Tuesday, March 12, 2013

California Style?

By Taryn

Is the phrase "California Casual" really a euphemism for sloppy style? I think that it might be. California is known for it's laid back and carefree atmosphere and having a chill and laid-back attitude is great. However, when it comes to fashion I don't think that it's such a great concept.

Shorts, flip flops, and tank tops. These are typical items that can be spotted being worn on a beach, or in a fancy local restaurant. Being a casual dresser is easy. It does not require a whole lot of thought or color coordinating. Not having to do things such as matching or color coordinating is a luxury that we have here on the West Coast (aka the best coast) especially when you are a high school student such as myself. If you are anything like me, you just want to sleep in as much as you can in the morning. Even if that means having mis-matched socks and/or looking like your hair was just attacked by a vicious unicorn. In California, compared to some places on the East Coast, walking out the door with mis-matched socks or unicorn-ruffled hair is slightly more excusable.

Isn't all of this great? You can prove that you are too cool to care by strutting in the class in pajama bottoms and Ugg boots. This is all wonderful and convenient, but does it leave a good impression? I don't think so. Sure it is great to be comfortable, but what will other people think? Through my 17 years of life, years that also double as what I like to think of as societal study, I have noticed that the better you dress the better you are treated, (I know that this is not exactly any groundbreaking revelation), but it is an important thing to realize.

Compared to other places in the country, we dress very, (hmm, how do I say this nicely…) uniquely laid back. I have been to the East Coast many times. One of the first times I was there I was shocked. Shocked by how nicely people there dressed. Even if it was just going out to coffee I feel like people there would just waltz into a Starbucks decked out in shiny shoes and a snazzy hat. When I watch Gossip Girl on TV I feel like I am watching a teenage version of Fashion Week, (and don't even get me started on Sex and the City, that show has given me false hope that being a columnist will make me enough money to afford multiple Chanel handbags.) Back on the West Coast can we at least try to emulate a fraction of that?

Dressing well should not just be about looking pretty. It is about looking appropriate for our daily activities. I don't go into school with my pajamas because I want to show my teachers and peers that I am serious and mature. I feel that it is a little disrespectful to teachers when you walk into class looking like you just rolled out of bed and forgotten to do your homework. Even if you did do any or all of the above things you really should not look like it. Trust me, your teachers will be on to you faster than if you were wearing a suit and tie. Do not think that the whole suit and tie ensemble will fool your teachers. They won't be fooled. However, I do think that it may give you some more time to come up with a better excuse than saying “I…” which is no excuse, (literally not an excuse).

Let's just attempt to have a little style. Show the East Coast that it is possible to be laid back and have style. We can show them that the West Coast is and always will be, the best coast.