May 18, 2012 (ShapeShiftas) -- It's not an oxymoron to call what we wear here in Vermont "fashion."
All apparel can be in a sense called "fashion," and almost everywhere around the world, people wear clothes, so, fashion is everywhere! (This argument was used by a garmento I used to know to talk me into going to work for him. "No one goes naked, therefore business is everywhere!" Too bad it wasn't that simple...)
There is a definite dress code here in Vermont, as there is in most specific places or regions. When I lived in New York, I of course wore all black, maybe a little red or grey for color. I kept a set of "travelling costumes" for when I left the city. There was no black, no leather, no Doc Martens, no dark wash denim, etc. Now, here in Vermont, I keep my "city clothes" in the downstairs closet. When I go down to the city, I break them out, but they are already woefully out of fashion.
The "fashion" that we New Yorkers thought was everywhere was really only in New York, and maybe Chicago and Boston. There is the fashion of the suburbs, the South, the West Coast -- all have different dress codes and customs. In New York, my go-to uniform was a black dress, jewelry, and heels; if I wore that around here, or in Atlanta, people would assume that someone died.
A Vermont woman in heels, with makeup and jewelry, is a rare sight indeed. We wear a combination of L.L.Bean and performance fleece, with some tie-dye and vintage mixed in. I now own a collection of hoodies and fleece, and, like in San Francisco, always dress in layers. I was amused when the other day it got a little warm, and so I changed from my charcoal grey zip-front sweater into my light grey, short sleeve hoodie. You don't have to think too much about what to wear, as long as it's weather-appropriate and goes with your jeans.
Thankfully I haven't worn a pair of heels since I moved to Vermont.
I will always remember trying to get home from the office on 9/11 all dressed up because it was Market Week. No cabs, buses were overflowing, and I ended up running home in stocking feet, crossing streets, hardly noticing what was in my path because we were all looking up at the smoke billowing across the island.
After 9/11, of course everyone kept a pair of flats at the office. Here in Vermont, we go for function over form in our footwear choices; clogs, trekking shoes, lots of boots, always flat with sturdy soles, Birkenstocks whenever possible. Some dedicated Vermont beauties will come to the party in their mud boots but bring an extra pair of "inside" shoes, inside being the only place you can wear your heels.
Uggs are big here, and just like in LA are sometimes worn even with shorts. And I'm so happy that my favorite plaid Docs are Vermont-worthy, although probably a little flashy for local tastes.
I scored these babies at my favorite NY shoe store on Union Square, half-price because they were the last pair.
In the winter, I wear turtlenecks, sweater jackets, jeans, and boots. In the summer, I wear T-shirts, jersey jackets, jeans, and my Birkenstocks.
I pretty much wear Birkies from the end of Mud Season to the first snowfall, it's a good excuse for pedicures, but I forego their awesome comfort if it's cold enough to need socks. Socks with sandals is a fashion faux pas no matter where you live. Even New Yorkers wear Birkies in the summer, the "dressy" ones made of metallic or patent leather, but I think they are wearing them ironically. Certainly the designer of the Dress Birkenstock had their tongue planted well in cheek.
My favorite Dress Birkenstocks. The most comfortable sandals you will ever wear.