6 Style Lessons I Learnt from Living in New York City
You will have seen me write countless times on the blog how New York City changed my style. Perhaps I was exposed in my formative style years (23-25 years-old). Or perhaps because I was away from all I knew - friends, family, home - that I took in everything I saw and wasn't afraid to be and dress as who I wanted to be.
Whether you have experienced New York or not, here are 8 style lessons the big apple taught me that might inspire your style too.
Don't Save the Best Pieces for Special Occasions
When we were younger, we used to buy one expensive special dress which would sit in the closet until our BFF's 21st party. It would be worth three times as much as everything else we owned, and was only worn three times in its life.
New Yorkers on the other hand, utilise their whole wardrobe whether it is designed for day or night dressing. Think Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City. Even brunch time would call for an epic duck egg blue feather jacket paired with heels and a simple white shirt and worn-in jeans. Effortless, chic and extravagant. I love it!
Now, perhaps because my style changed from NYC, I buy less or I have a reduced disposable income as when I was living with my parents, but hardly anything in my collection is left for a special occasion. My black vintage Gucci tuxedo gets a work out, both together as a suit and as separate items. Here I'm wearing it as an elevated day piece. Another example is my Hermes scarf which I inherited from my grandmother. It is very special to me and because of that I love to wear it.
New Yorkers often opt for black, as do Melburnians, but no matter how cool they look, I prefer to take cues from the colourful dressers. And there are many of them. To help embrace colour, begin by sorting your closet into similar colour palettes. That makes it much easier to see what colours go with what.
Another simple yet stylish option is to wear tone on tone. Organising your closet into colours as mentioned above will also help with this and make it very clear what to pair with what. You can simply grab and throw on. Easy peasy.
When in doubt, reach for denim. The Canadian tuxedo may have been invented in Canada, but New Yorkers wear it damn well.
Overhaul the Overalls
Overalls aren't only for the farm, they are the perfect “I’m not sure what to wear today,” outfit. I still recall a regular who came into the café I was working at in the East Village who was also a regular overall-wearer. She looked so chic wearing overalls / dungarees / boiler suits with her blonde hair in a messy top knot and huge smile. Later on she was pregnant, she still looked amazing and effortlessly casual. That’s my future pregnancy-style inspiration right there!
The New York Girl is the New French Girl
Relaxed silk shirts gently tucked into perfectly fitting high-waisted denim. A delicate pair of ballet flats with a pair of high-heel stilettos in their bag for that warehouse party later on. Hair air-dried, little to no make-up except for a red lip stain. New York girls definitely know how to do the French Girl Chic in their own way.
Have you learnt anything about your style after visiting a certain city? I would love to hear from you, leave a message below.
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Photography by Lauren Drzewucki