Monday, June 4, 2012

Portland: Among worst-dressed cities

Portlanders (don't call us Portlandians) "look like they’ve been playing dress up in their grandparents' musty prom clothes," according to a story reported by OPB this morning, originally from Travel & Leisure Magazine.

Sounds about right to me.




Except, when my grandparents went to prom, blacklight-reactive hadn't been invented yet.

What do you think of Portlanders' fashion sense? What about other cities?

7 comments:

  1. I hate Portland, but for some reason I can't seem to stop talking about it. I think I'm secretly jealous of how uber-cool everyone there is.

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    1. This is what Portlandia hath wrought.

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  2. I am the old fashioned kind of bad dresser. Jeans, t-shirt, all weather jacket, running shoes, backpack. That's my Portland uniform. I just have meh taste in clothes, not extravagantly campy bad taste, which has its points and is fun for the young and cute.

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    1. The word you're looking for isn't "bad," it's merely "practical." When everyone else is lamenting their sopping feet, you'll still be out, intrepidly traversing puddles with nary a worry in sight.

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  3. If you look at the Union Square sequences in Hitchcock's "Vertigo" you can get a pretty good idea of how upscale San Franciscans dressed around 1958, when I first came here. Women wore white shoes between May and Labor Day and never during the rest of the year; men wore suits and ties though going hatless was just beginning to be acceptable. (Not, obviously, to Jimmy Stewart's character.) This was never true across class or neighborhood boundaries but in Downtown and the Financial District it was still more or less de rigueur, and there actually was a kind of unspoken enforcement in the form of mildly disapproving glances directed at violators. Like so many conventions, this one disintegrated after about 1964, to become the subject of lamentation by older viewers-with-alarm like the newspaper columnist Herb Caen.

    There was a restaurant on Geary Street called Townsend's that catered almost exclusively to women--pardon me, ladies--shopping up the street at I. Magnin and the City of Paris. The signature dish, I am not making this up, was creamed spinach; it wasn't good or anything, but it was what you ate for lunch, the way you wore shoes that matched your bag. Then if you were really rich and not just posing you walked back to Magnin's where your chauffeur was leaning up against your Cadillac or Bentley or Jaguar Mark VII, smoking and shooting the shit with the other drivers but would drop the cigarette and hold the door open before pulling away from the curb and heading back to Burlingame or Atherton. (Your purchases, of course, had been stowed in the trunk--you don't think a person would carry shopping bags around the street, do you? Whattayou, some kind of Bolshevik?)

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    1. What a lovely description! I remember my parents reading Herb Caen when I was a kid and mostly concerned with the funny papers. We had subscriptions to the Examiner and the Chronicle. Imagine my dismay when we moved to Oregon, and the paper didn't publish on the weekends!

      I wish hats of the non-baseball variety would come back in style. Here in Portland (where we're extravagantly campy bad!) there are a few very decent hat stores around, and seeing people in them (in certain parts of town, at least - the Pearl, the Alphabet, the trendier parts of Southeast) is not at all unusual.

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  4. How the folk dress provides unlimited entertainment to those of us newish to Portland. Just when I think I'm getting a bit blase about the tattoo scene, a new extravagant arrangement walks by and we try not to point.

    Happened upon Pinkham Millinery, hatmaker near my dentist, with old wood hat blocks for creating felt hats of all kinds

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