Monday, May 24, 2010

Can't Judge D.C. ...

A commenter noted:
You can't judge DC based on the suburbs. Especially not the suburbs that are in a different state. The suburbs of DC are totally different from DC itself. In DC proper, everyone is quite nicely dressed, as they mostly work on or near the Hill (that would be Capitol Hill, for those of you who aren't up with DC speech
But, as we say in our family, "Au contraire!"
My daughter lives on Capitol Hill, and she reports that the women of D.C. dress exactly as the women of Arlington, Alexandria, and Mt. Vernon, which is to say: sloppily. Remember - I was talking about Weekend dressing, not work dressing. (Although I worked downtown at Metro Center for many years at several high powered law firms, and I Can say with authority that Washington is the opposite of fashionable. Instead people dress to blend in.)For every nicely dressed woman out there on a Saturday, there are ten other frumpily dressed sisters. And this is not just Washington! Co-workers in San Diego, Los Angeles and Las Vegas advise that the same phenomenon occurs there.
Some cities are fashionable - some are not.
What cities would you rank as fashionable? I recall Montreal as having nicely dressed people, yet Reno most emphatically did not.
Vote in the comments!


Myra said...

You know, I am from Houston, which is a mix of nicely dressed and not so nicely dressed. Now we live in a rural South Texas town, where things are casual, but it's a ranching town. The nearest larger cities are San Antonio and Victoria. Victoria, I noticed, the girls are into "bling", so I guess they are "better" dressed, but still casual, just more accessorized. I think doing away with dresses for everyday wear contributed to this. My daughter cannot believe I wore dresses to school daily until 3rd grade or about 1976.

beangirl said...

Um...I'm going to say first off that I suppose a person's definition of "fashionable" might vary. However. Chicago and DC are two places where I've always found people to be highly unfashionable and very very conservatively dressed. As you said, they dress to blend in. Saying that, it does seem like almost everywhere is getting more and more casual for non-work attire. 'Round here work attire is predominantly getting to be what I would normally have called "club" clothes (i.e. plunge-neck halter tops and skin-tight hiphuggers). Which of course means "casual" clothes are just frumpier versions of that (tank tops and short-shorts). But I live an north Texas. "Fashionable" doesn't really spring to mind. Or at least, I should say "tasteful" doesn't. It could be said that all that stuff is highly fashionable.

badmomgoodmom said...

OMG, LA is so ill-dressed on a day to day basis.

I wrote 3 funny stories about how you can't judge people by what they wear. Or, more precisely, the more powerful the person, the more bum-like he will dress.

Sophie Miriam said...

Well, I guess we hang out in different DC circles, then. Or maybe, as beangirl pointed out, we mean different things. I would not say the people I see in DC are trendy, generally, but I would not call them sloppily dressed, either. I see more nicely dressed people in downtown DC than in downtown Montreal.

KarenJeanette said...

Our society has gone into comfort mode. A few years ago on a cruise people were wearing shorts on the captain's night! It doesn't matter if it's in large or small cities. There seems to be no pride in appearance. I live in a relatively small town and don't go out of the house without a decent outfit on and makeup. I am always running into someone I know.

The Slapdash Sewist said...

Hmm, it's hard to say. I would say Shirlington in particular is def NOT representative of DC proper, as it is not metro accessible so only people who live in the suburbs with cars go there and while it may be DC Proper snobbery, people who live in the suburbs with cars *are* different from people who live in the city without them.

DC is very stratified along socioeconomic lines. My friends and I and the rest of my "class" all look stereotypically nice pretty much all the time, but the definition of "nice" varies among classes so you will see a wide variety of clothes.