New York. Paris. London. Milan. You know the names, each a cultural hotspot that constantly gives birth to new style trends.
But for those who know a thing or two about fashion, the world is your oyster. Every city has its own distinctive style and way of doing things. You just need to know where to look.
To get a better idea about what the wide world of fashion has to offer us, IVY sat down with the founders of WanderLust Girls, a dynamic duo who run a fashion blog and consulting company based in Brooklyn. They offered us their insights on two lesser-known fashion capitals, dressing for any weather, and representing local styles. Below is an edited transcript of our conversation.
“Rather than sticking to one look, we like to honor the cities we’re in.”
Tell us about the inspiration behind WanderLust Girls. What led to the creation of your blog?
We grew up together in a small town outside of Boston. Upon meeting, we became immediate BFFs who shared laughs and more importantly, our wardrobe. Luckily, we have always been the same shoe and clothing size!
But when it came time for college, we had to split our giant conglomerate of a closet. The panic set in — Abigail had all the tops and Emily had all the bottoms. We decided to start a blog our senior year of college to keep in touch and maintain the wardrobe until we were reunited again.
Shortly after moving in together, we decided to take the blog seriously. Since then, we have let our passions guide the blog such that now WanderLust Girls covers everything from travel to cocktails, shoes to home decor, puppies to hot new musicians.
The most important thing is for our followers to feel like they are a part of our long-lasting, wardrobe-sharing, and never take-ourselves-too-seriously friendship.
Within the U.S., NY & LA stand out as major fashion hubs. Are there any other unexpected places that fashionistas should keep an eye out for?
We love that smaller cities are really starting to get involved in fashion. Almost every major city now has some form of a fashion week. A few years ago we attended St. Louis’ fashion week and were super impressed with how well everything was organized and the talent from the designers. Every city we’ve come across seems to have these hidden fashion gems, which we love to seek out and explore. Two noteworthy examples that come to mind are Boston and Nashville. While neither necessarily stands out in the public imagination as a fashion hub, each has a thriving scene.
“Every city we’ve come across seems to have these hidden fashion gems…”
What’s happening in Boston?
Boston has a lot going on, and the city remains near and dear to our hearts. We grew up running up and down Newbury Street in our coolest looks, dreaming about the day we could wear the designers’ pieces we saw in the windows.
Bostonians really have made great strides immersing themselves in the broader fashion scene. What people don’t know is that Boston has the most amazing vintage stores! There is a lot of ‘old money’ in Boston — most people don’t realize what they are giving up. But for those who are looking carefully, the rewards are endless. We’ve hit the jackpot a few times, once scoring a pair of Hermès riding pants and an Oscar de la Renta blazer, both for under $100!
Now it’s Nashville’s turn. Everybody knows Nashville for its music, what about its fashion?
We have to give credit where credit is due… men of Nashville, you nailed it! The style down there has a certain chic Americana twang to it. Think vintage shirts, bandanas, amazing hats, and even more amazing boots. We recently met a young man in a tiny town about 45 minutes outside of downtown. He was wearing the coolest outfit we had ever seen. We approached him and began doting over his look. He claimed, “It smelt fine, so I put it on.” That characterizes Nashville’s creative vibe — simply effortless.
“That characterizes Nashville’s creative vibe — simply effortless.”
Nashville gets muggy, and Boston freezing. How do you stay fashionable in weather extremes?
We grew up ‘fan-girling’ over the Olsen twins and in so doing learned a very valuable lesson… always dress in layers. In the winters we wear heat-tech shirts, tights, and socks from Uniqlo under our external looks.
In the heat we always wear a few light layers like a cargo, ultra-thin leather, or jean jacket over a little sun dress or short shorts. There is nothing worse than having to walk eighteen blocks in 98˚F weather before being teleported to Antarctica once you’ve finally found your air-conditioned refuge. You must be prepared for all levels of heat or cold, even if it’s artificial.
How do you make fashion choices that are universally… fashionable, but also represent where you’re from and share local pride?
We love to adapt to certain environments while still representing our own style. A lot of our fashion choices evolve from a particular setting and inspiration. Rather than sticking to one look, we like to honor the cities we’re in. It’s never about blending in, but rather about donning an accessory that will give a nod to the certain culture. For example, if we’re traveling in the southwest U.S., we’ll sport a bolo tie.
Finally, any go-to fashion tips you’d like to share?
Our biggest tip is not to dress like everyone else. Individualism is the secret to style. You don’t have to dress unusual, but there’s always something special you can add that makes for the perfect conversation starter. From a grandmother’s brooch, to a father’s old band tee, there’s always something that you can incorporate to make your look more original.”
“There’s always something that you can incorporate to make your look more original.”
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