The fashion club label shopper


By Andrew Richdale, Sean Fennessey, Mark Byrne, Maxandra Short, Cole Louison, Stayton Bonner, Christopher Swetala, Lauren Bans, Luke Zaleski, John B. Thompson, Nurit Zunger, Taimur Khan, Raphael Kohan, Robert Fischer, Gil Mansfield, Mark Anthony Green, Matt Rundlet and Christopher Lucas

July 15, 2011

Look around you. Better yet, look in the the fashion club label shopper mirror. Are you the victim? After a deeply scientific, irrefutable poll, we gathered, analyzed, and ranked the most sartorially-challenged metropolises in the greater United States. It may be time to plan that move you've been thinking about

40. Boulder, CO Strolling through this charming university town, you are most likely to find three major categories of clothing: 1) anything made by North Face 2) anything made by Patagonia 3) fanny packs. The observant eye will also spot unmistakable seasonal trends, such as Adidas for Fall, Crocs for Spring, and Uggs for Summer (we have no explanation for this). These are often accompanied by Boulder's year-round go-to accessory, the wheatgrass shot (sometimes paired with an unidentifiable vegan "cookie"). Yet of Boulder's 100,000 people, about 30,000 are students, some 99.9% are blonde, and all of them in better shape than you. This town is always obnoxiously flaunting its "fittest-place-in-the-country" awards, and you will be hard-pressed to find one person here, including your 85-year-old grandmother, without a six-pack. It is, in fact, a worst-dressed city that looks best naked. So Boulderites, do your fellow citizens a favor: next time you reach for the biking-shorts-and-sneakers as eveningwear combo, just take it all off.—Nurit Zunger
40. Boulder, CO

Strolling through this charming university town, you are most likely to find three major categories of clothing: 1) anything made by North Face 2) anything made by Patagonia 3) fanny packs. The observant eye will also spot unmistakable seasonal trends, such as Adidas for Fall, Crocs for Spring, and Uggs for Summer (we have no explanation for this). These are often accompanied by Boulder's year-round go-to accessory, the wheatgrass shot (sometimes paired with an unidentifiable vegan "cookie"). Yet of Boulder's 100,000 people, about 30,000 are students, some 99.9% are blonde, and all of them in better shape than you. This town is always obnoxiously flaunting its "fittest-place-in-the-country" awards, and you will be hard-pressed to find one person here, including your 85-year-old grandmother, without a six-pack. It is, in fact, a worst-dressed city that looks best naked. So Boulderites, do your fellow citizens a favor: next time you reach for the biking-shorts-and-sneakers as eveningwear combo, just take it all off.—Nurit Zunger

Photo: via flickr.com

39. Nashville Even in 2011, Nashville makes it clear who won the battle between the cowboys and the Indians. Here, boots replace dress shoes—and, in some extreme cases, sneakers. Dress shirts aren't monogrammed, but embroidered with a design that usually begins with a stitch and ends in flames, and by "tie" they mean the leather shoestring thing your nephew wears in Boy Scouts. Hank Williams will never die because of Nashville. Never.—Mark Anthony Green
39. Nashville

Even in 2011, Nashville makes it clear who won the battle between the cowboys and the Indians. Here, boots replace dress shoes—and, in some extreme cases, sneakers. Dress shirts aren't monogrammed, but embroidered with a design that usually begins with a stitch and ends in flames, and by "tie" they mean the leather shoestring thing your nephew wears in Boy Scouts. Hank Williams will never die because of Nashville. Never.—Mark Anthony Green

Photo: Getty Images

38. Bristol, CT Bristol has long been the home to ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in off-the-rack monstrosities and former athletes turned broadcast professionals who dress up like comic book super villains. The town's most prominent citizens are also the worst fashion offenders: Chris Berman perpetually looks like he's en route to a high school graduation (and he's wearing the hideous necktie his kid gave him for Father's Day last year); Bill Pidto totally got a deal at Men's Warehouse; Bob Ley, despite all of his boundless talent, looks like he sells women's shoes; Hannah Storm, on the live edition of SportsCenter every morning, looks like she put on her dress from last night's cocktail party and walk-of-shamed it to work; and Keyshawn Johnson, in his dayglo suits and quadruple Windsor knots, has never heard the phrase, "Less is more." It's understandable—sports are all about winning, about putting up the biggest score, and about making the loudest statement._—Matt Rundlet _
38. Bristol, CT

Bristol has long been the home to ESPN, the Worldwide Leader in off-the-rack monstrosities and former athletes turned broadcast professionals who dress up like comic book super villains. The town's most prominent citizens are also the worst fashion offenders: Chris Berman perpetually looks like he's en route to a high school graduation (and he's wearing the hideous necktie his kid gave him for Father's Day last year); Bill Pidto totally got a deal at Men's Warehouse; Bob Ley, despite all of his boundless talent, looks like he sells women's shoes; Hannah Storm, on the live edition of SportsCenter every morning, looks like she put on her dress from last night's cocktail party and walk-of-shamed it to work; and Keyshawn Johnson, in his dayglo suits and quadruple Windsor knots, has never heard the phrase, "Less is more." It's understandable—sports are all about winning, about putting up the biggest score, and about making the loudest statement._—Matt Rundlet _

