Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Things I Learned in New York, Part I: The New Uniform

I spent a few full days in NYC this past weekend, soaking up the sights, the sounds, and the smells. We ate a lot, walked a ton, and managed to get a little bit of rest too on the vacation.

I like to think of myself as pretty fashion-forward. But this weekend, I was TOTALLY out of my element. I hit up NYC at least two times a year, even if just for an afternoon, but this was the first time where I ever felt completely out of place and tourist-y with my otherwise planned-out ensemble. It was not quite winter coat weather, and so I got to see a whole new style in play by the Manhattan ladies.

One word: Leggings. Everywhere. Black ones, mostly, but some were beige or brown. Worn with layer upon layer of tops and shoes and hats. Long sweaters and vests. Short ankle boots. Tall flat boots. Necklaces and wraps and scarves. Underneath the different ensembles, though, was the same pair of black stretchy leggings.

(Note: top pic is actually from FabSugar in 2006! Proof that these styles resurface every few years. Bottom pic is H&M today)

So what did I do? I went to H&M. I knew I could count on them to keep me hip with the latest style. Every H&M store is slightly different, tailoring its offerings to the locals. So of course, what do they have in the NYC stores, but walls upon walls of leggings. And these huge sweaters you should wear over them, and small ankle booties to finish the look.

I have never felt so out of place in an H&M. This leggings-look is so foreign to us in Atlanta! For one, the huge sweaters would kill us, since Atlanta never gets cold enough to pull that those off. But the leggings with lighter longer tops, I can try. A nice salesgirl helped me pick out a top (I seriously had to ask for help, I was so over my head), and I have made a mental note to find some knee-high flat boots to throw on, too.

So, the look is supposed to be effortless-looking, but wouldn't you know, I am going to have to actually TRY to pull it off :) Today I am flying to DC, and am wearing the new pair of leggings under a jumper and shirt outfit, paired with black flats for the plane, but with gray stacked heels for the office. Definitely a new look for this Betty, but I am willing to experiment!


Laura Scholz said...

I know exactly what you mean. I always feel out of place in New York City, no matter how fab I think my outfit is when I walk out the door.

As a child of the 80's, I just cannot get into leggings. They seem so dated to me, and I keep hoping they will go away. Apparently not!

You'll have to post a pic of your new look. I'm sure you look great!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I bought my first pair of leggings this season too and I LOVE the comfort factor, but I only have two tops long enough to wear over them, so I haven't gotten to wear them too much yet!!

Elizabeth Gordon said...

Laura called me out on mine at the Ladies Who Launch even this week and I have to say I love the comfort factor and am getting quite cozy with my old friends of the 80s. As for converting the look to Hotlanta Style- All those adorable sundresses that we hate to put up in fall, get an extended life into the next season come chilly weather when bottomed off with some leggings and flips get swapped for boots.

Unknown said...

It is so amazing how different it is in Atlanta! I am definitely excited I can re-use the summery dresses though, you are so right Elizabeth. I was able to pull off the look on Wed (
sorry, no pic Laura!) but I might have to closet-dive to find some other "looks" to come!