What’s modern? What’s glamorous? It’s a question I’ve thought a lot about, having lived three different sartorial lives in my decades on this Earth.
My sartorial beginnings were in a small city in the American South, capital of a state you could easily forget was part of the Confederacy if South Beach were all you knew. Tallahassee, the kind of place where football reigns supreme, Live Oaks drips with Spanish Moss, and the festivities surrounding the annual Springtime Tallahassee Parade count among the social events of the year — in certain fair quarters at least. Thirty minutes from Georgia, Tallahassee is very much “of” the South. Growing up I found it genteel and idyllic, but modern it was not. I got on the first train out of there the moment I turned 18 — or, truth be told, two months later when college was set to begin.
Aside from my early years, the four years I spent at college, and the year when I decamped to Virginia to my father’s house, to write and recover from illness, I’ve lived inside the bubbles that are New York and L.A., sartorially distinct cities that have shaped my sense of what’s modern and what’s glamorous, as surely as the half life spent in the American South shaped my sense of what’s proper and prim.