In the book Eat Pray Love, the author says that every city has a word that describes it. For her, Rome’s word was sex (because of the sexy people, sexy clothes, sexy art, Venice, passion, etc, etc.). I agree that places and people can be summed up in one word.
When I first came to Atlanta, I would have said that Atlanta’s word is glamour. Atlanta and its people seem to thrive on the new, the shiny, the glitzy. Atlanta is a town that seems in a constant state of renewal. It tears itself down, and rebuilds itself into the newest thing. I often walk through the halls of Atlanta malls and feel underdressed because so many people dress like they are on their way to a music video set or a night club or a movie premiere. Designer clothes, fancy shoes, well-coifed hair; Atlantans are beautiful.
Now having lived in Atlanta for a year now, I’ve adjusted my word for Atlanta. Don’t get me wrong, I still think that Atlanta and its inhabitants are glamorous, but I know it is more than that. Atlanta is more than glamour. Atlanta is about style. Atlanta is trendy in a lot of ways, chasing the newest hip “it” thing, but I’ve never known a group of people better able to transform normal shirts, skirts, dresses and pants into a fashion statement. The city oozes artistic creativity and its people believe in expressing their personal creative style. Sometimes that means sequins and heels. Other times that means afros, sun dresses, and colorful tattoos. Or locs, ripped jeans and chains. Or bald heads, pencil skirts and ruffles. Either way, it looks so cool!
While creativity, at times, starts with a blank canvas when it comes to clothes, you have to buy them somewhere. How hard would it be to express your personal style while wearing clothes that are sold in chains like NY and Company, Macys, Aeropostale, H&M or Charlotte Russe? Pretty hard. That’s why Atlanta’s uber fabulous boutiques, regional chains, (and those who write about Atlanta style) and online marketplaces are so important. So when I saw my old college friend posting her unique handmade clothes and accessories on Etsy and Facebook, I wholeheartedly approved. Here’s to finding more ways to express my own Atlanta style.