7/14/14

Coast-to-Coast Trend Report: Part 1

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This week I'm taking a glimpse at fashion trends in each area of the U.S. to see which ones are sweeping the nation and which ones are only regional. I also wanted to do a little real life vs. blog life comparison of trends since what's popular on blogs is not always popular with the masses.

I contacted 7 bloggers and asked them to be a part of my Trend Report Panel. I chose someone from every Time Zone and major geographic region in the U.S. and asked them to be my eyes there: observe the locals and report back on what's really happening with fashion in their area. Do people really wear rompers? Arm parties? Valentino Rockstuds?

So let's meet the Trend Reporters, then see below the image to learn which geographic region they represent as well as their current state of residence, then it's on to the Trend Reports.

Top Row:
SOUTHWEST: Adri, Adri Lately (CA) / NORTHWEST: Elif, The Box Queen (OR)

Middle Row:
MOUNTAIN WEST: Kellie, ie-Style (CO) / MIDWEST: Carylee, More Pieces of Me (IL)/ NORTHEAST: Erica, Casually Styled (NJ)

Bottom Row:
SOUTH: Nicole, Nicole to the Nines (GA) / SOUTHEAST: Rachelle, PinkSole (FL)



THE REPORTS:

ROMPERS:

Southwest: I have definitely seen these in real life.

Northwest: In my city, I see a lot of rompers around, usually in a tank version, and some strapless. There definitely is a more boho vibe in the way they are accessorized (nature inspired necklaces, flat sandals, or ankle boots, and of course Birkenstocks- I may never wear Birkensrocks, but a WHOLE lot of people do in my city). 

Mountain West: I love rompers so much, but truth be told, even though they are hot in stores this season,  if/when I've seen them on an actual real live person, it's been a teen.  I've not seen them worn as sophisticated in real life as I have in blog world.

Midwest:  Honestly, I don't feel like I see these a lot here. The times that I've seen them, I was on vacation, not at home.

Northeast: Rompers are popular! I see them a lot during the day as a casual outfit. I also see many of them down at the shore used as a coverup.

South: I don't see that many rompers in real life.  Most girls here wear summer dresses to go out. 

Southeast:  I've seen people wear them but not too often.



CROP TOPS:

Southwest: Unfortunately, this is a yes. 

Northwest: I have seen some crop tops, especially with jeans, and cut-offs. Looking at the way crop tops are worn in my city you wouldn’t know they are trendy this year though. They are no where near the high fashion, structured crops we’ve seen paired with full and pencil skirts, and have been featured all over the magazines. They are just tops that are short, and if I wasn’t into fashion I wouldn’t know they were the “thing” of the season. 

Mountain West: Popular with the "young ones"...not so much the grown-ups.

Midwest: I have not seen a single crop top here.

Northeast: A lot of the younger kids wear them around here (middle and high school). I haven't really seen anyone older than maybe 25 wearing one.

South: I see a few at the mall on the weekend on teenagers and people in their early 20s. Most people over a certain age (~28) aren't wearing them.

Southeast: Not that common in real life, they make an appearance sometimes in the nightlife setting.


MAXI DRESSES:

Southwest: Maxi dresses are fairly popular here.

Northwest: They are EVERYWHERE. Not just this year though, pretty much all summers. I don’t ever remember not seeing maxis in my city during. I don’t necessarily think it’s related to a trend. More a part of the laid-back NW style. 

Mountain West: If you don't have one you wear at least once a week, you're in the minority here.  Piece of choice for a majority of us!

Midwest: These are everywhere for sure - all ages, all heights, body types, they're everywhere.

Northeast: Maxi dresses are very popular in my area! I see them on just about anyone through out the day.

South: I see these all the time here on women of all ages in casual and fancier incarnations.  

Southeast:  Maxi Dresses are a South Florida staple, they are always popular.


GRAPHIC TEES/TANKS:
(e.g. #OOTD, Wifey)

Southwest: Haven't seen any with #s, but I do see graphic tees.

