Thursday, March 29, 2012

chic city spotlight: memphis, tn

don't worry, there are more chic cities to come in the next few weeks.
but this week, i wanted to focus on home base -
memphis, tn.
i'll be interviewing...well...myself.
my name is jordan holt, and it is my joy to author this blog.
i am a lifelong memphian, law student, and fashion enthusiast.

having lived in memphis your whole life, what one word would you attribute to its fashion?


what brands seem to dominate the fashion scene in memphis?

brands are a funny thing to me. i began to pay attention to brands because of know, when she name-dropped the alaia dress she was wearing to the man holding her at gunpoint? the next thing i remember, i was focusing on sketchers and prada backpacks from ten things i hate about you. i became very observant of denim brands in high school, memorizing the pocket patterns of designer jeans i'd see in the hall at school or the shelves at indigo. in college, i observed recurring trends and styles [more of the preppy variety], remembered them, and was able to google them to figure out what i was seeing. this is precisely how i learned to love tory burch flats and longchamp le pliage bags. my most recent brand recognition was lululemon. i saw it everywhere at pure barre and had to know to what brand the symbol belonged. as for memphis, i can only speak to the fashion universe i walk in, so i am not comfortable attributing that to all of memphis. memphis is a diverse city, and my fashion observations are just one portion of what you might see here. that being said, the brands that dominate include lululemon, j.crew, sam edelman, tory burch (shoes), lily pulitzer, michael kors (watches), michael stars, ugg, frye, ray ban, rainbow, sevens for all mankind, etc.

what spring trend is dominating memphis?

definitely colorful skinny jeans.

what do you like least and most about memphis fashion?

what i like most and least about memphis fashion are born from the same idea. i like that there is no real pressure to keep up with the jones', if you will. the reason for that is what i like least about memphis fashion--we don't have physical access to a lot of great brands. sure, a small minority of folks can afford to go into josephs or james davis, but that's it. we have no upper-scale department stores and precious few good boutiques. it is what it is, but the cool part is that you can be innovative with online shopping and create your own style without feeling like you're drowning in a city of competing fashionistas. 

fill in the blank. if someone wore _______ in memphis, they'd stick out like a sore thumb.

vintage chanel. not that i wouldn't die to see it, but that just isn't how we roll in memphis. sure, there are pockets of designer-doting divas, but not quite to that level. i don't know that it would even be recognized, let alone appreciated  on a woman walking down the streets of memphis. and you know what? i'm okay with that. 

the best place to shop in memphis is _________.

personally, for more than ten years now, that place is indigo. they do a great job of maintaining a good price range and staying on trend. if i need something more sophisticated, i prefer j. crew.

1-10. how much does the average memphis woman value her appearance? 

5. i do not arrive at this number to slight my city in the least. the reality is that many memphians struggle financially, and they do not have the time of day to create dream wardrobes or go on shopping sprees. i think any woman would prefer to take the utmost pride in her appearance, but not everyone has the luxury of making that a priority. it is more about making ends meet in a down-turned economy. 


so, you know what? we aren't new york. we aren't los angeles. heck, we aren't even atlanta or nashville when it comes to access to fashion. but, to someone like me who loves observing fashion in a moving world, that makes for much more interesting material. in a given day, you might see a vintage "memphis state" t-shirt, a well tailored oak hall suit, a girl who doesn't realize her pants are on backwards, and a musician adorned in the latest thrift store throwbacks. it's neat. truth is when you're not busy keeping up with the jones', you're simply busy detailing your own canvas. in my mind, that is the defining factor in being chic. 

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