Can Your Location Limit Your Style?

by Arash Mazinani on July 12, 2011

Something I’ve been thinking about recently is how your location effects your style. I know for some of you reading it may have no influence at all upon what you wear. Some people are in their own reality to the point that their location or others around them cannot influence them. But for the majority the world around plays an important role in shaping you as person, your beliefs, culture and general view on the world. Naturally, your style and what you wear will be impacted to some degree by this. But can your location actually limit your style?

I think that the limitations come in to play particularly for those living in smaller towns and villages. I have my own experiences of this. I know that my style would not have developed as fast or as much if I had not frequented a larger cosmopolitan city. If I had stayed in my home town then I think simply being there would have limited my style.

Why?

There are a number of reasons, the first is probably not ‘as’ relevant in a world where we are constantly connected to the internet. But simply a lack of inspiration. Although we have access to magazines that can inspire us, a rather large source of inspiration comes from those around us. “No idea’s original” springs to mind, we’re inspired by other stylish people. If you live in a place where only a small number of people care about looking good it can be hard to feel inspired.

Which brings me on to my next point and probably the biggest reason your location can limit your style. If you’re one of few people that actually care about looking good and make a conscious effort this will before long be noticed. If you live in a small town or village this you can end up sticking out. Sticking out can be a good thing, but it also makes you a target for jibes and comments which can influence your perception on style. Think about it, if you wear a new dress and your friends all take a disliking to it that’s going to have a negative impact on you. You may not bother wearing that piece again or shy away from similar styles in the future. The closer the peer group, the more influence their opinion will have on you. But if you get enough negative feedback it will be enough to put you off altogether. That same dress worn in a different place may have got the complete opposite response.

The reasons behind why this happen are plentiful, it could be jealously, but that can happen anywhere. If you’re looking at relating it to your location, then particularly in smaller towns, it’s simply about sticking out too much. It could also be down to good style relating to wealth and the classes. It’s almost ironic, people seek exclusivity but then hate what’s different.

Milan....go figure

You also have to look at another, lesser reason. If I lived in a place like London, not only would I  see ten times the amount of stylish people during day than I would now. But I’d also have access to at least ten times more places to actually buy my clothes from. That’s countless more styles and brands that I’m potentially missing out on. My new favourite brand could be out there and I don’t even know it exists, simple because I don’t have the access to it. Yeah, I hear those talking about online shopping but nothing beats actually trying something on and it’s easier to wander into a store from the high street than stumble across it on the net.

I think your location can limit your style if you let it. You have to be a confident and head strong person to not be effected by potential small town mentality and genuinely not give a… about what other people think. But for a lot of people that’s not always an easy thing to do.

I’d love to hear your thoughts

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Cynthia July 12, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Location can limit your style in another way too. I grew up in the north and I instinctively want to dress as if I still lived in the vicinity of Chicago. But in fact I live in North Carolina, where it is ridiculously hot, and never gets cold in the winter. Good bye layered black ensembles and sharp wool coats, hellooo white pants.

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Arash Mazinani July 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm

Yeah certainly, if you’re living in a tropical area then of course the weather will also play a huge factor in your style. But would it necessarily limit it?

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Fashnlvr July 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Location can and does limit ones choices for sure. Here in the US for example H&M does not sell online and they only have 6 high-end stores. If you’re not close to one, you can’t buy from them. I discovered this when I went to Las Vegas. I found 2 pairs of shoes there but only purchased one due to packing limitations. I tried to get the second pair locally and it just was NOT available.

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Arash Mazinani July 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm

Yeah that’s a good point. Topshop on Oxford St in London has a lot more styles and even boutique brands that you probably won’t find else where.

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Verychiclist July 12, 2011 at 8:50 pm

well, you’re right, there are some reasons about location that limit style. One really practical, for example in Umbria where I spent some days (it’s a little region in the centre of Italy), there are lot of villages but also towns (like Urbino) among the mountains, whose streets are flagged and you have no possibilities to wear heels if you don’t want to kill yourself falling down! Whatever dress they have no heels! :-)

D.

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Arash Mazinani July 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm

lol yeah another good point.

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No Guilt Fashion July 13, 2011 at 5:21 am

I agree, location can certainly affect your style. In my case, I live in a college town, and that means most of the people around me don’t care what they look like during the day. Once night rolls around it becomes more about how much skin can you show before people start calling you slut. Where does that leave me? I’m the same age as most of these people, yet wouldn’t be caught dead in half the stuff they wear.

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Arash Mazinani July 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Yeah, great example of what I was trying to get at.

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Lauren Nicole July 13, 2011 at 2:48 pm

This is a great post. I agree with you. I really think that your location has a lot to do with your style. I’ll take myself as an example: I live in Miami where it is always hot and humid. My style is a reflection of the weather so I’m always in really light shirts/shorts/skirts. It’s also very “tropical” so brights and pastels are always in my closet. Sandals and strappy heels are definitely a statement and a must for ANY season. I always pictured myself in extravagant coats and trousers but somehow, wearing that in Miami is just not relevant.

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Arash Mazinani July 13, 2011 at 5:55 pm

lol yeah I can imagine in Miami it doesn’t get cold enough for boots and coats.

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Terri July 14, 2011 at 3:17 am

Hm, I live in a small town just outside of Kansas City, smack dab in the middle of America. There are some upscale stores here, but most people approach dressing as fairly secondary to what they have to do that day. The tolerance for creativity with style…while polite, is limited.

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Fabienne Jach July 14, 2011 at 5:29 am

Whether it limits it or not, it certainly shapes it. I’m affected by the local weather, for example. However, living in a metropolitan area I see a lot of diversity. It does inspire me. Growing up in a smaller town, i did stand out. I didn’t mind it but it wasn’t the experience I was looking for. Good food for thought, Arash.
xo, f
The House in the Clouds

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anna July 21, 2011 at 5:09 am

Agreed. I live in countryside Japan, and there is not only a lack of quality clothes, but also clothes that fit properly. Japanese fashion is often really baggy and rarely makes pieces that accentuate waistlines/figure, so it can get a little annoying. Even though I love how cute the clothes are here, it would be nice to have some more flattering clothes.

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Arash Mazinani July 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Really ? I thought you’d have a variety of different fits and styles in Japan. Again though I guess it depends where you’re located.

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Jamillah July 26, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Yeah, I totally agree. And honestly it doesn’t really have to be a rural area, I grew up in Queens where there is definitely an urban style I’m influenced by but does not completely dictate my style. My friends from home definitely dress very similar and I’m definitely the “unique”one, lol. They call me “artsy” all the time which I kind of find really hilarious. But being surrounded by certain things you get really accustomed to that look and it’s a little difficult to break the mold.

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Arash Mazinani July 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Yeah I certainly imagine Queens will have an impact on your style as everything will be, as you mentioned, urban inspired. Then if you decide to change your style you end up sticking out.

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