By Keegan Kelly
Western New York is not known to have a unique style. Being in between the U.S. fashion capital, Manhattan, and about three hours from Toronto, a city which also has a distinct style, does not give Rochester and Buffalo much room to establish their own unique, distinguished style. It wasn’t until I moved across the country from Rochester, NY to Phoenix, AZ did I realize how different fashion is between these two regions.
The obvious difference between Phoenix and Rochester is the weather. I went from wearing a hoodie and jeans in the summer to the thought of wearing jeans in the Phoenix August being almost unbearable. I quickly had to transition to almost always shopping for summertime clothes. Weather and cultural differences made some of my regular outfit choices a novelty for fellow students.
“Are those corduroys?” is a question that I never thought I would hear. Many Arizona students were very curious about what I always thought was a pretty casual pair of pants. In Rochester, I would wear a pair of corduroys at least weekly from late September to late April. In my high school, it seemed like almost every guy had a pair of corduroys, however, in Arizona corduroy pants are much harder to find.
Timberlands are a very popular fall and winter shoe choice, especially in the Northeast. This is especially true in New York where they seem to be a staple of many young men’s closet. In New York, Timberlands have been established as an almost classic look and have been in style since before the turn of the century. In Arizona I quickly learned wearing Timberlands in the Southwest is much more of a statement, than an effort to follow a trend.
Despite the discrepancies between a typical Arizona look and a typical western New York outfit, I decided not to give in to either of the regional styles completely. I kept the Timberlands, hoodies and corduroys but I also added the Vans, graphic tees and the sweat shorts of the southwest. The adjustment between the two cities inspired me to dress in a style that fits my environment but at the same time stays true to my roots.