New York vs. Los Angeles : who’s smarter?

September 7th, 2008

Let’s consider fashion sense as a gauge of intelligence. To do that we’ll begin with some broad generalizations, but we may need to define some new stereotypes as well.

New York fashion ranges from classy 5th avenue to the cringingly painfully hip, and everything inbetween. The worst dressed in Manhattan are the tourists, who’re either decked out in their new sweat pants and 5-sizes-too big (but we still know you’re fat) t-shirts or LL Bean trail shoes, fanny pack, and zip-off pants.

Los Angeles fashion is just varing degrees of trashy, where most of the “well-dressed” look like they just stepped into or out of a tattoo parlor (which they in fact just did). There’s the late-30’s sloppy rockabillys, half-assed punk rockers (blue mohawk and studded bracelets and pumping gas into my mini-van), thrift store cannon-ballers with 80’s style hairsprayed bangs, and hipster wanna-be’s with ironic ring-neck t-shirts (ie. a classic Nintendo game pad) and white socks.

The differences in fashion-intelligence between New Yorkers and Los Angelesers(?) are real, but does it have anything to do with basic intelligence? Are New Yorkers smarter just because they dress smarter? You be the judge, but the answer is yes and yes.

updated 01/09: looking back: I really want to delete this one. So negative!

I had just moved to LA and it was really getting on my nerves, so this outburst was a tiny catharsis. Curiously, though, my general take on LA fashion hasn’t changed much in 5 months. There’s something about the way people assemble their outfits…so desperate to stand out, often resulting in a costume quality. In fact there is a store on Melrose that specializes in leather, and all of their outfits look like costumes from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

The other problem with this post is that it isn’t an idea. It’s an arrogant observation.