Thursday, April 1, 2010

Let's add some more Tony's

Recently on Project Runway, the contestants were given an area of New York City and had to create a look inspired by that particular borough.  This got me thinking...what if I had to design a look based on the influence of Baton Rouge?  What do you think of when you think of the demographics, culture, and style of dress of Baton Rougeans?

Honestly, I feel like most of the time, I try to dress to stand out from the crowd here, but this thought made me feel like I need to know the aspects of southern style in Red Stick, LA. A couple of things came to mind.  After all, we do have some VERY fashionable and beautiful people here. These are some of the "patterns" I picked up on.  

Girls here wear a lot of short dresses and short shorts.  When living in NY and traveling in Europe, I realized that this is not always so.  I got a lot of looks when I bared my legs in these two locations...more so Europe, and more so in the afternoon/evening.  These looks were either of disapproval from older ladies or girls my age or hard stares that made me wanna say in a childlike voice, "take a picture, it'll last longer!'  It just isn't safe or custom to bare your legs as much or as often as we do here in the south.  

Not only are our dresses usually short, but they have become the equivalent of jeans and a casual top or tee.  I'm talking about satin or mock satin cocktail style dresses - go to the bar on a Thursday night and you will be hard pressed to find a girl not in a dress, much less a solid tee or tank with shorts or other casual bottom.  It's hard when stores like Forever 21 are enticing girls to buy them offering pleated sweetheart neckline dresses for $22.50.  Save that look for a wedding or event.  Girls here are very "done-up" for the most part.  When I was in Paris, the friend who I was staying with said I looked like someone off of an American Soap opera because my hair was big and blonde...not exactly what I was going for.  


We also like a lot of color and prints!  Most of my friends closets look like a crayon box exploded....not in a bad way, but the go to neutrals and black of the North and Abroad are not our everyday attire...god forbid we wear black on black.  The average girl here doesn't see an ensemble as an outfit without a print thrown in or at least a belt with accompanying jewelry.   

We lean towards things that show or define our figure.  When I was in Italy and Paris, everything was in flowy fabrics and loose-fitting silhouettes.  The colors were usually different shades of the same hue worn together...very effortless and beautiful.  Have you noticed how many store windows have "waistband dresses".  I will admit I love a nipped in waist, but I sometimes wish that people would explore other ways of going about this like more high waisted pants.  Oh, and lets change up the location of where the waist band hits from time to time and can it please not be elastic?...great thanks.  

Well, we all know one of the uniforms - khaki shorts, polo or button up, and sperry's or loafers with Costas etc.  It's a great look!  I just wish that more guys here came up with their own personal style.  One things about boys in Paris...ahhh boys in Paris...they all seemed to have their own individual look. I promise I am not just reminiscing or romanticizing these guys all though they were so romantic haha.  Sometimes, not trying was the reason they had a cool look.  A thin blend tee with pants, (mix it up with a different shade than khaki or even a dressier fabric).  Mind you, I don't mean a white tee from wal- mart.  Pair those two items with a sandal or loafer and you've done something a little different.  

I also love a good tee with and blazer or lightweight jacket.  V-neck sweaters with jeans or cotton pants are great too.  However, if you can't pull a look off, don't try!   If I was a guy, I don't think I'd shop anywhere but thrift stores.  You can find the best plaid button ups, old retro polos or worn in thin tees.  Thrift stores are also great places to find old school ties or bow ties.  A skinny or oversized tie is a great piece to add to your look to stand out from the rest of the crowd!    

I just sometimes feel that we have extremes here...preppy guys, guys that can't grow out of their high school wardrobe, or fist pumpers.  I'm not saying you fashionable studs aren't here at all, but the average guy doesn't concern himself too much with his wardrobe, which is fine but just so you know...straight guys can care too!

Here are some trends and new looks that we can experiment with to integrate into our wardrobe: 

  • Dresses with different silhouettes than those fitted at the natural waist.  
  • wearing different shades of the same hue together rather than feeling the need to color block or incorporate a print.
  • you can wear brown and black together!  It's a great look. 
  • be a little edgy with some black on black action 
  • functional clothing...don't be afraid to wear *$#% kickers with a skirt or dress or tennies with leggings, skinny jeans, or a spring you a tomboy/ cool appeal.
  • be casual at the bar...shows you are not desperate to impress, but rather be impressed;)
  • Menswear for girls
  • Guys...maybe just think a little in the morning when you get her you gots style. 

I hope that didn't sound like I was bashing Baton Rouge because I definitely don't mean to.   There are a lot of people with great style here and I think we are getting better in that area.  We also don't have the inspiration or resources that NYC and Europe have on every street corner.  I just started thinking about what we have a lot of here which led to what is missing/what we could add in our repertoire of fashion looks and ideas! I would love to do a collection inspired by Louisiana.  It would be pretty, classy, and put together with some Southern spice and a shot of Tabasco!

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