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I was 14 when I actually appreciated travelling for the first time. I was finally old enough to understand and marvel at my surroundings – the different architecture, culture, and at the time, street style. This was back in 2007. It was a time when Facebook was at its peak popularity. It was a few years before the fashion blog boom and most importantly, it was three years before Instagram started.

The only way people could witness street style was by reading magazines that could only publish the photos weeks (gasp) after they had been taken, following photographers perhaps on Flickr or the newly established Tumblr, or actually travelling. Back then cities, especially global fashion capitals, definitely had their own distinct street styles. But fast forward to 2019, where Instagram reigns the street style capture world. Can we still say this today?

Does City-Specific Style Still Exist After The Rise Of Instagram?

That first trip was to Moscow via London. At the time I was attending high school in the suburbs of Vancouver, AKA Lululemon central. Teenage me couldn’t keep my eyes off the stylish girls gracing the streets of the two major European cities. The girls in London were effortlessly quirky yet cool with colourful trousers and print-heavy dresses. Further east, the Muscovites dripped in glamour with fur vests, leather leggings, and the tallest, thinnest stilettos I’d ever seen. I bought a pair of yellow skinny jeans in London and was given the nickname ‘banana pants’ at school back in Canada.

Fashionable cities

Since then, I’ve travelled to every major fashion capital (Paris, Milan, New York) as well as a slew of other notoriously stylish cities (LA, Barcelona, Rome, Florence). I’ve also been to other cities that may not be the first places you think of when it comes to fashion.ut that are still worth a mention IMHO (Dublin, Las Vegas, Seattle). I’ve also recently moved to the UK and am slowly making my way around its cities and towns. All of the aforementioned trips have been made between 2014 and 2019, AKA Instagram’s prime or the rise of the fashion influencer.

Did I notice amazing street style during my travels? Yes. Was it city-specific? Not necessarily. While each city has its own vibe, no matter where I went I could spot girls wearing the same trendy pieces as Instagram influencers that girls back home also copied. The amount of fashion-conscious women I’d see from city to city varied, but all of these women seem to follow variations of the same uniform, which you can also spot whenever and wherever you scroll your feed.

Style differences

Now, I’m not trying to say that style individuality is dead. What’s cool is that each city puts its own spin on global trends. For example, the teddy jacket is something I’ve seen all over the place this year. Back in Vancouver, girls would be styling theirs with black mom or straight jeans, Blundstones or Doc Martens, and a plain tee. Here in the UK, girls opt for lighter wash denim, chunky dad trainers, a high ponytail, and perhaps a button-up instead of a tee. Meanwhile Italian girls are layering theirs over dresses and choosing sleek ankle boots. I suppose we’re becoming more globally united. And after all, isn’t connecting with others the point of social media?

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