City Living vs. Suburban Life (for the Fashion-Conscious)

Sarah Home, Lifestyle

Suburbanite Laura Steimle moved to Salt Lake City from New York City in 2007, so she’s going through a lot of cultural changes. One is seeing city style in the suburbs. “We’re seeing it a lot, actually,” she says. And those styles can’t really compare to what one can get in New York: high fashion trends, mass-market brands, trendy restaurants.

Suburbanites are buying more in the city—on eBay, specifically—where fashion labels like Mango and Forever 21 sell affordable, trendy clothing. Everybody’s still enjoying new casino sites online more than they visit physical casinos, so a similar trend should probably be expected with regards to fashion. Suburbanites are also starting to trend toward comfort and incorporating it into their outfits.

“A lot of people are moving out of downtown, especially for jobs,” says Steimle.  “I’ve had conversations with a lot of my friends—they’re moving back out to suburbs and buying the dresses they’ve been wearing in New York.”

Steimle says that her next step is the urban scene. “I’m going to hop on one of the L train lines in the next couple of months and take a trip to Brooklyn.”

The Chicago Scene

Stephanie Ulmer started shopping in downtown Chicago when she moved to the city in 2008. “That was before it was cool to do so,” she says. But it was fun to be able to live in the suburbs—a central location with easy access to all the conveniences of a big city—but also being in the heart of a downtown. “That’s always been a dream of mine.”

Now she lives in the suburbs with her boyfriend, a sportswriter, and they have a very suburban lifestyle. They get their caffeine fix at Starbucks; buy clothes at Zara and New York & Co.; visit local boutiques, like Roam and Lightbox; and go to Eataly and Magnolia’s.

But she likes her city life. “I do like the feeling of being out on the streets,” she says. “I can take my dog out in the snow or in the rain.”

Suburbanites Are Going For Trends

If you’re in Salt Lake City, you’ll notice that styles change quickly—especially in the suburbs. “No matter where you’re shopping, you’ll see the trends going back and forth,” says Linda Gaboriau. “And it doesn’t matter what decade you’re in.”

You’ll see short hemlines, mini skirts and pants. You’ll see high heels, sequins and dresses with plunging necklines. And you’ll also see high-top sneakers—still very popular today.

If you’re going to follow fashion trends, it makes sense to stay in the city. “Those people are very conscious of what’s going on in the city,” says Gaboriau. “And when they want to go shopping, they go downtown.”

If you’re in the suburbs, you’re naturally going to be in for a shock. Even though you know how to shop for clothes and shoes, you’ll most likely be shopping in the most basic of styles. “The suburbs and the suburbs in general are not very fashion conscious,” says Steimle.  “A lot of it is practicality.”

You’ll also see people paying much less for high-end goods—a $130 dress is a huge deal. In the city, a $130 dress would most likely be worth $600 or $700.