Welcome Back, Olympia
Fashion Guide + Tips
By Sara Fabian
There is no one way to describe Olympia, it’s an intricate collage made up of a variety of people with different views, styles, and personalities that somehow weaves itself together to produce an alluring piece of art. Olympia’s fashion is no different. The inspirations for Olympia style has often less to do with beautiful clothes and more to do with the person wearing it. Style is all about authentic expression. When a person wears something true to their spirit, everything about them comes alive. There is no specific style and stereotype here, which is why I find that many dress with such freedom, no confines and straight lines. Olympia is home to a great amount of creative people who enjoy putting their own spin on the term “dressy.” With a variety of independent boutiques, and budget friendly thrifts, Olympia has a special mix of texture, grit and vintage appeal. However, I never said there weren’t any basic survival tips to make it through Olympia’s mysterious and rainy ways. Below are a few style guides and basic necessities to feeling comfortable during your time here in Olympia. Enjoy!
A Sturdy Pair of Boots: … socks too
Scarves & Beanies: bring together any number of outfits and occasions in Olympia. For instance going to a house party or show and the weather is feeling murky, dose up your outfit with a hood scarf, infinity scarf, wool scarf or any scarf for that matter! They are great to wear over pretty much anything and for some reason, adding a scarf makes it look like you tried a bit harder than you did. Beanies are hugely popular in Olympia as they provide warmth, hide messy and many times unwashed hair, and often used as the tool of umbrella. Note: you are here in the Pacific Northwest now. Rain happens. Deal with it.
Black is Never Shy: If you were to roam around Downtown Oly or through the seminar buildings at Evergreen, black is a staple must. Many adorn themselves with shades of ebony, onyx and charcoal. Also not to mention, it’s a super easy color to dress up, down, or pair with anything.
Denim Everything: Denim can be spotted in almost every shop, coffee house, library, student building in Olympia. Literally you would think denim grows on trees here. Whether it’s the baggy jeans with boots, skinny jeans with a tucked in shirt, a jean dress, overall or shirt, Olympia has seen it all. The material is as utilitarian as they come and can withstand any number of nights out on the town.
Leather/Jean Jacket With a Hoodie: Almost every season in the Pacific Northwest has a mind of its own and you will soon realize that the rain can be anything from a light drizzle, to a sprinkle with a bit of wind, to blizzarding sideways and full on puddles. Most PNW’s stay as far away from an umbrella as possible and opt for a jacket/hoodie combo. In olympia the jackets range from vintage 80’s denim to a jacket decked out in patches, to leather fringe, and staple moto leather, but one thing remains the same, the hooded protection underneath. It keeps you warm, dry and doesn’t ruin your outfit underneath.
A Good Coat: enough said.
Flannel: If you ask me, the pairing of the PNW and flannels is similar in rank to the highly renowned dynamic duos like peanut butter and jelly. The combination just makes sense.
All Things Striped: Nautical is absolutely a thing along the sound. Paired with just about any and everything, stripes are a Olympian’s golden accessory. Whether horizontal, vertical, thin, thick, black and white or in living color, stripes make a graphic statement, day or night. It’s the “neutral” of the print world, pairing as perfectly with other patterns as it does with denim, leather, khaki and the list goes on and on. The possibilities are endless with this wardrobe power player and in Olympia, downright essential.
Classic White Tee: Nothing is more simple, more basic, more foundational than a plain, white tee. And while it’s something that exists in most people’s closets, it’s a piece that showcases pretty much every emotion our daily lives: some showcase one too many coffee stains and late night food runs, or worn with a colorful scarf and bottom emanate fun and personality, and on a grey day, any rip, tear, or fray creates the feeling of “meh.” In conclusion You probably don’t need me to tell you that a white t-shirt is a closet essential.
Layering: the weather is definitely a contributing factor to defining Oly style. We love to layer, which gives us ample opportunity to play with patterns and colors. Many Oly folk intentionally incorporate bright colors, prints or many shades of the same color into their ensembles to contrast the gray skies.