These Looks Are Proof That The Best Street Style Lives Outside Of The Fashion Capitals

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Leave New York City, and you will find no shortage of covetable personal style. The last two-plus years have seen what some have called a renaissance when it comes to street style in cities outside of the U.S. fashion capital. But the strong sense of self-expression and sartorial authenticity was always there — people just never took time to pause and explore the scene beyond fashion’s Big Four: New York, London, Milan, and Paris.

And that’s too bad. From a salon owner who wears jewelry made by local artists in Georgia to a student with a penchant for accessories featuring religious art in New York state, we found boundless amounts of outfit inspiration when we commissioned four photographers to stop people in Athens, Beacon, Dallas, and Detroit to find out what fuels their everyday looks.

“For a while, I was like, ‘I am going to dress up like a pirate every day,’ so my style just changes depending on how I am feeling,” said Lea Green, a barista we caught up with in Michigan. Meanwhile, Harley Powers,  a Texas-born 23-year-old, described their aesthetic as “Harajuku pastel goth.”

Ahead, looks that prove that there’s nothing more fashionable than being uniquely yourself.

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Athens, Georgia

“Right now, Collina Strada is my favorite designer. Overall, starting from a young age, I was really inspired by Harajuku fashion. FRUiTS is a great fashion magazine. They reimagine Western style, like [wearing] cowboy boots with denim in different ways that I would have never considered.” — Cat Woodhead, 26

“I got rained on today so I probably should have worn a raincoat. The things that inspire my personal style is color, being comfortable, my Crocs on the daily. I just love color and being artsy.” — Victoria Dugger, 30, artist

“I am into vintage [pieces] mixed with something I found at a yard sale. Usually, they don’t match or are a little bit bright and cheery. I like a lot of local artists in the community in Athens. There are a lot of jewelry makers. This is Absynia [points to jewelry]. I just try to pull things that make me full in my heart.” — Amelia Herb, 38, owner of Ceremony Salon

“This morning I put on this outfit because I wanted to be comfortable. My fashion inspiration is ’70s farmer grandpa with flowers.” — Kit Rutter, 37, artist

Jake: “I am really inspired by other alternative queer people and branching out of traditionally masculine articles of clothing and embracing femininity. Seeing other young people express themselves inspires me to pick and choose those things to interpret in my own way.” — Jake Wasserman, 22, student (left)

Hazel: “When I was little, [I wore] a ton of colors and patterns mixed together, or actual dress-up clothes. It’s been the main way I expressed myself for my whole life. For a while as a teenager, I simplified how I dressed to avoid judgment because I worried about what others thought about me and what I wore and if it was too weird or too feminine… So a lot of the time my younger self inspires me because they truly didn’t care and were just doing what felt fun and right.” — Hazel Bray, 23 (right)

“Today, I was inspired by a soft ‘80s delicate crochet look. What inspires my day-to-day [fashion] is what mood I am in and how I am feeling about myself and how I want others to perceive me.”— Anna Adams, 24, server

“Honestly, my personal style is whatever’s cheap and pops out but somewhere between teen fast-fashion things that are cobbled together or old-lady things.” — Steph Rivers, 37

Ally: “This is my errand uniform. The [cowboy boots] are vintage from Atomic. The [shorts] are from a yard sale. [The shirt] is vintage from somewhere in California. Both of us wear a lot of heirloom and pawn shop jewelry, as well as vintage tees…” — Ally Smith, 30, bar manager at Puma Yu’s (right)

Pete: “The soft, soft cotton tees — the ones that are just about to be thrown away. These are my favorite because of how comfortable they are. I’ve been also wearing all these fake Yeezy slides just because they are the most comfortable things to walk around in.” — Pete Amadhanirundr, 29, chef at Puma Yu’s (left)

“My outfit is inspired by my nana, my dad’s mom. I’ve never seen her without a beautiful floral shirt on, and she loves to layer her sheer bright things with something underneath. I saw this [shirt] in a vintage store, and I knew I had to have it. What inspires my style in a broad sense is blending masculine and feminine in the same outfit.” — Dawson Horah, 24, bartender and practicing assistant

“I am really attracted to architectural elements. Even though this shirt is based on a design from the mid-1800s, I like the strong linework in it. A lot of the pieces in my wardrobe feel very romantic. I am attracted to clothing that feels very ethereal.” — Allyssa Peace, 35, vintage reseller

“I try to find clothes that will last me a long time and do my part to offset the massive amounts of waste that are in the fashion industry. So I spend a lot of time thrifting and making my own clothes. I actually made this jumpsuit myself. ” — J Diamond, 24, graduate student and jewelry instructor at the University of Georgia

Dallas, Texas

*The following photos were taken before the flash flooding in Dallas.

