Does Environment Influence The Way We Dress?

After moving from Bograshov to Dizengoff St., getting settled in new apartment with new roommate, and heading to a Balkan Beat Box concert last night, I’ve pretty much been too exhausted to update this blog.  Don’t worry, the Blog Buzz and Fashion Buzz posts are coming, but a girl needs a break!

(If it was up to me, I would update this blog everyday and lose the current fulltim job! But gotta pay the bills…)

Anyway, I let go of my temporary break this week because I was so flattered that Saray Habura mentioned me on her blog My Idea of Fashion.  I noticed that she had been visiting America and had worn items like floral dresses and denim jackets and then suddenly when she took her first pic back in Israel she was wearing a sharp blazer, neon skirt, textured tights and black lace-up flats.

Saray in America

Saray in Israel

While most of those pieces were from America, I wondered why the sudden change? Why had she been prone to colorful flowery outfits in America and suddenly switched to sharp, structured chic looks in Israel.  Did environment have anything to do with at all?

So I asked her through a comment if it was a coincidence, expecting a one or two sentence reply.  She gave me a whole blog post!

She noticed a difference once people like me and her mother commented and she looked back at old pictures, but had not even realized it in the first place.  But there was a difference…

“While I was in the US I was in the process of making new friends and getting together with old friends, my style in comparison to their style was way out there so maybe I was trying to fit by being a bit more casual.. I do feel that since I came back to Israel I’m a bit more daring with the way I dress.. but here no one says nothing when I wear my neon tights out with a floral top, while there everybody looked at me as if I was wearing a costume every day…” she said.

It’s true.  When I started dressing up more and caring more about my fashion, I still lived at home in New Jersey and I remember wearing outfits that were pretty out there.  Royal blue tights, floral dresses, black and white print emblazoned tees.  My father would look at me and ask, “Why are you so dressed up?” and it would make sense.  No one in New Jersey dressed the way I did. Everyone was always in jeans and boots.

I felt better when I started working in the city.  I would have the opportunity to wear colorful pointy heels (horrible to walk in Manhattan), blazers and paintsuits and colorful cardigans because I was in an area where it was cool to dress up (the fashion people in the magazine I worked for always looked their best and I was competing with the most stylish New Yorkers of the city!  Later, every interview I went on gave me the chance to try a new outfit of choice.

Here in Israel, things are a bit more strange.  On the one hand, I feel that my style has evolved.  I care more about the outfits I put together.  My style has become more European.  Argyle sweaters and button down shirts from J Crew have been replaced by leggings from Castro, boots and square heels, high-waist skirts, drooped shirts that show off my shoulders and neon.

Most young people in Israel (and that’s not to say all of Israel because there are also a lot of fashion faux-pas) know how to dress. In my opinion, young people in Israel have a European-chic sense of style without trying (despite lack of quality in clothes made here) while Americans often put together preppy looks and looks for work and tend to put lots of designer names together to build an outfit or get them all from the local mall.

At the same time, Americans really dress up for work and wear high heels when they go out, while Israelis are prone to hoodies, flip flops, and easy dresses.  So what’s better? That’s for you to decide…

Here’s how my style has changed.

AMERICA

1) Silver Pointy Toe Pumps I Would Neve Wear in Israel (Though Some Would  2) Blazer and Green/Gold Tank Combination 3) Plaid shirt from Forever 21 4) Ripped Yellow Tee with White Flowers from Pacific Sunwear.  Going for California surfer look?

Wish I had more pictures of me wearing argyle and cashmere sweater sets, my patterns and fabrics of choice in the States.

ISRAEL

1) Gray shirt from Castro with Matching Scarf, Round Toe Pumps w/ Square Heels 2) Tie Dye Dress from Ido
3) Exaggerated Cap Sleeve Shoulder Shirt w/ Bow from Castro, Draped Pencil Skirt from Cafe Bizarre 4) Comic Strip Tights from Vered S

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2 thoughts on “Does Environment Influence The Way We Dress?

  1. Monica

    I hear ya girl! I’m just starting to get out of my jeans and boot shell. I wish I could dress like Carrie Bradshaw and not feel weird about the attention. It’s definitely daring to wear neon tights here. Love this post. Makes me think a lot about being myself no matter where I am.

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