Northwest:  I haven’t seen much of these out and about. I am sure there are people wearing them but not in my daily life. I think I am aware of these tees and can relate to them as a result of being a blogger. There are many other kind of graphic tees though (without the hashtags), more with a cool vibe like faces etc.

Mountain West: Colorado has an awesome "relaxed, but sophisticated" vibe and the use of Graphic Tees reflect that. You'll see them styled anywhere from super casual to dressed up.

Midwest: Never see these in real life - only the ones I own! 

Northeast: I've seen many people out and about wearing a graphic tee, but never one displaying any of the words above. 

South:  I see these mainly on younger people, unless they are the ones from J. Crew.  I've seen those on people of all ages.

Southeast:  Not too common in real life, mostly worn by teenagers I noticed.



FITNESS WEAR FOR EVERYWHERE:
(Not just leggings as pants, but head-to-toe Lululemon or athletic wear.)

Southwest: YES! Ladies at the mall and out running errands seem to have jumped on this.

Northwest: YES, even I do this sometimes. For instance, there are a TON of moms at my kids' schools in head to toe athletic wear at pick up time. Lululemon is BIG here, and it’s a very outdoorsy, sporty state with many runners and fitness fanatics (again I can count myself as one of this group).

Mountain West: Yep, all.the.time!  I'd like to say it's because Colorado is typically known for being an athletic state, and I know we have a high percentage of folks that do engage in frequent exercise and all the outdoor activities we have available, but I know there are those who wear athletic clothing and never get to doing the "athletic part" Lululemon and Athleta are the popular brands.

Midwest: Yep, this is definitely a huge thing here. Running shorts are the leggings of the summer.

Northeast: I see quite a lot of women in my area in head to toe work out gear. Not sure if they work out in them or not but it does seem to be a popular "mom ensemble" at my son's school.

South: I see this all the time but it is more location specific.  For example, I see it at Whole Foods all the time (e.g. middle of the day), or at the mall on the weekend or after work.  

Southeast:  I work close to a trendy area so I see a lot of moms strutting around in Lululemon.



JEWELRY:
(What trends do you see? Are arm parties popular in real life or just on blogs? Do people wear popular blogger brands like Stella & Dot or J. Crew?)
 Original Pins: One /Two / Three 

Southwest: Every now and then I will see arm parties, but not often. I can't recognize any of the brands. They seem more like friendship bracelets.

Northwest: I have seen arm parties, Stella & Dot representatives and jewelry, and lots of statement pieces from stores like J.Crew, Banana Republic, Forever 21, and independent boutiques. There is also a big crowd that likes very boho accessories such as lots of silver big stoned rings worn together, jewelry made with natural materials, feathers etc. 

Mountain West:  I have to admit that I know Stella & Dot from blogging - I have never seen it in real life or even heard anyone talk about it.  J Crew on the other hand is a go-to store here, their jewelry included.  Arm parties - more like a cocktail party vs. a full blow party...meaning bracelet layering happens, but not to the full extent as I've seen online.  Bling statement necklaces are still the choice here.

Midwest:  I can't recall any arm parties. Stella and Dot is pretty popular here though.

Northeast:  I think arm parties definitely only exist on blogs. I occasionally see women wearing a watch and a bracelet together but certainly not more than that.

South: People love a good statement necklace here.  I'm not sure of the brands people are wearing, but I'm sure it includes a lot of J. Crew and Banana Republic (and probably Stella and Dot).  The statement necklace is probably bigger than big earring or lots of bracelets because it works in most work environments. I'm one of the only people I've seen with stacks of bracelets.

Southeast:  I do see arm parties in real life but not always the typical J.Crew type baubles. It does happen but not as common as on blogs.


DENIM:
(What brands are popular, if any? What cut dominates: Skinny? Bootcut? Flare? Do people wear contrast stitching jeans like True Religion or Miss Me anymore?)

