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Regional style differences.

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jpeirpont, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. jpeirpont

    jpeirpont Senior member

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    I remember reading J.T Molloy's: How to Dress(name?) books a couple years back when I started college. And found the chapters about how people from different regions dressed interesting. Considering the Book is quite dated.I was curious if some of our more well traveled members noticed differences in the way people dressed in different regions and which place seemed to have the best sense of style. I don't know if it is possible but I'd like to disregard the effect of weather. I'm more or less talking about well dressed people or relatively so.
     
  2. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    I assume you're referring to America. I've seen bad, good and indifferent dressers (mostly the first category) everywhere, but the best preponderence of nice suits I've observed is nyc.
    I did observe some interesting regional differences in Italy. I think the over 30 men's crowd in Siena is the most elegantly attired I've ever seen.

    koji
     
  3. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    Fact is, in nearly 99.9% of places, most people don't give a hoot about dressing "well" or in nice clothes, except at church and for weddings and funerals. It's like how some people think about cars -- "it's just transportation." That said, of the factors that should be indicative of good dress, I'd think money and jobs that require dressy-wear are possibly significant. Thus, NYC should be up there. As should San Francisco. And London, Paris, etc.
     
  4. Styleman

    Styleman Senior member

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    1. Milan
    2. Florence
    3. Paris
    4. Rome
    5. London
    6. NYC

    I do not know about SF, as I never saw anyone very well dressed in my 2 visits.
     
  5. Styleman

    Styleman Senior member

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    In the UK very much so with regional differences, in the north people dress very badly, in London and the South-East people generally dress well. However, the main difference is that in the UK it does not really matter if you are a man of a woman as is the case in the US.
     
  6. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    I think that there certainly are regional differences. There was some talk of this recently when FIHTies was expressing distress over Ben Silver's catalog and their ensembles. The conclusion was that it was a Yankee viewing a Southern based catalog (Ben Silver having Yankee roots, however).

    I think in the South, for example, you're more likely to see bow ties and seersucker. That's a generalization of course. It is hard to ignore weather in any discussion of regionalism, though. One is more likely to see heavy tweeds in Scotland than Miami for very weather related reasons, methinks.
     
  7. STYLESTUDENT

    STYLESTUDENT Senior member

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    I can only compare New York and southeast Michigan. There has to be a tendency to notice people who dress like you away from home and then conclude that they are well-dressed.

    Clothes that I see more often in New York than in Michigan include:
    1. Dressier brown suede shoes with suits and dress pants;
    2. Loden, covert, and duffel coats;
    3. Seersucker and light-colored suits in summer;
    4. Bolder (checked) dress shirts-more pattern mixing.
    5. Solid suit with solid shirt and solid tie.
    6. Pocket squares, especially white linen or cotton
    7. French-cuff shirts
    8. DB suits.
     
  8. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    There are definite differences between the coasts. The stereotypes are more or less true. It seems that elegance and sophistication is more highly regarded on the East Coast (specifically the NE US, and particularly NYC), while the west coast has a more casual, look. Ties are pretty uncommon except for those in the financial and movie executive ranks, and even then, they are often the exception rather than the rule. On the east coast, the streetwear sensibility is highly NYC influenced - darker tones, edgier cuts. On the west coast, streetwear is often beach influenced. I think that the core difference between the east and west coast is the use of adornment and color. On the West Coast, the palette is usually lighter, and understatement (which is - read any history of fashion text - one of the core values of the middle, rather than upper or lower classes) translates into "casual", while on the east coast understatement translates into "subdued."
     
  9. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There are style differences even within geographies. Most of the San Francisco Bay area, for example, dresses in kahkis and polo shirts. But there are twenty square blocks in the City that dress like New York.

    Will
     
  10. jharrison

    jharrison Senior member

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    I haven't traveled extensively, so I can't really comment from firsthand experience. I have read, though, and some believe that multinational corporations have done much to homogenize culture wordlwide. And I could believe it. There's a Gap and Starbucks on every corner. But I'm sure major cities will maintain there authenticity and charm. I just worry about small towns.

    Think globally, buy locally
     
  11. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    fashion and style may have become somewhat globalized, but there will always be one inescapable localizing factor, climate.

    add to that local geography which may encourage certain types of activity, both work and recreation.

    and one last factor, which may be dwindling, is the proximity to local industry. in the southeast, for example, there are many textile mills, and sometimes it's more economical to buy from the factory stores. i lived in a town where there was a hosiery factory, and a lot of the kids wore socks from there.
     
