Tag Archives: fashion

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

Where have all the sunglasses gone?

It’s a mystery. All the sunglasses in the city seemed to have disappeared.

Think about it: Excluding bikers and drivers, when was the last time that you saw someone wearing sunglasses? I couldn’t recall any such occasion, so I scanned the riders on my bus yesterday morning to see if anyone was sporting a pair. The only person I noticed wearing them was the dude next to me, who was rocking a pair of black Ray-Bans. The thing is, it was a particularly sunny day. Had it been a sunny spring day, I bet that you would see a plethora of sunglasses wearers. Why could this be? I have a few theories based on an informal poll I conducted with a few coworkers and friends.

It’s just another item to keep tabs on
In the winter, it’s impossible to leave the house without running through a mental checklist: coat, hat, scarf, gloves, etc. A pair of sunglasses is just another annoyance to add to this list. One coworker pointed out that dressing for the outdoors may be simpler if there was some way to combine sunglasses into your hat in some way. Not a bad idea.

Like everyone else, you’ve given up on fashion
We’re in the long stretch of winter now…the time of year where spring is still months away, it’s below zero half the time, and the snow never seems to end. It’s no wonder people lose interest in what they wear. And forget dressing up or accessorizing. You don’t care what other people look like, either, so you don’t need sunglasses to see clearly. As one of my friends put it, “I have given up on looking at anyone on the street in the winter.”

You’re afraid of looking like a “hipster” or a “trixie”

Some of the only people wearing sunglasses this time of year fit into these categories. And perhaps by wearing sunglasses, you’re afraid of being compartmentalized. You may even judge those who do wear sunglasses. One coworker has actually ceased wearing sunglasses for this exact reason. “I used to wear sunglasses on the train, but have stopped because people look at me like I’m pretentious,” she said.

You no longer care about effects of UV rays
You don’t see the sun that often, so you don’t think you need protection from those harmful UV rays. Even if the glare bouncing off the snow is blinding, you don’t wear sunglasses. I don’t even carry mine in my purse right now.

Maybe you wear sunglasses this time of year. Maybe you don’t. The point is that we’ve got a lot more winter to endure. Putting preconceived notions aside, I think it would be beneficial to everyone to sport a pair of sunglasses and dream of the warmer, sunnier days ahead. We’ve got to do something, right?

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Filed under Chicago, fashion, hipsters, weather