Friday, February 22, 2019

The Fashion of Your Community

by Digidave (editor), San Francisco, October 20, 2009

An ongoing debate. Can you tell where people are from based on their clothes?

I live in Northern California. We have San Francisco, birthplace of the hippies. While I grew up in Los Angeles I have come to call the Bay Area home. 

But I also believe Los Angeles gets a bad rap. It gets a bad rap from all over the country. New Yorkers love to hate LA. So do people in Chicago, Missouri, etc. But no place hates Los Angeles more than Northern California. Personally, I think there is a bit of a chip on the shoulder here, but for whatever reason - there is some animosity that goes beyond a friendly Dodger/Giants rivalry. Besides, we all know that rivalry isn't friendly.

Most recently this came up when my girlfriend (a Northern California native) was trying to convince me that she could spot native Souther Californians based on how they dress. As though there were some kind of Los Angeles wardrobe code that we all agreed to.

Waiting to board our plane down to Los Angeles, visiting my parents, she was looking every man, woman and child up and down and then telling me if they were just visiting or were natives of Los Angeles.

Personally, I don't buy any of this. 

I think there are cultures and regions of the world you can identify by their apparel. You can easily spot Indian dresses, African garbs and traditional Chinese clothes.

But LA and SF are not worlds apart, even if one of them does use the word "hella." I don't think there is a significant cultural, ethnic, etc gap by which one could distinguish itself against the other. In other words - you can't spot an Angeleno based on how they look compared to a San Franciscan. And this goes double for their wardrobe. Maybe I'm wrong - I'd love to hear your thoughts.

While by East coast standards California should be three or four states we are, in fact, one state unified under our mutual disdain for Arizona. Oh man, don't even get me started on Arizona. They all dress like cowboys! (I kid, I kid).

About the Writer

Digidave is an editor for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on The Fashion of Your Community

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By wolviela on October 21, 2009 at 10:12 am

I'm a Northern California native, and while there maybe some truth to what your girlfriend says its not completely easy to spot them.

Ok at the airport for instance, most of us No. Cal will not wear high heels or cumbersome shoes that other passengers waiting in line for security have to wait for them to take them off. We know we are traveling and that the less we  take the faster it is for us and for other people. Consideration.

Also most No. Cal people don't wear tons of makeup in general. Another spotting of LA folks based on their dress is that almost inevitably don't have a jacket when in the Bay Area. Even though I grew up there, about 6 months after to return home for a visit, I didn't bother bringing a jacket and guess what. I stepped off the plane and promptly had to waste my money to buy one.

Anyhow my two cents.

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By TonyBerkman on October 25, 2009 at 02:36 am

I tend to agree with your gf.  Whenever I check  out fb friends 9 out of 10 times I can pick out people from LA.    It must simply be a matter of a lot more pressure to look good, keep in shape, have the latest clothes. combined with great weather and beaches.     Nothing wrong with that.

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By johnsonrik on November 30, 2010 at 04:49 am

In America, the fashion right now is skinny jeans, tight shirts, converse tennis shoes, and long hair that's in your eyes. It's often referred to as "emo", "scene", or "punk". People who dress like this sometimes have facial piercings.
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