notice, I couldn’t help but Nancy-Drew the source of this new found fashion sense. Was it a secret girlfriend? Or had he joined an underground fashion club? The realization was puzzling.

Then it came to me…we moved.

The evolution started in October when we traded Lakeview for the chicer-dressed Ukrainian Village. He’s added more fashionable clothing and accessories to his wardrobe ever since. See exhibits A–C below.

Exhibit A: Chuck Taylors and skinny jeans

Exhibit A: Chuck Taylors and dark, straight-cut jeans

Exhibit B: Trendy t-shirt

Exhibit B: Trendy t-shirt

Exhibit C: Aforementioned newsboy hat

Exhibit C: Aforementioned newsboy cap

Exhibits A-C make me wonder: does neighborhood influence style? If so, do people who live in Gold Coast feel more pressured to wear designer duds? And if you live in Wrigleyville, are you more inclined to wear sports attire? I know these are generalizations, but I have to admit that my new neighborhood has somewhat influenced my style. For example, over the last few months, my hair has moved even further away from soccer-mom bob and my jeans have gotten a bit skinnier (and it’s not because I’ve lost weight).

Does every neighborhood have a style? Or is Joe’s style evolution simply due to the Wicker Park effect?

Note: I reserve the right to mention that this was Joe’s idea. No exploitation was involved in the creation of this blog post.



Filed under Chicago, fashion, neighborhoods, Uncategorized

7 responses to “Dressing to impress your neighbors

  1. Jo

    Your neighborhood totally changes how you dress. I recall when I moved from Bloomington, Ind. to Seattle, Wash. I didn’t own more than one black tee…now…many a black/grey/dark blue item mingle among the limited bright color tees reserved only for the one month of summer. Excellent observation.

  2. I would have to say it most definitely does. My decorating style also changed somewhat when moving to Andersonville, due to the local home stores and independently owned boutiques that line the streets. This is very different from the TJ Maxx and Bed Bath and Beyond influences in Lakeview. As far as fashion goes, I think that working downtown helps withe my style choices more than the neighborhood, just because I am not a gay man. They are the majority up here. Great post!

  3. Ryan

    I heard they gave you a complimentary pair of skinny jeans when you sign a lease in Ukrainian Village.

  4. Lisa

    Good one. I like the Tee exhibited in (b) by the way. I have noticed that geography in general affects one’s ensemble. I also think one moves to a location based on comfortableness and a desire to be part of that habitation and culture. So maybe you moved there because you wanted to be that person who dresses that way….ooooooooo aahhhhhh.

  5. Brandon

    hmmmm…i cna’t say that I’m too impacted by my neighborhood. Afterall, I lived in the ghetto, but never ghettofied myself…(that would be interesting)

    Now, I live in sportsville/gayville…hmmm, maybe I’ll start wearing jockstraps and assless chaps with cubs sweatshirts. 😉

    Perhaps I’m too disinterested in fashion to even notice what is taking place around me? T-shirts and jeans are good for me no matter where I live…

  6. Dave Miller

    I must say that Joe looked quite stunning yesterday afternoon. Yes he did. Sorry I dropped him off so late.

  7. Pingback: Neon sneakers—The new Chuck Taylors « Notes on Urban Behavior

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