East Coast Vs. West Coast Fashion

It’s a feud that has burned for decades in rap songs and friendly debates and Food Network specials: East Coast vs. West Coast. There are undeniable differences between the two regions, but what about the East Coast vs. West Coast aesthetic? Just how different are the fashion choices of the two coasts?

I grew up in Oregon, land of Nike sneakers and performance fleece. We have a growing indie fashion scene and tons of cool creative types, but “casual” is and probably always will be the name of the game. To this day whenever I see a man wearing a suit I assume he is a Mormon missionary. After college I moved to Washington, D.C. for an internship and everything — from the food to the pace of the city to the clothes hanging on the racks at Macy’s — was different. I’m not sure what was more jarring to me: the realization that “getting coffee” in D.C. literally means buying a coffee and drinking it (in the Pacific Northwest “getting coffee” is a social event) or the preponderance of matching skirt suits and sensible-height heels.

If I had to sum it up in a slightly stereotype-y manner, I’d say the West Coast’s signature style tends to be more laid-back and bohemian. I think the East Coast better understands the concept of “dressing up” and is in general a bit more formal. For those of you who have lived on one coast or both, what differences have you noticed? Which style do you prefer? And this doesn’t need to be limited to coastal states. So tell us: what’s unique about your city’s style?

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