How where you live influences your style. I often get asked the question, so who dresses better, European women or North American ones? Uhhh….. I don’t know. Of course the grass is greener on the other side, so it depends on where I am at the moment, but when you really break it down, women on the west coast of North America dress differently than those on the East Coast. Women in Warsaw (where I’m currently living), dress differently than those living in Prague or Berlin and when we look closely at fashion meccas like London, Paris or Milan, we enter a whole different world of fashion and style.
There are some key differences though, but I think they are influenced by weather and culture more than by the location. When I stop to think about it, I had a very unique upbringing in a very unique part of the world. There aren’t too many cities that are as diverse as Toronto.
HOW WHERE YOU LIVE INFLUENCES YOUR STYLE
A city like Toronto is incredibly diverse and different cultures mix fairly seamlessly, so you’ll find that everyday street fashion is highly influenced by all the view points. Having grown up in such a multicultural city, I was regularly exposed to a wide variety of ethnicity and cultures without ever having to leave my own city. It was normal to spend a day shopping in Chinatown or Greek-town, or even Little Italy.
The quickest way to discover a new culture is through the cuisine and we were lucky enough to have access to pretty much whatever we wanted. From the Filipino market on the corner to the East Indian spices at the local market, to pretty much whatever we were craving to discover.
Naturally, many of these cultures infused themselves into my style while I was growing up.
- My obsession with hats started early and one of the first hats I needed to get my hands on was a Greek Fisherman’s cap (yes, many years before they entered the mainstream)
- Every summer we used to wear inexpensive mary jane slippers that you could buy in abundance in Chinatown.
- I first realized that Espadrilles were a must when I was about 12.
- All through high school I couldn’t get enough of jewelry from India and Indonesia.
- A beautifully embroidered ethnic top? Yes please! A gorgeous leather bag that just got more luxurious with age? Had one of those.
- Intricate East Indian saris? Well they influenced my wedding dress.
These may seem like insignificant things but they largely shaped my style and tastes. Of course what I wear has evolved over time, I can still appreciate and get excited over very specific cultural details. If you occasionally struggle to find your style then remember where you grew up and look for elements that bring you home.
Do you find that your style is influenced by where you live?
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