I used to live in New York. I used to live in LA. Some of my best style ideas came from watching the people I saw on the street, where fashion creativity reigned supreme. It wasn’t always good, mind you, but there were ideas to be found and outfits at which to marvel and snicker.
Now I live in a small town in the Sierra foothills where style is optional. Very optional.
That’s not a criticism. In truth, it’s more of an observation. When I first moved here, I fell in love with the beauty and charm of the area, and those things still affect me in a positive way. When friends come to visit, I like taking them for a stroll along the main street of town, which is filled with small shops and places to have a great cup of coffee. But when you look around at the people…
It’s a little startling.
In the spring and summer, you’re likely to see women in shapeless dresses or terribly unflattering shorts. In the fall and winter, bulky layers rule: a clump of fabric wrapped around a skirt worn over leggings, with more tops than I can count. It reminds me of the Incan women I saw in Peru who wear all their clothes at once, lest someone steal them.
In the first year of living here, my biggest fear was that I would go native, succumbing to the anything-goes rule. My worst nightmare was that one of my friends from New York would somehow see me dressed like a local and write me off as a lost cause. I eventually realized that there wasn’t even the remotest chance of that happening, because I have too much fun with style to abandon it completely.
I like to dress up. I like to put outfits together. I like to accessorize. And if on any given day I’m the only person walking down Broad Street wearing skinny jeans and heels, so be it.
And that person you might have seen walking into spin class wearing cropped workout pants and Ugg boots? That wasn’t me. Really. Honest. No kidding. (Anyway, I changed into cycling shoes as soon as I got inside.)