Sunday, September 7, 2008

G.G.'s Short Report of Fashion on the Road

I know, I disappeared for a week. My good friend Jeremy asked me to drive across the country with him all the way to Texas, and how could I pass up a road trip, right?!

The ride through PA was boring, to say the least. West Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains were gorgeous (and yes, we sang John Denver's "Country Roads" at the top of our lungs). At a Waffle House somewhere in WV, I saw a woman with loads of makeup and a cascading ponytail hairdo that incorporated 12 (!) scrunchies. It would have been rude to take a photo, but you can imagine how I wanted to — you gals would have been amazed.

In Brighton, Virginia, we stopped for an oil change at the local WalMart, where we stocked up on $5.99 CDs of roadtrip music and I got the cutest pink tanktop for $4. While the young men at Brighton (esp. at the Starbucks) were extremely cute, it took all my willpower (and Jeremy physically restraining me) not to scream "Fashion Police!! ARGH!!" at a young woman, who was wearing a pretty pink summer dress paired with dirty sneakers and a fanny-pack, the kind that overweight tourists in spandex tights wear on their visits to Manhattan. I still have emotional scars from that frightful sight.

The drive through Tennessee was uneventful — hairspray and long, extravagantly manicured nails were the norm, but I would say the ladies in Tennessee have upped their game in the past few years. And then, there was Arkansas. The after-effects of Gustav were still being felt and it rained cats and dogs nonstop, but from what I could judge, Arkansas is the land that fashion forgot. For our Glam Guide readers in Arkansas: Keep persevering, glam gals, teach your fellow ladies what's what and keep your chins up.

The rains stopped at the border of Texas, as if cut with a knife, and the ladies of Dallas were a sight for sore eyes — lovely work with hair color and cuts. We didn't linger, however, but continued on to Austin.

Fashionwise, Austin is an eclectic mixture of transplanted Californians, university students, rocker chicks, and artsy hippies. The one thing that has impressed me here is that whatever people's style or ideas of beauty are, they are very comfortable in who they are and don't care much whatever anyone else thinks. That kind of self confidence in itself is very attractive.

The 100 degree weather surely is a big influence in the amount of clothing, which at times seems scandalous to the more tight-laced East Coast eyes — skirts and shorts, almost without fail, are up to there, tank tops down to there, and also plenty of midriff is to be seen in every direction. The Austinites, being very outdoorsy and active, however, all seem to be in great shape, so the effect doesn't seem distasteful — unlike if some of our East Coast bodies were stuffed in the same.

I'm flying back in a few hours, feeling relaxed, tan, and happy. Ready to get back into the hustle and bustle of the city and back to blogging.


Image: Cover of Film Fun Magazine, Nov 1932, by Enoch Bolles,
tinkered by Yours, Truly.


WendyB said...

I really enjoyed this fashion travelogue!

kokostiletto said...

yeah i heard that austin is a very cool city.... i've been to dallas i'm hoping to go to austin next time!

cybill said...

Scrunchie Art!! I'm so sorry you didn't get a photo of that, imagine how long it took her to do that don't.

G.G. said...

Wendy - you always bring a smile on my face, thank you :)

Koko - it's a great town with beautiful nature and lots of things to do, and the people are much friendlier than in Dallas. Of course, in Dallas you have all those outlet malls :D

Cybill - yes, it was very artful. She had gone to a lot of trouble, and while I can't picture myself wearing that hairdo, in its own way it was quite pretty.

MJ said...

Checking in from Arkansas here- you hit the nail on the head! I think part of the problem is the culture. You've got your old-money junior league- types, and suburbanites, and then varying degrees of rednecks. (I feel a bit snarky writing this, as I'm actually a California girl.)

But another major problem is the lack of good shops. Dillard's has a stranglehold on the state- it's where Dillard's was founded, and the HQ is still in Little Rock. So Arkansas is one of 3 states with no Macy's (forget Bloomingdales or Neiman's!) Williams-Sonoma just came to the state THIS year! So if you don't live near Little Rock or in the northwest corner of the state, WalMart is the ONLY store you have guaranteed access to. The old-money-types mostly shop in Dallas I'm told. Even though Dillard's has tried to appeal to the younger crowd, it's still mostly little old ladies buying Susan Bristol and such.

Please pity our poor state, and send us good style!