Sunday, August 9, 2009

Fashion Journalism: Spotting trends from LA to NJ

After two seasons in Los Angeles, gladiator sandals have finally hit the streets of Princeton. (Photo Credit: Splendicity). 
By Jay Kim (Los Angeles, CA)

Los Angeles, California: torn jean shorts, revealing tank tops, layered chain necklaces, gladiator sandals, huge sunglasses and animal print bags. 
Princeton, New Jersey: clean cut t-shirts in solid colors, khaki capris, modest accessories, summer wedges, black sunglasses and tweed totes. 

The first time I set foot on the East Coast, I noticed a drastic change from the familiar hot streets of Los Angeles. Everyone in Princeton had their own flair. The whole atmosphere of the two places were polar opposites. While most of the women in Princeton emitted a Michelle Obama-esque aura, Los Angeles ladies were strutting their outrageously trendy and fashionable articles of clothing and accessories. 

Almost everyone in California keeps up with trends -- whether it be the Rihanna-like punk rocker style with studs on belts, bags, shoes, tank tops and everything else you can imagine, to the extremely romanticist feminine floral tulip skirts. Trends come and go in L.A., and most women even remotely interested in fashion would follow them. But New Jersey is different -- very different. Trends would be spotted on the Nassau Street here and there, from the floral skirts I mentioned before to the gladiator sandals that’s been around for two straight summer seasons now. But they seem to pick up immaculate and polished classical pieces over the more trendy things on sale in L.A. 

From stores like J. Crew, Ann Taylor to Banana Republic, everything screams “conservative, conservative, conservative.” Not one store I spotted in Palmer Square remotely resembled youth orientated trendy shops like Kitson Boutique or Betsey Johnson in L.A.. What’s even more starkly different about New Jersey is that every generation, whether you are 14, 23 or 60 likes to dress in classic pieces that never go out of style. As for L.A., each generation has its own style and trends making its rounds in shops and streets alike. Both styles and overall atmospheres are appreciated in different ways. 

The ladies of Princeton will forever be praised for having sophisticated taste, but criticized for their inability to take a risk. L.A. may make their own faux paus here and there while experimenting, but become celebratory once a new stylish look is born. I like to think that I’m a part of both worlds.

Sometimes I might feel like dressing up in the little black dress or that white Lacoste polo paired with some khaki shorts. Other days, I stay true to my L.A. Californian roots and take a risk.

1 comment:

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