Maybe it’s the fact that we only had two days of sunshine in the month of January, or maybe it’s the fact that we have an astounding record when it comes to snowfall and winter. It doesn’t exactly make you feel yellow with happiness when you have to wake up at 4 AM to shovel your driveway for two hours. It makes you feel, well…”blah.” 

As a result, residents in Western New York tend to dress more blah, and what I mean by that is we like to wear black, whites, and grays (aka the neutral colors). You won’t find too much color in our closet. 

My boyfriend and I went to pick out a t-shirt from Hot Topic at the Walden Galleria the other day, and he found two shirts he really liked: one was light orange, and the other one was black. When he asked me what I thought, I told him the orange one caught my eye because it was a cool design and it was different. But he was hesitant about getting the light orange shirt because “pretty much all of my clothes are black or white” and he didn’t know if the other shirt would be “too much for the eyes.” 

It’s not necessarily a bad thing to wear blacks, whites, or grays though. Wearing neutral colors could mean that you want to wear outfits that never really go out of style, or it could mean that you don’t like to draw too much attention to yourself. 

However, my hypothesis is that Western New Yorkers wear these neutral colors because they are grieving or bored, and I think it could be both. 

If we only see sunshine for less than half of the year, that can have some serious effects on our mental health and overall mood. 

Sunlight is responsible for increasing the brain’s production of serotonin, a hormone that makes you feel more calm and boosts your mood. But with minimal sunlight means a smaller mood boost, which could make us feel a variety of effects. 

Some symptoms of not getting enough sunlight includes: 

  • Fatigue
  • Depression 
  • Poor appetite 
  • Depression or feelings of sadness
  • Poor sleep

It doesn’t help that it could snow for 8 months out of the year (after all, it snowed on April 5th this year). 

One article from a few years ago on Vice examined whether or not people in Buffalo dress in neutral, bland colors and what the reasoning behind it could be. 

And full disclosure, there are obviously some seriously fashionable Buffalo residents, and we respect that. However, if you walk into the average Buffalonian’s closet, you will find darker clothing and a very rare pop of color, but you can chalk up our neutrals to a lack of sunlight and poor weather for most of the year, causing us to feel neutral. 

Ultimately, you have to find the clothes that suit you the best, and if you’re in a neutral color mood, you should rock it, girlfriend! But don’t be afraid to venture out with something that might be out of your normal style…if you like it, you should embrace it!

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