Friday, February 15, 2008

teens in uniform:
[an anthropological study of minors on the Lower East Side]

In school, kids of the LES have explicit dress codes: no jeans, collared shirts, no hats, etc. But there's an unspoken dress code for any time not under the watchful gaze of teachers and principals. On the way to school, the journey home, and whenever they can get away with it in between, teens almost universally wear jeans. In school -- generally only after the teacher demands -- they pull a pair of oversized slacks over the offending denim . Even then a few choose to refrain from zipping up the second layer of pants, so they walk around looking like they're in the middle of a striptease.

As you can see, guys are still rockin' the falling-down-jeans aesthetic and slightly askew baseball cap that have been popular for over ten years. They're trying to make these styles timeless. Things that have changed: brighter colors (note hot-blue jacket) and backpacks are now worn on both shoulders. North Face is the brand of the day for both backpacks and coats.

On the ladies its skinny jeans and boldly patterned, princess-sleeved coats. Sneakers on the feet, preferably 80s-bright colors. For jewelry, dangling earrings and large hoops, lots of "gold." The backpack is again NF -- generally JanSport is acceptable, but not as widely acclaimed.

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