Southwest: Levi's, Sevens, Citizen of Humanity seem to do well. It's mostly skinny that are worn. If someone does contrast stitching, they stick out like sore thumbs, they're not really considered fashionable.

Northwest: This is a very mixed bag. Where I am at I see a lot of skinny jeans, and some boot cut but city wide I think every kind of jean goes. 

Mountain West: Yep, I still see the contrast stitching around these parts - True Religion and Miss Me are still worn here. By far the skinny jean is the most widely worn.  Rock Revival, Big Star, 7 for All Mankind, Silver are some of the top names you hear.

Midwest: I see a lot of the Seven7 brand that is carried at Marshall's/TJMaxx and I think Macy's has them, too? American Eagle is also pretty prominent with jeans. Never the higher end ones. Definitely lots of skinny!

Northeast: It's funny because True Religion jeans used to be SO popular here a few years back. Everyone was walking around with the "U" shape on their butts! I haven't' seen them on anyone in a very long time. Mostly everyone is in skinny jeans or boot cut. I rarely see someone in a flare jean though. 

South: All of the high end brands (Citizens of Humanity, J. Brand, Rag & Bone, Current Elliot) are popular here.  I also see a lot of Paige.  Straight, Skinny, and Boot cut are probably the most popular.  Flares, or more of a trouser jeans come back in the winter when people start wearing boots and booties.  I haven't seen a pair of True Religions on someone in years.

Southeast:  I have not seen a lot of contrast stitching here on people 35 and under, but once in a while a True Religion will make an appearance. Skinny jeans are the most common.


DESIGNER HANDBAGS: (Are they common and what brands do you see in real life vs. blogs?)

Southwest: Designer bags are huge. Louis Vuitton and Rebecca Minkoff are what I notice.

Northwest: There is also a huge diversity in terms of designer handbags here I think. Some part of the population seem to love designer handbags, and another part loves vegan/non-leather accessories, and wouldn’t be caught dead with designer stuff. NW is the mecca of environmentalism and nature love, which does affect the materials/types of fashion pieces preferred. 

Mountain West: Coach and Michael Kors take the cake in this category.  Other brands that are "big" would be Tory Burch, Brahmin, GUESS, and Brighton.

Midwest: Louis Vuitton is the most popular luxury brand handbag I see here. (Even at baseball games, which blows my mind because they are too large to set in your lap and I would never put my bag on the beer infested floor, but that's a whole other story...) Coach and Michael Kors are the most commonly seen department store/medium price range bags I notice. Coach used to be everywhere, and while it still is, I feel like MK has saturated the market a ton more.

Northeast: Designer handbags are very huge in my area. Lots of Louis Vuittons! However, I know that the Celine bag was a huge hit on some of the blogs a few months ago and I have yet to see one in real life! I do see a lot of Tory Burch bags, Michael Kors and the occasional Kate Spade. 

South: I see these all of the time, but a lot more of the affordable luxury (Michael Kors, Tory Burch, etc) than true luxury bags.  I don't see a lot of the Celine, Valentino, PS, that I see everywhere on the blogs.  However, it seems like everyone and their mom has a Tory or MK bag here, or an LV (real or fake...).

Southeast:   Designer bags are everywhere, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Celine, Alexander Wang, Chanel are everyday purses around here.



DESIGNER SHOES: (Do people wear Valentinos? Louboutins? Other?)

Southwest: I do see it, but it really depends on what part of LA you are in.

Northwest: I see them in a relatively smaller part of the population here if we look at the big picture. There are many designer shoe lovers here still though, it’s just not as big of a population like in say NY. 

Mountain West: This is another one where Bloggers win.  I can't say I've seen many out-and-about.  Disclaimer here:  maybe I wouldn't know them even if I saw them...??  I see them all the time in blog world though. 

Midwest: I never see these in real life. Makes me sad.

