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Dressing Like You, Inside and Outside of Your Zip Code

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Love, Frank has returned as a weekly style advice column tackling your hard-hitting fashion issues and addressing a different fashion glitch each week. Submit a query here.


You can wear this stuff anywhere and look great, via Pinterest.

Dear Frank,

I live in New York but frequently travel home to the south. Dressing for those two places with the one wardrobe sometimes seems impossible. Everything from color palette, fit, style, and what's considered cute and pulled-together can be polar opposites.

Basically, I'm much more comfortable in my made-for-the-city clothes than in preppy southern style. And while I'm usually for the "just be yourself" mentality, sometimes I think a "when in Rome" approach would be way more genial. Any ideas for good crossover looks that can translate between those two worlds?

Love,
Frequent Flyer

Dear Flyer,

I'm with you a hundred percent—I'm wearing purple sneakers right now. Free to be you and me. Don't like it? Don't look. But sometimes, just sometimes, it's a hell of a lot easier to tone it down (or up) in order to blend in a bit when your outside comfort zone or your zip code.

So go for that subtle tone down or tone up. Don't compromise who you are; and definitely don't keep two complete wardrobes. The last thing anyone needs is a New York City closet full of black leather and gray jersey plus a warmer weather cache of conservative pink and green separates for Georgia. The candy colors aren't you, and if you live here in New York you have neither the space nor the money to waste Alexander Wang dollars on Vineyard Vines.


Leave this stuff in New York, via Fashion Board USC.

Try leaving your most edgy, dark, fashion forward, editorial looks here in the city. That means no motorcycle boots or liquid leather or complicated geometric jewelry or extreme color-blocking or baroque, ethnic prints.

How would you dress for a baby shower luncheon? Or an engagement party on a boat? A wedding in a barn? A pig roast? You probably wouldn't wear those motorcycle boots or liquid leather or complicated geometric jewelry or baroque, ethnic prints, even in New York City. You would wear your version of what anyone wears to any of those things. Sure, you might still wear black; it might still be AllSaints or Balenciaga, but you're an adult. You know how to dress for any of the above and, let's be honest, it doesn't involve coated denim skinnies and a low-cut blouse printed in crosses.

The same should apply to your traveling south—pack like you're going to a week of church picnics and garden parties and tea times. Stick to basics, the simple stuff, the high quality stuff. I also suggest layers as it's warmer down there. And it gives you a little leeway if you're expecting everyone to be churchy but, in fact, all the women are wearing tranny pumps and slutty little dresses.

You don't need to go out and buy sweater sets.

Finally, impress them all with a really fabulous bag that they'll want to touch and, in case of an emergency, throw on some pearls.

Got a style question for Frank? Leave it in the comments or email one in here. Then buckle your two-toned leather Moschino belts, folks, because it's going to be ? Something.
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