New York Daily Photo Analytics

Friday, May 09, 2008

Taste

I once knew a woman who made a blanket condemnation of the way many Americans dress. I frequently reflect on this, because I am a rather casual dresser myself, and had I the motivation for this domestic pursuit, I wouldn't mind being a better dresser. Like this young women in the photo.
There is merit to the idea that many Americans could do better in this regard - in fact the situation spawned a TV show - Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, a TV show where 5 gay men do makeovers of men in dire need of improvement by redoing his wardrobe, redecorating, and advising on grooming, lifestyle, and food.
There are many manifestations of the badly dressed American. When I used to travel to the Caribbean, guides warned visitors not go to town in shorts -it was considered inappropriate. And in Europe, it is easy to spot many Americans based on wardrobe alone - very frequently with garish running sneakers and other heinous articles of clothing. We are a nation where sneakers, jeans and oversize T-Shirts rule the day.
As I have written of before, the size and style of NYC is one that really tolerates and embraces the eccentric - see the related postings below for some of the more outrageous. It also is a great place for one to dress in a stylish way that is perhaps a little unusual, like the quasi-retro look of the woman in today's photo.
Obviously there is plenty of style and good dressers in the USA. It's just that the bad ones really are a blight to the landscape and tar the image of people here in general.
One of my favorite quotes was from a real estate broker I was dealing with at one time. We were discussing this exact subject and he said: "One day I hope to wake up and find that all the people with taste have money and all the people with money have taste."


Related Postings: Out There, Fashion Forward, Spike, Narcissism Gone Wild, Color Brigade.

13 comments:

Terry B said...

And best of all, people can choose their own style and no one flips out about it. From the lovely woman you've shown here to the more extreme links you gave us below, it all works. I recall walking down the street in Midtown one day and seeing a man who, if you looked up dapper in the dictionary, you'd find his picture. A pastel colored suit and matching fedora/derby/bowler hat and a quirky Hercule Poirot mustache. Perfect!

Brian said...

terry - that's exactly it. The extreme or unusual does not draw any attention here. At least one is not ostracized for it.

Chuck Pefley said...

Great quote from your RE broker. I was chatting with a friend recently who described the annual opening day yacht club scene as "people with too much money doing stupid things".

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is a neat post and filled me with curiosity. I also think the lady in the red shoes looks pretty good with the red hair.

Ioanna said...

I like her style, she has caracter! Nice hair too!Great photo as always!

Jilly said...

Great portrait. I love NYC because you do see such individuality in dress - at least around Greenwich Village, SoHo, TriBeCa etc. Probably elsewhere.

And yes you are so right about Americans in Europe - as a whole - not all I hasten to add but it's easy to spot an American visitor at 20 paces.

Kitty said...

Nice photo.
I love the background, the wear on the steps and bricks. I like how she's posed, too, informally and spotaneous

MmeBenaut said...

That's a great quote. I loved that tv show. Those guys really did have a sense of style.
The young girl in the photo is dressed in a cute, sexy way. The red shoes are a nod to eccentricity, I bet she is a load of fun.

Tomate Farcie said...

I am a casual dresser myself, but I remember when I first came to California, I thought people dress a little ... ahem.. weird. By contrast, in Manhattan, anything goes, from the most bizarre to the most elegant. Great, fun post!

J.C. said...

It's my first time visiting your blog and I truly enjoy reading your commentaries! And I like the quote too! I love watching what people wear. Your posting gives me idea to keep a look out for fashionistas and fashion victims! Hee...hee...I will try to capture them for my blog and share with others the fashion sense of fellow Subang Jaya-rians (my city is Subang Jaya, Malaysia).

tr3nta said...

love this photo...

red hair... red wall... red shoes... red steps...

sonia a.m. said...

Love that photo, it has a nice atmosphere... and your text is very well written and very witty!

sonia a.m. said...

Me again... love that quote about taste!