Northeast: I have not yet run into someone wearing a pair of Valentinos. (The Rockstuds come to mind.) I do however see a few women here and there wearing a pair of Louboutins (not extremely often, but I do see them). I've seen many wearing Burberry or Tory Burch flats. 

South: I don't see many designer shoes (at least that I recognize).  For example, I've never seen a pair of Rockstuds (or maybe just one pair) in person, whereas I see them all of the time in the blogoshpere.  I do see a few Louboutins and Manolos, but I work in a very fashion forward office.

Southeast: Another yes. I've been to events where I will see 5 different people wear the Rockstuds. Louboutins are also a huge hit in South Florida.



ANY OTHER THOUGHTS ON  REGIONAL TRENDS OR BLOG TRENDS VS. REAL LIFE TRENDS?
Fashion Industry IQ Map: Source

Southwest: In LA, fashion is mostly laid back and casual meets dressy. I do think that some blog trends just stay on the internet and some are adapted mainly if they can fit into the LA vibe. However, those that are adapted do take a little time. 

Northwest: 
I think NW people march to the beat of their own drum and have a very unique sense of style. They don’t necessarily emulate the trends exactly as they are. In real life, there  is definitely a big size of population who can’t care less what is trendy. There are a lot of creative, original people here who dress as they please which I found to be pretty cool.

Mountain West: I see Faux Leather, Skater and midi-skirts all the time on blogs and Pinterest but they're not something I see every day strolling around town (or have even seen at all on anyone in real life).  

Midwest:  I'd say all the mall stores are pretty typical - Gap, Banana, J. Crew. Nothing really that stands out. At least not near my work or my home. There are definitely parts of St. Louis that are more hip and trendy than others - but unfortunately, it's a bit of a hike for me to be submerged in that scene regularly.

Northeast: Pattern mixing! (My personal favorite!)  We see a lot bloggers mixing florals with stripes, stripes with camo, and even gingham with stripes. It's also featured in a lot of magazines and catalogs. Which is strange because I rarely see anyone in my area try this trend. It looks great in print but I think when it comes down to it, it's just too daring for some to try it out in real life. 

South: I think the South is a little more conservative in general and some of the things that work on the blog don't really work in real life.  If I walked around in some of the outfits that some of the NY or LA bloggers wore,  people wouldn't get it.  

Southeast: Designer bags and shoes are a huge hit here. Some areas are more like the blog worlds I've noticed, but everyday people like my co-workers think I'm always overdressed.

* * * 

I was fascinated by all of the answers in this survey and a few things really stood out to me:
  • Fitness wear as every day wear is really popular everywhere.  I noticed the trend was also associated specifically to "moms" by several participants.
  • Maxi dresses also drew a strong response for popularity everywhere.
  • "Arm parties (i.e. stacks of bracelets) have a much stronger internet presence than real life popularity.
  • Designer handbags (at least mid-range prices) seem to be a hit everywhere, yet designer shoes are not as common most places.

I'd love to hear from readers outside the U.S. how these trends compare to where you are, and for those here in the States if you identified with the answers of the representative from your region!  On Wednesday I'll have part two of the survey (see it here) with details on some specific brands and how they're trending throughout the country, so I hope you'll check back then!


Linking up with:
Marvelous Monday / Rachelle & Charnele / The Style Record / Elena / Kat / Claire / Lauren / Lauren / Paige / Laura / Shanna / Alison / The Pleated Poppy / Tara / JoLynne



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CONVERSATION

42 comments:

  1. Great article as always Gina.....the concept of coast to coast styling is one of a kind!

    Rebecca
    www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

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  2. I totally agree with Carylee regarding the observations from the Midwest. People probably think I am crazy for wearing rompers out in public. The comment about designer shoes was dead on. I've never seen a pair of Rockstuds in real life, either. Great post, Gina! I really enjoy reading this.

