When you hear the location, Seattle, you might automatically think of rain, rain, and well…more rain; however, spending my short Christmas this year in the commonly known wet city opened my eyes to new perspective on what Seattleites do, their ways of life, and how they dress for the occasion.
It’s easy to relate Seattle fashion to grunge, easy-going Birkenstock sandals, and comfort clothing. Many businesses, organizations, and people ooze a surrounding environment of eco-friendly living and outdoor adventures. It’s quite obvious that Seattle is nowhere close to becoming the fashion capitol of the world, United States, or merely the West coast competing against cities such as New York and Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean the city, which is home to Amazon, Nordstrom, Starbucks and more, hasn’t put their own twist on fashion and brought a unique edge to it.
Walking through Pike Place market, I witnessed one of the greatest calamities of fashion I’ve ever seen. It was as if Seattle held no rules on styles and trends and everyone had agreed to dress to their own accord. The streets around the market were a mosh-pit of different looks inspired from numerous places. Through my eyes, it seemed to be a mixture of European invention, New York posh, and Western ease. Forget the fact that Seattle is a large tourist city and would therefore attract many different looks. Forget the fact that almost everyone out there owns a flannel shirt and companies like Pendleton and Woolrich are commonly known brands to own. Forget the fact that every man I saw was sporting some type of facial hair! Everyone from the age of 5 to 85 had a different and unique sense of style.
One of my favorite looks was a boy no older than 12, walking down Pike Place Market alongside the original Starbucks store, wearing a long camel colored dress coat and newsboy cap with a pair of Converse chucks. It appeared as though he had just stepped out of the 1920’s and slipped into some new kicks.
Deciding to walk around the area and see where these Seattle hipsters get their inspiration, my sister and I chose to walk through some stores throughout her local Ballard shops. Of course Seattle has shopping malls just the rest of the country but it’s not as common to shop there. More and more people shop consignment, older re-sale shops, and thrift stores. I could spend hours walking through stores like Buffalo Exchange in Seattle where top notch, unique pieces are offered from Christian Louboutin pumps to Dooney and Burke vintage handbags. For me, it’s like one big adventure to see what treasures can be found hidden in-between the packed racks of goodies.
For those who can’t stand digging through racks of older finds, there is a plethora of chic boutiques along Ballard Avenue, downtown. These moderately upscale boutiques offer unique pieces of clothing not commonly found at your local mall. Some offered fashionable yet funky pieces while many stores supplied comfort wear from top yoga lines for those super Moms who trek around their kids all day while still managing to stay fit to Seattle’s very own Kavu outdoor clothing line.
Overall, this city has so much more to offer than a place to wear your rainboots. The culturally diverse city brings spectacular views from every angle you look out, a gorgeous view of the Puget Sound, and mountains and mountains galore. The people are friendly, warm, and more than willing to welcome you to their fashionable city. I encourage everyone to visit Seattle. Just remember to pack your rainboots, a trench, and comfy pair of Toms!