It is interesting how fashion and style change depending upon where you live. Since I was a child I have had the opportunity to live on both coasts, and seemingly everywhere in-between. I remember after arriving at each new destination it required some time adjusting to the local trends. Nevertheless, with some time and creativity I began to enjoy the different fashion opportunities each climate offered. Dresses and skits on the west coast, sweaters and scarves on the east coast, and jeans in between.
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Seal Beach, California was the first place our family moved to and my fashion adventure began. California was warm most of the time so the fashion trends accommodated the great weather. Jean shorts, flip-flops, and tank tops. Personally, I wear a variety of styles regardless of the season. I don’t confine myself to traditional women’s clothes either. Polo shirts were among the clothing staples on the sunny coast of Seal Beach and they look just as good on women as they do on men. The same is NOT true of the lightweight sundresses and strap-on sandals that were one of my favorite outfits to wear while in sunny California. Everywhere you went there were people roller blading, lifting weights on the beach and enjoying nice walks with their dogs or metal detectors at sunset.
Little did I know my next living destination would have a completely different climate change in Traverse City, Michigan. This was yet another city on the coast, however it had a completely different weather pattern and a different body of water.
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My wardrobe had to start from scratch to adapt to a completely different climate and fashion trends. Michigan had six-month winters, consequently I acquired a variety of coats in my closet during the short time we lived there. I had a coat for when I dressed up as well as for everyday trips to the grocery store or outdoor activities. Because the winters were so severe, I purchased a coat that could keep me warm in the harsh winters but still be as “cool” as my budget would allow. In the summer and spring months, shorts were mostly out of the question, so my California wardrobe remained largely unused in favor of jeans and light jackets.
In addition to coats, I had to rebuild my day-to-day wardrobe and stock up on jeans, khaki’s and long underwear to keep me warm all winter. I then had to accompany these pants with additional long sleeved tops like button-up blouses, cotton t-shirts, and polos. Stylish sweaters made from wool were always a nice added layer to pull over the top for extra warmth. These sweaters were very fashionable at the time, but as trends changed, they seemed to favor thinner sweaters that didn’t keep me nearly as warm.
To finish off my newfound wardrobe of pants and long sleeved tops, my friend introduced me to a great winter accessory – scarves! Winter scarves of all types are a fun way of making my outfit unique every day of the week. With great new scarves I turned an old pair of jeans and a basic long sleeve shirt into a work of art that I was proud to show off to my friends.
After enduring the cold winters of Michigan we moved to my favorite place to both live and dress; Hawaii. Because of the geographic location and the culture, Hawaii’s fashion trends were entirely different.
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In most places of the country a suit and tie is the attire for churchgoers, but in Hawaii men wore flower printed shirts and dress pants. Additionally, people did not wear tennis shoes or closed toe shoes. The main shoes we wore in Hawaii were either sandaled dress shoes or flip-flops. For the most part the fashion trends were extremely casual and laid back. Every age group mostly wore a basic t-shirt, shorts and flip-flops. It was not unusual to see women walking around everywhere in their bathing suit, sometimes sporting a towel for modesty.
One of the greatest parts of moving so much as a child was learning to adapt my wardrobe to the client, and current regional trends. This not only sets you up for a fashion-forward and functional style as an adult, it also gives you inspiration to draw from when creating that perfect ensemble.
I hope you enjoyed this guest post. All the photos that appear on the page were found on Flikr and display the Creative Commons attribution license. To see the original photos please click the link under the photo.
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