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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The East Coast Style

As my family and I leave our home on Easter Sunday to attend mass, I take a moment to observe the beauty and pristine landscape the East Coast has to offer. After living three years in Los Angeles, it is a nice change to see green grass, fewer cars on the highways, flowers near bloom, cheery blossoms and much more. As my parents, older brother, his fiancée and I drive to church, I reflect back on the eighteen years I lived in the Maryland area completely distracted and in my own world—refusing to take advantage of the beauty around me. I get the biggest reminder as my family and I park the car and walk into church and notice the pews overflowing with the preppy, classic, east coast style.
I knew I was home.
After attending college for three years in Los Angeles, I have grown accustomed to the “laid back” look many people go for. It is rare to see boys dressed up to go out at night. And by “dressed up” I do not mean a tux or a suit. However, I am referring to khaki pants, a button down Oxford shirt and Sperry’s to be traditional. It was quite the culture shock to me to understand that “dressing up” for Californians, meant jeans and a black t-shirt. It was a nice refresher to be back home and to see that the men and women put much effort in looking nice for such a joyous occasion.
I walk into the church wearing a mixture of styles: a Vineyard Vines sundress, pearls, black cardigan and black heels, my own little LA touch. I take a moment to look around the church, seeing if I recognized any of my elementary or high school friends and their families. Mass is a fashion show. You look to see what everyone is wearing in comparison to your own attire and how you could improve your style before the following week’s mass. Bingo…I spotted an old friend. Her Lily Pulitzer, bright pink and green patched dress could be seen a mile away as she walked down the aisle following her older brother and parents. Her “Franco Dress Printed Patch” classic Lily dress fit her perfectly tan body that has been baked to a crisp in a tanning booth, as her pearl necklace draped her neck. The typical east coast hairstyle—dark chocolate, stick straight hair—fell down her shoulders. She walked gracefully holding her Coach handbag and white cardigan sweater, which she later wrapped around her neck.
This typical East coast attire defines the classic atmosphere I correlate with home, and I miss it. Most “West Coasters”, including my freshmen roommate, would tease me as I walked to class freshmen year adorning my usual look: J. Crew plaid skirt, navy blue Ralph Lauren polo, Rainbow flip-flops, Tiffany’s chain bracelet and heart earrings. Unlike my west coast peers, I carried my books in a large Vera Bradley summer tote bag, instead of the usual JanSport backpack.
Every time I return home for a break from school, I go back to my roots and dress preppier than I do in Los Angeles. It is so interesting to see the difference in styles between two parts of the country. Although I like the “laid back”, flip-flop attire of California, I will always be an East Coast girl and will have the urge to wear my pearl earrings on a daily basis. The classic, elegant look of my hometown always wins my heart. Anyone can attest to that, especially after seeing the subscriptions to Vera Bradley and Ralph Lauren catalogues that I receive monthly in my school mailbox here in California.

- Monica Augustyn
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