Five years ago I moved from New York City to Chicago and let me tell you, there are a couple differences between the two…
For one- I was confused by the lack of deli’s in Chicago. I grew up on Staten Island getting a bacon, egg and cheese bagel every Saturday morning and cringed at the notion that my new norm was going to be Dunkin’ Donuts.
Also there are no 24/7 $1 Pizzaria’s! As a drunk college student, do you understand how hard it was for me to go back to my dorm room each weekend knowing that my New York friends were home eating gross, cheap pizza!? It was very hard!
And then there’s the good pizza! Thin crust vs deep dish. I grew up on amazing thin crust pizza but let me tell you, I am a sucker for deep dish. My family are hard core Italians from New York but you better believe we hit up Lou Malnati’s every time they’re in town…
Beyond the food, let’s talk about the difference between NY and Chicago fashion trends.
When I think about New Yorkers, I think about that streamlined style I talked about in my last post. Everyone is important and has somewhere to be and they want their style to reflect that. They tend to stick with a monochromatic color scheme and wear more high fashion labels like Theory, Vince, The Kooples and All Saints. They also understand the distressed look more than Midwesterners.
Chicago men are a little different. They aren’t afraid of color and don’t really care for that “streamlined” look. When I think of the “Midwestern Guy”, I think of henleys, flannels and zip up sweaters. They want to look good but don’t necessarily want to look like they’re on the runway. They want their clothes to be neat and clean and don’t care for distressed or European styles.
When I first came to Chicago five years ago, I came in very hot with my New York swagger. I would wear a lot of black, distressed sweaters, wide brimmed hats and thrifted pieces. The idea of toning down and making my wardrobe more “basic” never crossed my mind. I was a New Yorker and I wanted everyone to know it.
Over the course of 5 years I have learned the ways of the natives, (Midwesterners) and how to mesh my style with theirs. It’s about the balance of stylish and practical!
What’s great about Chicago is that it isn’t a big fashion capital of the world. Therefore we can pick and choose what we like from other places. New York is more edgy while LA is more bohemian. Chicago isn’t either of those things, making our style more eclectic.
One downfall is that Midwesterners are a little less eager to try new trends than other places. That’s where I come in. I want to push my readers to think outside the box with their style and not feel limited to what’s around them. Just because you don’t see it on everyone else, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t look great on you!
I have learned to love and accept the Midwestern style while still staying true to my New York upbringing. It’s all about the balance between past, present and future and what you can take from each. When you think about your style, consider where you came from, what it is now and what you aspire it to be..
Ciao for now,
PHOTOS- SHANE DANELUZZI
Jacket- ALL SAINTS
Turtleneck- URBAN OUTFITTERS
Sunglasses- TOM FORD