Here in NYC, Mara and I are surrounded by wealthy fashionistas, street style instagrammers and real live models and we may sometimes forget that not everyone can wear the latest trends or even wants to. 

We spoke to friends in other cities and found that sometimes it’s just the twist on something basic or traditional that provides style and delight. We started with Boston, which has a great reputation for lots of things, but style maybe not so much. With lots of brisk weather, function often takes precedence over fashion.


My friend Jen

One of the Koolest Women in the sports business world for sure. Jen is originally from Amherst, Mass and moved to Boston about ten yeas ago.

Jen reports: “This is a college town, which means casual casual, classic or borderline academic dress. We just moved offices and so far, in my month in as-fashionable-as-it-gets-in-Boston Back Bay, I haven't seen all that much variety in work attire. A lot of people protecting themselves from blustery winds in black down jackets, black pants and comfortable-looking (black) boots.

Though, just when you think Boston is not all that fashionable, I walk around the corner from my office onto Newbury Street and a lot of cool stores have outposts there — including some niche brand pop-ups like Reformation and MM Lafleur.

Edgy here can mean putting a twist on classic pieces, like carrying a yellow Goyard rather than gray or black. I'm personally a big fan of all the bright, jewel tone colors right now. Bright shoes (red-orange is my favorite, like these Rothy's). Or these green velvet pants from AG, which I purchased immediately after I saw my friend wearing them so well.

Currently, I'm on the hunt for a great work bag like this one from Senreve, a half-placket blouse, and some comfortable but distinct work trousers like these from Victoria Beckham.

Boston is also quite outdoorsy, so you’ll see a ton of down vests and jackets downtown. My best friend has incredible style but a very specific Vermont vibe. We both recently bought a jacket from Ortovox that we both love for running or around town. We meet up for shopping dinner dates at Barney’s for more unique items - she’s currently carrying a beautiful leather Moreau tote from there.

Nordstrom has a Trunk Club outpost here, which some friends use because they love clothes but hate to shop. After answering a survey, you show up to a rack full of clothes to try. Remotely, the Trunk Club sets you up with a stylist who interviews you and then creates outfits - you get a chance to preview on line and then once you approve, your Trunk is delivered a few days later.”


My sister Stacy

Top Dog in the Koolest Women world - Stacy moved to Boston for college and has lived there ever since. Here she is in her very cool, very oversized R13 down coat.

Stacy notes: “Although Boston has its share of fashionistas, in general, Bostonians are not that fashion forward and seem hesitant to wear anything that is super trendy. It’s a college town after all, and the majority of college kids are wearing sweats and Lululemon 24/7. Bostonians of all ages seem wary of high or avant grade fashion. They are all about functionality and don’t always appreciate nuances in style - I’ve had a million people comment on how “unusual” my hair is, or my pants, or my purse.

The official uniform of Boston seems to be Uggs, leggings, Patagonia and North Face, with lots of Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox gear, before, during and after the games. 

A lot of the suburbs have great stores like Clementine in Wellesley, Gretta Luxe in Wellesley and Boston, and Viola Lovely in Concord.”

Looking for more style in Boston? Check out these great local fashion blogger/influencers like Betsey at A Few Good Gumdrops, Kristen at The Boston Fashionista, and stylist Tara West, just to name a few.


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XoXo Mara and Pam at The Koolest Women