“I just wanted to be comfy and cute. Sporty with a little bit of sexy on top.” — Daryan Lee

“My style is Harajuku pastel goth.” — Harley Powers, 23

“Today, I felt a little bit cute, chic, and also sporty. This is a Telfar bag that I recently got and a cute friendship ring that I share with my friend Laura.” — Ana B. Yocum, 28 

“Everything that nobody else will wear at my age, I just do it. Be yourself.” — Daisy Banks, 47, co-owner of Blu Ice Daiquiris and Blu Chandelier Boutique

“My wife is basically my stylist. She knows what I won’t and will wear. That’s how my style comes about.” — Timothy Banks, 47, co-owner of Blu Ice Daiquiris and Blu Chandelier Boutique

“My style is a cross between Lara Croft and skateboarding street style. It’s pretty casual. I like to keep it simple.” — Amber Terry, 44

“What inspired this look is being in Texas. My hat is from a store in Texas, my shirt is Free People, my shorts are from Zara, and my shoes are Adidas.” — Margaret Fagel, 21

“My style is urban look. I got the dad shoes on — New Balance; Selena [shirt]; and the hoochie daddy shorts.” — James White, 25

“The word that best describes my style is ‘versatile.’” — Niyah Gonzalez

“I am short so I try to get help with my shoes. My pants are for utility because they have pockets. Shirt is to embody the Texas nature. A lot of Gen-Xers stop and talk to me about my watch so it’s a good conversation piece. My tote says ‘Books Is Power’ because I like reading and think it’s important.” — Genevieve Poist

“My style today is comfortable and as little as possible because it’s hot as hell.” — Laura Silva

Detroit, Michigan

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“It’s so nice out today so I wanted a pop of color. What inspires my everyday outfit is one staple piece to wear always, and then comfort.” — Hannah Mulligan, 24, retail and social media manager at Eugenie Detroit

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“I was trying to fit into the aesthetic of my music personality [with this look]. Just being yourself and having a street style or like a masculine energy mixed with feminine energy.” — Steph Parochetti, 21, barista and musician

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“I wear jumpsuits on a daily basis.” — Jenaveve Biernat, 44, owner and massage therapist at Meta Physica Wellness Center

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“[For this outfit], I saw a picture of Solange, and I was like, ‘Okay, let’s go from there.’ [For my everyday style], I like something very functional and sleek, and something, if I have to run, I can run in.” — Crystal Gause, 28, barista

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“I am always inspired by wearing things that are sustainable and not creating new waste, so I wear a lot of used and vintage clothes.” — Alyssa Rogers, 21, medical student who works in Food Access at Eastern Market

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“My energy [inspired this look]. I like to wear black but my mind is so colorful.” — Iulia Sandru, 20, student and bartender

“I am an art minor who recently switched to a fashion and photography minor, so I just get inspired by anything I see. For a while, I was like, ‘I am going to dress up like a pirate every day,’ so my style just changes depending on how I am feeling.” — Lea Green, 20, barista

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“I just needed to get out the door and wear something nice and light and feel summery [today]. I am very much inspired by my grandmother. She was always colorful and wore a lot of different patterns and layers.” — Stephanie Leon, 35, manager of hospitality and events at Chroma Detroit

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“I am always sporty, so I like this kind of outfit. I don’t pay much attention to style, I dress however I feel on the day.” — Malina Mircea, 19

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“I like to wear colorful outfits, especially pink.” — Cristiana Lazar, 19, student and server

