As part of the fashion-obsessed community, we’re always interested in finding out what people are wearing around the country. So far, we’ve learned which trends are popular in Memphis, Tennessee, the importance of Jimmy Choo muck boots in Livingston, Montana and some of the best local places to shop in Birmingham, Alabama.
And we’re still on the search to find out what fashion looks like to people living in cities all around the country.
Laura Kepner-Adney has been living in Tucson for 13 years. Her work as a bartender has exposed her to a ton of different trends happening in Tucson, including one that makes her want to give piggyback rides.
Find out what that trend is, plus what she loves most about the style in her “unpretentious” city.
What makes the style in your city unique?
Tucson is unabashed in its love and appreciation of the Old West. Snap button plaid shirts never went out of style, and good ones can still be affordably thrifted.
What’s the best thing about the style in your city?
“Best” is so relative, but I’m happy to live in a place that feels relatively unpretentious. As the only Unesco World City of Gastronomy in North America, our dining and cocktail culture is booming. But you can still go out and have a nice meal in your everyday jeans if that’s what you want.
What are some trends that are popular right now in your city?
As a bartender in a couple of different spaces, I get to see so many trends as they pass through. One of my recent favorites isn’t new, but it’s perfectly adorable and classy: dates matching outfits. Whether it’s a tie and a dress, a belt and a sport coat or a hat and a scarf, the thoughtfulness of matching implies a sweet and attentive relationship.
What are some of your favorite personal trends?
I’m in love with hats, but Arizona’s climate rarely requires them. I think we all spend most summers waiting for that incredible day when hats become at least marginally practical. I maintain a fun collection of about a dozen trucker hats from various bars, bands, booze brands and thrift stores, along with a Stetson that I reserve for special occasions. I also have a weakness for well-crafted boots. I’m building my collection of Luccheses that will last me forever.
What are some trends in your city that you hate?
I’ve always hated impractical footwear. I see people walking uncomfortably and want to give them piggyback rides.
Do you feel like your style reflects your city? Why or why not?
I’m pretty Tucson. I wear cowboy boots every day (not at work, that’d be crazy) and almost always carry a hair-on, cowhide purse. I think of my style as laid back and only vaguely Western, but I’ve had people ask me if I’m dressing up as a cowgirl.
What does your style say about you?
I focus on comfort for the most part. Jersey pencil skirts with band/bar/brand tees and boots are my go-to. Did I mention my unhealthy T-shirt obsession? I bartended at a music venue for seven years, and acquired more tees than any one person should own. So I do my best to wear a different one every day.
What are your favorite places to shop? Both local and department stores/online?
I love thrift store shopping and as I mentioned above, we have some great thrifting here in Arizona. The local Savers stores never disappoint, and Buffalo Exchange kicks ass. If I need something nice without the hours of digging, I go to Nordstrom Rack. They’re also a great source for lingerie.
Do you feel pressure to be stylish in your city?
I don’t. It’s great.
Do you think it costs a lot of money to be stylish in your city?
I think Tucson is probably one of the most affordable cities to live in ― period. It’s a great space to develop artistic, musical, stylistic and other creative endeavors on a budget. That’s what most of us are doing here. Style is what you make it, regardless of where you live.
Do you feel pressure to be well-dressed at your job?
As a bartender, I’m often judged and compensated based on how I look. I like to keep things simple and clean, and hate worrying too much. I probably focus the most on my hair. I’ve got a ton of it, and it’s long and wavy, so it can easily overshadow my clothing. While none of my employers have a specific dress code, the service industry nature of my jobs require that I present in a way that is pleasing to the customer. Tips are a very easy way to quantify how well I’m coming across. My rule these days, according to tips, is this: Danskos for comfort, pencil skirt for comfort and fun, T-shirt for comfort, fun and to support my friends or brands I like, hair down because it’s giant and awesome and big earrings ― because with giant hair, who is going to see small earrings?