Photo: via flickr.com

37. Kansas City, MO How does a city that fathered its own style of jazz back in the 1930s dress with such little manly swagger? Yeah, you're a laidback town, part of that real America, and sure, eating sauce-covered burnt ends and pork ribs can be messy. But let's grow up. Throw out the old grimy-white Jayhawks ball cap—or the beat-up black Mizzou one—and buy some clothes that aren't so big that they make you look like a little boy waiting to grow into them. It's summer, so golf shirts and polos are great, but let's keep the sleeves above the elbows, the tail at the waist. It shouldn't hit your knees. And the khakis? Please, no puffy pleats, no sewn cuffs. Hey, we get it: Going out for a pitcher and beef-on-bun doesn't require a jazzy suit, but no matter how you swing it, oversized and billowy ain't cool.—Christopher Swetala
37. Kansas City, MO

How does a city that fathered its own style of jazz back in the 1930s dress with such little manly swagger? Yeah, you're a laidback town, part of that real America, and sure, eating sauce-covered burnt ends and pork ribs can be messy. But let's grow up. Throw out the old grimy-white Jayhawks ball cap—or the beat-up black Mizzou one—and buy some clothes that aren't so big that they make you look like a little boy waiting to grow into them. It's summer, so golf shirts and polos are great, but let's keep the sleeves above the elbows, the tail at the waist. It shouldn't hit your knees. And the khakis? Please, no puffy pleats, no sewn cuffs. Hey, we get it: Going out for a pitcher and beef-on-bun doesn't require a jazzy suit, but no matter how you swing it, oversized and billowy ain't cool.—Christopher Swetala

Photo: via flickr.com

36. Portland For the average Portlander in the city's pre-modern era—the 1980s and '90s—social convention dictated what could be worn: outdoor gear with lots of zippers; floppy sandals and thick wool socks; plaid flannel; maybe a Stetson. Anyone who tried to affect an urban look was branded a "Californian." But now, Portland, like, say, China, is no longer a traditional society and its immemorial fashions are being displaced and re-imagined as it's sucked into the vortex of style modernity. The old and the new mix freely; confused, and unencumbered by the rigid aesthetic diktats of village life (shorts + Tevas + raincoat, regardless of weather), they mate promiscuously. The result is an embarrassment of bewildering sartorial neologisms, only to be found in Portland. Under the rain and grey skies, let a thousand style follies bloom. The global and the local have spawned the Portland douche bag: True Religion jeans and rhinestone-laden shirt set off by Oregon staples—cowboy boots and a fleece. At one of the city's most New Yorkian bars, in the Ace Hotel, amid the ranks of identically plaid-shirted and black-framed hipsters, one might glimpse a fully gothed-out, red-headed woman, resplendent in a purple velvet cape and vintage Victorian dress, sitting alone eating French fries—the incongruous, the absurd—is Portland's normal.—Taimur Khan
36. Portland

For the average Portlander in the city's pre-modern era—the 1980s and '90s—social convention dictated what could be worn: outdoor gear with lots of zippers; floppy sandals and thick wool socks; plaid flannel; maybe a Stetson. Anyone who tried to affect an urban look was branded a "Californian." But now, Portland, like, say, China, is no longer a traditional society and its immemorial fashions are being displaced and re-imagined as it's sucked into the vortex of style modernity. The old and the new mix freely; confused, and unencumbered by the rigid aesthetic diktats of village life (shorts + Tevas + raincoat, regardless of weather), they mate promiscuously. The result is an embarrassment of bewildering sartorial neologisms, only to be found in Portland. Under the rain and grey skies, let a thousand style follies bloom. The global and the local have spawned the Portland douche bag: True Religion jeans and rhinestone-laden shirt set off by Oregon staples—cowboy boots and a fleece. At one of the city's most New Yorkian bars, in the Ace Hotel, amid the ranks of identically plaid-shirted and black-framed hipsters, one might glimpse a fully gothed-out, red-headed woman, resplendent in a purple velvet cape and vintage Victorian dress, sitting alone eating French fries—the incongruous, the absurd—is Portland's normal.—Taimur Khan

Photo: via flickr.com

35. Raleigh If you're in Raleigh, your shit better have pleats. It's basically the town's mascot. And here's it's unofficial motto: "The world is your golf course." Southern bankers cruise from home to work and back home to change out of their off-the-rack, BOGO suits and into amoeboid polo shirts and hippy trousers. It's a great city to swoop in for the kill at happy hour. Girls in these bars have never seen a tailored anything, so it's easy to turn a head.—Andrew Richdale
35. Raleigh