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  3. I always knew that the blogging world is not a real perception on how women dress lol, because I've been told by people that don't even know that I blog that I dress like a blogger. I think that's mainly because bloggers are usually women that just love fashion a bit more than the average person. And we don't just threw one whatever is at the top of the pile. That's why I love having blogger friends because they understand me lol. This was so informative.

    xo
    PinkSole

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  4. Amazing post today, Gina. By far one of my favorites. This was so interesting to read to see what trends stick where. Fashion bloggers are definitely a unique breed!

    Hope you had a great weekend!

    xo, Erica
    This was so interesting to see what trends stick where.

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  5. Very informative, Gina! Thank you for sharing!!!

    xo,
    Janise

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  6. What a fun post! You have the most creative ideas... thank you for sharing!

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  7. Wow, loads of interesting information here!! The two that stand out as interesting to me are the overwhelming response to "yes" on the all-day athletic wear and I'm surprised to see that the crop tops haven't really taken off anywhere (which is good) ;-). I actually want to come back and re-read this again, just to really absorb it....awesome post!
    Kellie @ www.ie-style.com

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  8. such a fun and informative post, i really enjoyed reading it. I think maxi dresses are popular almost everywhere, and will never go away (hopefully) haha but i hope some things do go away, like crop tops. i must admit i throw on my fitness gear (leggings/shorts) if i'm popping out to run some errands or something and i dont feel like getting dressed, and i see other people do it too. its more common to see people in fitness gear at the grocery than actual clothes haha. and i dont exactly live in a 'fitness' state.

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  9. How interesting! From my own experience, there is such a difference between regions and urban/rural areas (the south is by far the most dressy place, I think!). I have to say that the small NE town I live in is rather not-fashionable! I can't remember seeing anyone in heels, ever, let along designer shoes! Graphic tees and workout wear are pretty popular....

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  10. Loved this post today! It's so interesting to read what trends are big in different areas of the country. I totally agree with Carylee on the Midwest observations. Can't wait to read part 2!

    Jill
    dousedinpink.blogspot.com

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  11. This is so interesting! Recently I have noticed a lot of younger girls (high school, college) wearing athletic running shorts and t shirts at the mall, airport, and even at Disney. I guess it's for comfort. I think that is hilarious about the Valentino Rock Studs. They are everywhere on the blogosphere but I have yet to see any in person. I guess I don't hang out in the right places. I have yet to spend money on a pair of designer shoes. If I did, I would get a neutral nude classic pair that could be worn for years and even then I'd be terrified of scuffing them. I am terribly hard on my shoes.

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  12. Thanks so much for having me! It was fun to read the results, which are different not just from where you live but on the internet too.
    xo Adri
    www.adrilately.blogspot.com

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  13. Thanks for including me! It is so fun to see how trends vary around the country, especially compared the blogging world we all live in. I hope you had a great weekend!

    Nicole
    Nicole to the Nines

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  14. I love these questions! Next time, could you include what metro cities or what states the women are from? Just curious! - J

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jennie- thanks for the feedback! I listed the state of residence for each blogger next to their blog name up at the top under the graphic with their photos. (It's in parentheses, easy to miss!) For privacy reasons I didn't want to list their cities, but you can visit their individual blogs since some do have a specific city listed.

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  15. I love this post! So so interesting! I am very surprised to read all of the different answers. I live in NJ so I see a little bit of everything. I take that for granted and just assume that these trends are popular everywhere! Such a cool post!

    Marianne
    www.goodgirlgoneglam.com

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  16. I agreed with everything midwest except for the rompers! I see a lot of people wearing them! But it is definitely not as common as a maxi dress!
    www.amemoryofus.com

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  17. Once again, great post! I see there's not much going on in the Midwest. Sad but true. Your Midwest correspondent (i.e. Carylee) was spot on. I see a lot of workout wear everywhere around here. It drives me a little crazy sometimes. Thanks for hosting and have a great week, Gina! ~Cynthia

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  18. Your post are always so fun, organized and super informative. It's refreshing to know that most blogger deal with this issue, thanks for sharing

    Natalia

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  19. This is a very informative post! I can agree to all the answers Rachelle gave. Maxi dresses are definitely a hit in south florida!

