Only New Bedford Residents Can Pull Off This Controversial Fashion Move
When we used to go on vacation as kids, my sister and I would each get a little spending money from our grandparents to buy souvenirs.
I remember visiting Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, for example. I bought a sweatshirt and my sister got a T-shirt and a pencil box.
I remember my mom trying to get me to wear the sweatshirt while we were still down there, but I protested. She couldn't understand why I wanted the sweatshirt enough to buy it, but wouldn't wear it until we got home.
Because it's weird.
You can't go to the Cape and wear a Cape Cod sweatshirt to dinner unless you want to be "that guy." Even worse is rocking that Cape Cod shirt if you're actually from the Cape. It would be like someone from Boston wearing a "Boston" shirt. No self-respecting Bostonian would do that.
Can you even imagine a New Yorker wearing an "I ❤️ New York" T-shirt? It would never happen.
Why, then, is it not just OK to wear a "NBMA" sweatshirt in New Bedford (popularized by downtown skate shop Solstice), but it's considered to be so universally hip? It's almost the complete opposite of Boston. Anyone wearing a "Boston" shirt in Boston is clearly a tourist, while it would be a little weird for an outsider to wear a "NBMA" shirt.
The answer may be simple: You kind of need a confident New Bedford swagger to be able to pull off the "NBMA" gear. People here have pride about where they're from that you don't see in quite the same form everywhere else.
The question, then, isn't, "Can I get away with wearing a 'NBMA' shirt in New Bedford?' It's "Can I get away with it if I'm not?"