October 5, 2022
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I am an promoting skilled who lives in Brooklyn, with a closet biased towards work put on and American heritage manufacturers, however I will quickly be shifting to Los Angeles. How do I alter my wardrobe to embrace the brand new local weather and life-style? I don’t need to undertake a fully overseas or uncomfortable fashion, but I don’t need to look as if I simply stepped off the airplane from La Guardia each time I depart the home. — Craig, Brooklyn, N.Y.

We are inclined to suppose first about temperature when deciding what wardrobe objects will work finest in a particular geographic location, however setting and context play an typically unacknowledged, and probably much more significant, function in shaping our sense of what to put on.

The colours, structure and supplies wherein we reside seep into our psyche nearly unconsciously, together with the tempo and worth of a metropolis. They’re as influential in terms of our sense of private fashion as any influencers. They’re the background to our on a regular basis camouflage.

And also you thought camo was only for the army? Pshaw. It’s for the city (and suburban) jungle, too.

That’s why vacationers are usually really easy to identify, even when they aren’t waving round a digital camera or a map: They stick out as a result of their gown is misplaced. Actually.

So what does that imply for somebody shifting from New York to Los Angeles?

It means the distinction between grey concrete and glass, skyscrapers and yellow cabs, and solar, low-slung buildings and automobiles. It means a change in steadiness between outdoor and indoors. It means, stated my colleague Lindsey Underwood, who made the identical journey throughout the pandemic, that “life feels much less like a runway right here.”

“There’s a lot extra casualness round fashion, and actually every little thing, in Los Angeles,” she stated. Which will look like a cliché, however clichés exist exactly as a result of they’re so usually true.

The excellent news is that adaptation requires solely a few choose substitutions. Ms. Underwood advisable saying goodbye to the thought of all black — “I really feel like an alien when I gown like that” — and making an attempt to work in some colours impressed, maybe, by the pure setting: blues, greens and sandy tones.

Equally, Rachel Zabar, the founding father of Rachel Zabar Vintage and one other New York-Los Angeles transplant, stated that for each J. Crew or Brooks Brothers button-down, take into account a James Perse T-shirt.

Then, quite than a swimsuit jacket, suppose “one thing alongside the traces of the Aviator Nation 5-stripe zip-up hoodie,” she stated. And, she added, “as a result of L.A. is a lot extra informal, each footwear and equipment are the place males will step up their sport.” That doesn’t imply wingtips and Ray-Bans, nevertheless. It means restricted version or classic.

She recommends testing Undefeated, a fashionable “sneaker boutique,” the place males line up down the block for restricted drops and uncommon classic one-offs, and Hye Optic, run by two generations of Lebanese émigrés, the place “the daddy has been stockpiling glasses because the Nineteen Seventies, and so they have a whole room dedicated to classic eyewear.”

Certainly, Ms. Zabar stated, classic “is baked into the lexicon of Los Angeles trend for each women and men.” It’s one approach to give new that means to feeling like your — effectively, outdated self.

Your Model Questions, Answered

Each week on Open Thread, Vanessa will reply a reader’s fashion-related query, which you’ll be able to ship to her anytime by way of email or Twitter. Questions are edited and condensed.

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