Now that we have relocated, changed addresses etc., there are certain cultural differences that can be addressed. Dress, as in the wearing of clothes not any crossdressing tendencies I might have, has a different flavor here. Orlando has, as most populated urban areas, a common focus on style and fashion, induced by popular culture and Madison Avenue. Strip malls there, not an obvious fashion mecca, may contain haute couture retailers next to “3 Tees for $10!” What do tourists do apres theme parks? Shop! You’ve just spent $150 to get into The Land of Mickey, now how about a $300 purse with cultural significant insignias? If that has value to you it’s all fine and dandy, spend your heart out at the factory outlets. But in Maine I can wear the same pair of pants for three days and I don’t feel self conscious. Yea okay, maybe that’s me. I revel in the necessity of wearing gloves almost everyday, for cold, yard work, dump excursions, or felling, bucking and limbing a tree. Donning a pair of gloves feels appropriate here like a leather saddle on a horse or wool on a cold day. Fashion has a different face here. One defined by work, pragmatism, and perhaps a modicum of sloth. If Carhartts and Dickies are popular does that make them a fashion statement? I don’t think so. They are utilitarian and last. So you don’t see a lot of Seven for Mankind jeans, although they hang in my closet. Cost certainly could be a factor as it would be ludicrous to muck out stalls in $150 jeans. Maybe the idea behind fashion involves large amounts of ego and a desire to impress. Maybe it’s just what makes you feel good even though you’ve been sold a bill of goods and are trying to be sexy. What drives us to buy is complicated but what is the difference between Carhartt and Calvin Klein as fashion? They both serve a purpose though it would be disingenuous to call one more “real” than the other. If I desire a Carhartt label is that any different from Dolce and Gabbana? Perhaps it lets me fit in. Let’s just say it’s a different flavor of living. I’ve never been one to collect labels but have always been very aware of them.