  12. jpeirpont

    jpeirpont Senior member

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    I noticed that regions began dressing essentially the same concerning "black clothing", when I started seeing people from the south and west wearing Timberlands which was always associated the Northeast when concerning urban blacks. Thats another thing that lead me to post this topic.
     
  13. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Senior member

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    Wouldn't have expected this sentiment from someone with a Bush/Cheney avatar. Not criticizing, just commenting.

    In my experience -- having lived in the Mountain West, Upper Midwest, Texas, DC and NYC-- as one moves westward in the U.S. there is a concomitant lessening of respect for "institutions", be it government, universities or even social conventions (not necessarily manners, but conventions that don't seem particularly practical).

    I find this includes dress: as one moves from east to west, there is less interest in communicating things like social status and formality with clothing. Even macho guys in NYC will take great pride and care in their appearance, whereas even non-macho guys in the West would find such concerns to be irrelevant (not to mention effeminate).

    Thus, I find that clothing is by far the most casual in the Pacific Northwest, where leather soled shoes and shirts with collars are looked at as fairly pretty impractical and formal. NYC is bar none the most clothing conscious. DC and Texas were about the same, but in DC it was a professional and decidedly non-stylish look (the ubiquitous gray ill-fitting suit) at was necessary for professional reasons, whereas in Texas it was more peacocky and done to insinuate financial well being and importance. What little time I spent in SF, it seemed to be pretty Banana Republicy, while thinking that was well-dressed.

    Then there are the stereotypes -- NYC wears a lot of black (true), Texas wore bright colors (somewhat true, but a lot of black as well), DC dresses conservatively (true), Midwesterners are douty (truish). I think there are differences, albeit slight ones. Good thing for diversity of opinion and lifestyles though, so people can pick and choose where they'd like to be and with whom they'd like to be.
     
  14. JesseJB

    JesseJB Senior member

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    Bumped for being interesting.
     
  15. ManofKent

    ManofKent Senior member

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    Bumped for being interesting.

    Zombie thread [​IMG] but yes it is interesting.

    On the UK front I'd disagree with Styleman's idea that the South is better dressed than the North. Differences in dress tend to be much more related to educational level, which is still linked to 'class'. Yes 'The City' as opposed to London as a whole tends to be well dressed, but beyond that, I don't think there's a great regional difference.

    In terms of differences across the world Bernard Roetzals (sp?) book covers some of the differences quite well.
     
  16. Parker

    Parker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Regional differences were probably more noticeable before globalization. Most people in large cities can now access stuff from all over the place that was once limited to locals or travelers. We also have magazines and the interwebs for showing off style from all over and can adopt whatever bits that we want.

    The question that came to mind was how much your personal style was influenced by your environment and how much by your own making and preferences.
     
  17. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    1. Will is correct about San Francisco. I live 35 miles south of San Francisco
    in Palo Alto. When I go into the "City" I often dress like New York's upper East
    Side. At home I usually wear jeans.

    2. I was impressed with the understated elegance I saw in Vienna a
    few years ago.
     
  18. radicaldog

    radicaldog Senior member

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    Zombie thread [​IMG] but yes it is interesting.

    On the UK front I'd disagree with Styleman's idea that the South is better dressed than the North. Differences in dress tend to be much more related to educational level, which is still linked to 'class'. Yes 'The City' as opposed to London as a whole tends to be well dressed, but beyond that, I don't think there's a great regional difference.

    In terms of differences across the world Bernard Roetzals (sp?) book covers some of the differences quite well.


    I agree that in the UK the differences are more to do with class than with geography (from a causal point of view). One may mistakenly think otherwise because of the variations in class concentrations between regions.
     
  19. voxsartoria

    voxsartoria Senior member

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    But there are twenty square blocks in the City that dress like New York.

    Will


    Alcatraz?


    - B
     
  20. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    Zombie thread [​IMG] but yes it is interesting. On the UK front I'd disagree with Styleman's idea that the South is better dressed than the North. Differences in dress tend to be much more related to educational level, which is still linked to 'class'. Yes 'The City' as opposed to London as a whole tends to be well dressed, but beyond that, I don't think there's a great regional difference. In terms of differences across the world Bernard Roetzals (sp?) book covers some of the differences quite well.
    I too believe this is the case in the UK. Those attending Oxford are far better dressed than those at Cambridge.
     

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