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Thursday, January 27, 2011

On the New York Dress Code: Outerwear 101

57th & 5th Avenue
Photo by myself in Midtown, around 57th Street and Fifth Avenue.

Here's a quick lesson on outerwear in New York.

Above, a well-dressed street corner in a fancy area of Midtown. Fifth Avenue is known for boutiques and larger flagship stores. Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Tiffany's and Prada are all located within a few blocks of each other.

The above photo was taken before all the snowfall. Even then, it shows how well-equipped some people are, with their coats and hats and scarves and boots.

Black, in Midtown
A typical street corner in Midtown.

The second photo was taken Wednesday morning during yet another snowfall. Huge flakes started falling early and went on through the day. The snow is expected to continue through the night, totaling up to ten inches.

Note there are five people in the photo (four on this corner, one on the opposite corner) and they are all dressed in black. Even I am wearing black. This is the typical New York proletariat dress code that everyone jokes about.

I'd say 80% of New Yorkers wear shades of black, grey, dark green or navy on a daily basis. If you scroll down and look at other recent photos, this is consistent.

White, in Brooklyn
At the De Kalb subway station in Brooklyn, a lone figure in white.

Finally, the easiest way to be noticed in New York is to dress completely in white, head to toe. Seriously, you will be noticed.

I saw this fellow twice in one week, and I know it was him because the chances of seeing two fellows in white pants, a white top, white shoes and white hat, carrying a white duffel bag were just too slim.

I have a hunch that this guy is a street performer, and his costume is made to draw attention to himself. Either that, or with the recent snow, he is actually dressed in camoflage.

Related posts: Portrait of a Film Shoot, in Prospect Heights, Portrait of Five New Yorkers, on the Upper East Side and On the Picket Line, in Hell's Kitchen.


Olivier said...

j'aime beaucoup la photo sous la tempete, on voit que les new yorkais ont l'habitude

Nori said...

They really know their own styles!

Leif Hagen said...

A fun outerwear series kitty! I wonder about marshmallow man's outfit?

Tony, MD said...

Thanks for the hint, Kitty! Now I have to burn my favorite green coat!

Lily Hydrangea said...

Black really is the most sensible/chic color to wear. I love the silhouette of the group in the second shot.
Regarding the snowstorm, we got 15" on parts of Long Island. I've just spent the last couple of hours digging myself out - at least it's warmer outside & it's sunny...but it's scary to think we still have February to contend with!

Terry B, Blue Kitchen said...

Nice series, Kitty. I'm a big fan of black attire too. The second shot amuses me, not so much because of the black clothes on everyone, but because so many people don't dress for the cold. The clenched fists of the central figure show how cold she is. She needs a more serious winter coat!

Ken Mac said...

in the first photo they almost look like they are just standing there, not waiting for the light to turn. HMmm

Heidi said...

Tony, what does MD mean?
I do think black is a very general color for coats, isn't everyone wearing black? I do not think it has anything to do with New York, but I might be wrong.

Kitty said...

Thanks Olivier!

Thanks Nori,
I suppose every city has its own style. Sometimes you don't really see the style until you go someplace else.

Hi Leif,
I was really curious to know what the white outfit was for. I will have to ask him next time (I won't suggest marshmellows though)

Welcome Tony!

Hi Lily
Oh, I forgot about February. Darn. :-/
And we are not even thinking of digging the car out. I hope you had some help shoveling?

Ha, Terry
I underdress, too. I have to wonder why that is...because we walk a lot and get very hot? Interesting that you'd notice this!

lol Ken.

Hi Heidi,
MD means 'Medical Doctor', I'm thinking.
Yes, black is a basic color. It is a cliche that I'm referring to, that New Yorkers tend to dress in dark colors. I'm sure people dress in dark colors in many places.

Tony, MD said...

Hi Kitty! Thanks, I'm here since ever, just never made a comment before. But my wife and me love your photos! (Actually, I had a question in your Wintry View... post a couple of days ago, not sure you read that.)

Hallo Heidi. Yes, MD stands for medical doctor, and I have a green coat in the praxis I almost never get to use. But I never wear black on the streets either.