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  20. This is SUCH a fun report ... I can't wait for the second part! I grew up in the Midwest and now I live in NYC. Everything sounds very spot on, and it's definitely true that bloggers tend to wear the trends more.

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  21. Nice post! I actually see lots of older women wearing crop tops out here in California. :-)

    Mo

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  22. This was a great read! I appreciate you putting this together. Kind of gives me perspective on how I am relevant with the rest of the country. I also realized that I see a lot of the RM 5 zip and mini macs here. Forgot to bring that up in my replies! Can't wait to read part 2! Nicely organized!
    Http://morepiecesofme.com

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  23. Oh man. Blogger just ate my post :( I will comment again in a bit!
    Http://morepiecesofme.com

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    Replies
    1. Oh hey it's there. Yay! Please disregard this one then. Mwah!

      Delete
  24. This is seriously a really cool post! It's interesting to see what the trends are in different regions. Here in Ontario I'd have to say I see all of these. I see a lot of maxis and crop tops (usually on teenagers) the most.

    Lauren xo
    Sophisticated In Style

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  25. So interesting to read this! I love how you approach topics so methodically - you must have experience in data analysis or something! I do most of my people watching at malls - and it's funny - one is definitely more blogger-like than the others - designer handbags/arm parties - you name it! I think the only thing I HAVEN'T seen in person is the Rockstuds (I've seen them in store but not as part of someone's outfits)...that being said, one of the mom's at my kids school does the morning drop-off wearing Loubs...

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    1. Thank you so much for the feedback! Its interesting to hear how Canada compares! (At least in your region!) And LOL- no, I have no experience in data analysis. I'm just naturally curious about trends and consumer behavior when it comes to fashion!

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  26. Loved this post! It's interesting to see different trends coast to coast. I don't see a lot of high end designer pieces around where I live, but an hour away from me women wear a lot more expensive things. Love going there to people watch haha

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for the feedback Lilly! I find the same thing- just an hour from any metropolitan area and the fashion scene is quite different. Always entertaining!

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  27. Yeah, I agree with the southwest lady's observations...but it's funny how similar we all are :) I haven't embraced the fitness trend, but I think I see myself doing that more in a little while...:)

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  29. Great and informative post! I LOL about the "moms" in fitness gear!

    www.misshotcouture.blogspot.com

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  30. Loved this post...so interesting to see what others are wearing from all around.

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  31. Such a cool idea- I love this! :)
    (And can I just weigh in that I adore/love/am obsessed with rompers?)

    -Ashley
    http://lestylorouge.com

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  32. Gina, this is an AMAZING idea and thanks SO much for including me as one of the trend reporters. I really enjoyed being a part of this, and it was also very informative to read about the trends in real life in different parts of the country. Have a fab week lovely lady, XOXO, Elif

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  33. this is such a fun post! love all the fun info!

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  34. Awesome post! I feel like here in SoCal, women are more inclined to try trends because I see all of these everywhere! Especially in the Temecula wineries. Maxis, crop tops, and graphic tees galore! I do think that girls who love fashion are more keen observers of this though. Most of my friends don't dress like me at all! They didn't know I had a blog until they saw my IG account LOL.

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  35. Such a great and informative post, seriously we see all these bloggers and never really realize there climate!

    Even traveling I have an appreciation for different girls and the way they dress!

    Eleventh & Sixteenth

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  36. Interesting post - thank you. It's funny that there is a difference between what people wear in blogs and what they wear in real life when blogs are supposed to be about 'what we wear'. Thanks so much for hosting! Have a great week.

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  37. gret artical! I must buy some crop top ! :)))

    I would like to invite you to my giveaway on my blog YOKO NGUYEN BLOG

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I sincerely appreciate each and every one and always do my best to answer questions promptly!