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“This is a DÔEN dress, and I fell in love with it. It’s roomy, it’s comfortable, I felt it was a bit of the haunted doll aesthetic without being too much of the haunted doll aesthetic. On my feet are Birkenstocks which, to this day, are the most comfortable shoes I‘ve ever owned. I used to have a better answer, but I am also the mom of a 22-month-old, so [my style is based on] what’s comfortable, what doesn’t need dry-cleaning? I like color, comfort, and investing in good pieces that will last me a while.” — Theresa Anasti, 38, professor 

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“I just wanted something comfortable and breezy to walk around in. I don’t have a particular style — it changes based on what I wake up feeling that day. Sometimes I go super extra, sometimes I dress like a dude. I have no idea.” — Sumayya Mohammed, 24, doctor

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“I get inspired by my older sister, musicians that I listen to, and just walking around and getting inspiration from everyone. I just came home from the Philippines and I am still not over the tropical look of everything.” — Maria Ladero, 23, student

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“I got this dress from my neighbor at a garage sale. She said she wore it when she was younger. It feels so comfy. I am into the browns. I like being comfy but I also like to look artistic. I like artsy grandma chic [aesthetic].” — Sophia Facione, 18, student

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“I just put on whatever I saw on my bed. Actually, it’s just dirty, so that’s really what [my outfit] is. My [general] style is simple, boyish, easy-to-put-on.” — BreAnna Lockhart, 29, community relations rep

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“I was probably inspired by Troye Sivan. I watched his house tour on Architectural Digest, and I was like, ‘I want that outfit.’ I really like big pants and a luxurious silk shirt. I just wear what I want, and it works out.” — Faith Ramos, 20, employee at Shinola

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“[My style is inspired by] plants — flowers, of course!” — Sarah Stalker, 40, landscape designer

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“This morning was get-up-and-go comfort, but my everyday style is pretty eclectic so bringing past, present, future.” — Tess Burzynski, 31, mycologist

Beacon, New York

“Today I based this outfit around these boots because I always want to wear them.” Max Slackman, 19 (left)

“I like a lot of Renaissance-inspired jewelry. I wanted to look like a hippie gladiator type. I am very influenced by Joan Jett and The Runaways.” — Brooke Bennett, 18 (middle)

“What inspires my style is a mean older babysitter who has little kids to take care of, and she’s like, “Go to bed, twerp!” Or: spring breakers but, like, yassified.” — Grace Catinella, 19 (right)

“This was just something really quick to throw on today and go out the house to go shopping. My style is usually inspired by bohemian streetwear. Nothing too complicated but cute at the same time.” — Gabrielle Frazier, 23, grad student

“I just bought this skirt so I wanted to wear it. This is a swimsuit that I am wearing as a bodysuit. My style is a little more minimalist.” — Gloria Saccoccio, 19, student

“I woke up late, and this was the first thing I saw. Princess Diana inspires my personal style.” — Sophia Campagiorni, 16

“Today my outfit is inspired by green, my favorite color and also my drink color. My style is easy-going, something you can throw on. I love to thrift — all of this is from Beacon Flea Market.” — Chelsea Padilla, 22, barista

“I like color, so that’s why I wore this.” — Camryn Dlusinksi, 22, student (right)

“My girlfriend inspires my style. She’s always dressing me.” — Bryan Casey, 22, student (left)

“I am going for a runaway bride kind of thing. I made the corset and thrifted the dress.” — Molly Dinsdale, 22, nurse

“I love black everything. I am a big fan of Rick Owens, but I am broke. I also have a love for religious art, so that’s why we have the beautiful [Virgin] Mary bag.” — Marta Ziemkiewicz, 19, student

From left: Adam Konarski, 21, and Nell Grabczak, 19

“I wore this because I like the band that’s on it.” — Callum Floris, 19

“What inspires my general style is Audrey Hepburn, the ‘60s, and Victorian era.” — Audrey Lewis, 16

“It’s been really hot out, so having really loose-fitting clothing is ideal. But also, this top always reminds me of a trip to Spain with friends, so it holds a special place in my heart.” — Aimee de Simone, 35, owner of Berte

“I am wearing a comfy exercise dress that I have in about four different colors and have been wearing all summer. My style can be anything between goth girl and clown explosion. I like a lot of color and a lot of vibrant stuff and also the traditional New York City all-black uniform.” — Federica Pelzel, 35, works in tech

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