An unfinished manifesto for style in the 585 starts with believing we have it.
New York’s got balls—and a closet full of black. Boston is preppy. Seattle owns grunge. Miami oozes sex. But what’s Rochester’s style? Do we even have it?
Just like style itself, 585 style is a work in progress. To help inspire you to explore your own, we created our 585 Unfinished Manifesto of Style.
We then tested it out on four style archetypes, or “Rochetypes,” on the pages that follow.
This is just the beginning. As Yves St. Laurent said, “Fashions fade—style is eternal.” So, let’s continue the conversation. Share your personal style by tagging your photos on Instagram or Facebook with #585style.
Believe we have it. We might be a small-town city, but that’s no excuse for a lack of style. If all else fails, let’s fake it ’til we make it.
Believe you have it. We’re all born with our own unique style. For proof, just flip the page and check out the look on six-year-old Penny, who styled her own wardrobe for the photo shoot. If that’s not fearless style, we don’t know what is.
You do you. Check magazines, TV shows, blogs, etc. for what’s “in.” Then make it yours. For example, fuschia is a huge color trend this year. Maybe you’re a bit of a shrinking violet. You don’t need to dip yourself in hot pink. Just wear it in small doses: a skinny belt or even a smear of lip gloss.
Shop local. The mall is great, but no store reflects hometown style better than our own local shops and boutiques. Lucky for us, our region is home to some great spots like Dado, One Hip Chic, Thread, Paislee, and Panache Vintage, and Finer Consignment, to name a few.
Have fun. Don’t take fashion—or yourself—too seriously. Mix unexpected colors, patterns, textures, accessories, even trends. The best part about style is you can change your outfit as often as you change your mind.
Style is ageless. For reference, study Iris Apfel, a style icon who is just hitting her stride at ninety-five years young.
Look around. Don’t just look in magazines and stores for inspiration. It’s all around you: in museums and galleries, at the grocery store, on the street. Right here at (585), we’ve found style ideas in everything from garbage plates to classic literature.
Support the scene. We may not be Paris or New York, but like those fashion meccas, we, too, have our own Fashion Week. There’s no shortage of shows, including the Dado Show (held annually since 2009), Peppermint’s Sewn Seeds, and Greentopia’s From the Ground. Designer Katrina Elliot has shown her work at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Atlantic City. And design wunderkind Sophie Cerankosky is an up-and-comer to watch.
Do it every day. Style isn’t something you exercise just for special occasions. Express yourself every day—even if you’re just running to Wegmans. It only takes a few seconds to wrap a cool scarf around your neck or throw on a pair of vintage sunglasses.
Lead, don’t follow. You are the boss of your own style. Take a risk and don’t be afraid to put it out there. Chances are, if someone’s squinching their eyes at your cropped flairs or rainbow-dipped tresses, it’s a sign that you’re really onto something. As Harry Winston said, “People will stare. Make it worth their while.”
Accessorize. You could personalize a white shirt and a pair of jeans a hundred different ways, just by changing up your accessories. If your style is glam, add a pair of metallic heels and a big gold necklace. If you’re more laid-back, throw on a straw fedora and carry a graphic tote.
Study the icons. Every decade has its legends: the ones who are still influencing fashion and personal style today. Marilyn Monroe. Audrey Hepburn. Jackie O. Diana Ross. Lauren Hutton. Princess Di. Kate Moss. Olivia Palermo. And one of our personal favorites, twenties “It Girl” Louise Brooks, who hailed from Rochester.
Have a signature piece. For as long as I can remember, my mother has collected feather boas. Some of her best specimens came from the New York City feather district in the seventies and eighties. She stores them all in pillow cases in her closet. Decades later, whether paired with an evening gown or an elegant suit, the feather boa is still her go-to hallmark.
Don’t blend. Even a uniform is no excuse to dress just like everyone else. One of my friends used to wear leg warmers, sweatpants, or boxers under her jumper at Our Lady of Mercy High School in the eighties. No matter what you’re wearing, you can always find a way to make it uniquely yours.
Kate Sonnick is a writer, creative director, and occasional stylist. Follow her on Facebook, at kisskissdahling on Instagram, and at katesonnick.com.