If you're in Raleigh, your shit better have pleats. It's basically the town's mascot. And here's it's unofficial motto: "The world is your golf course." Southern bankers cruise from home to work and back home to change out of their off-the-rack, BOGO suits and into amoeboid polo shirts and hippy trousers. It's a great city to swoop in for the kill at happy hour. Girls in these bars have never seen a tailored anything, so it's easy to turn a head.—Andrew Richdale

Photo: via flickr.com

34. Seattle The city that made plaid cool is somehow still wearing it, 20 years post-Nevermind. It makes sense: It's always cloudy there, often cool, and a good flannel shirt goes a long way. But when your city's whole identity is wrapped up in a few years of noisy, adolescent anger, you'd do well to let some of it die off with time, instead of pushing it onward, decade by decade, in a rainy haze of anti-fashion nostalgia. Quit damning the man for five minutes and get yourself a blazer.—Mark Byrne
34. Seattle

The city that made plaid cool is somehow still wearing it, 20 years post-Nevermind. It makes sense: It's always cloudy there, often cool, and a good flannel shirt goes a long way. But when your city's whole identity is wrapped up in a few years of noisy, adolescent anger, you'd do well to let some of it die off with time, instead of pushing it onward, decade by decade, in a rainy haze of anti-fashion nostalgia. Quit damning the man for five minutes and get yourself a blazer.—Mark Byrne

Photo: via flickr.com

33. Asbury Park, NJ Asbury Park is a city defined by one person: Bruuuuuce. Springsteen, that is. Ever since he dropped his epochal first studio album, Greetings From Asbury Park, in 1973, all 16,000 residents of this Jersey Shore community have been serving the Boss. Trouble is their musical loyalty has also kept locals stuck covering the Boss's wardrobe. And while Bruce has a certain style, he calls his game from a very small playbook. The effect is of a city being That Guy at the Concert Wearing the T-shirt of the Band Playing. The only question faithful locals seem to ask before a night out is, Which black Stone Pony T-shirt should I wear with my dad jeans and mall-bought black shoes?__—Christopher Lucas
33. Asbury Park, NJ

Asbury Park is a city defined by one person: Bruuuuuce. Springsteen, that is. Ever since he dropped his epochal first studio album, Greetings From Asbury Park, in 1973, all 16,000 residents of this Jersey Shore community have been serving the Boss. Trouble is their musical loyalty has also kept locals stuck covering the Boss's wardrobe. And while Bruce has a certain style, he calls his game from a very small playbook. The effect is of a city being That Guy at the Concert Wearing the T-shirt of the Band Playing. The only question faithful locals seem to ask before a night out is, Which black Stone Pony T-shirt should I wear with my dad jeans and mall-bought black shoes?__—Christopher Lucas

Photo: Getty Images

32. Omaha We know you changed the baseball team's name from the Royals to the Storm Chasers, but it's still just the farm system: Everybody wants to make it to the big leagues in Kansas City. But why does that mean you need to drape yourself in the same jumbo-sized shirts that KC men favor? Sure, some of the country-folk cornhuskers driving downtown to the Old Market to eat a well-done T-bone with a side of red-sauce penne (by the way, what's up with steak and no potato?) might iron creases into their jeans. But at least their denim's dark, not pre-faded with white wrinkly grooves, and their wrangler-plaid shirts actually fit—not to mention that they're just about the only men that look good in a John Deere mesh hat (suck it, Brooklyn!). Don't misunderstand us: We're not telling you to dress like a 60-year-old rancher, but why not embrace some of that down-home prairie style?—Christopher Swetala
32. Omaha

We know you changed the baseball team's name from the Royals to the Storm Chasers, but it's still just the farm system: Everybody wants to make it to the big leagues in Kansas City. But why does that mean you need to drape yourself in the same jumbo-sized shirts that KC men favor? Sure, some of the country-folk cornhuskers driving downtown to the Old Market to eat a well-done T-bone with a side of red-sauce penne (by the way, what's up with steak and no potato?) might iron creases into their jeans. But at least their denim's dark, not pre-faded with white wrinkly grooves, and their wrangler-plaid shirts actually fit—not to mention that they're just about the only men that look good in a John Deere mesh hat (suck it, Brooklyn!). Don't misunderstand us: We're not telling you to dress like a 60-year-old rancher, but why not embrace some of that down-home prairie style?—Christopher Swetala

Photo: via flickr.com

31. Detroit We don't kick people when they're down, and we don't mock their dress when times are tough. Few cities have been hit harder in the decade past than Detroit. But it's not the poor and unfortunate that are the prime offenders in the D. No, it's the moneyed that singe our eyes and steal our souls. Consider disgraced former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his penchant for pinstripes, broad-shouldered suiting, and unbearably prideful cigar-chomping. A city weeps from hardship, while fat cats sully a once-proud town's blue collar grit with fat, ungainly lapels.—Sean Fennessey
31. Detroit

We don't kick people when they're down, and we don't mock their dress when times are tough. Few cities have been hit harder in the decade past than Detroit. But it's not the poor and unfortunate that are the prime offenders in the D. No, it's the moneyed that singe our eyes and steal our souls. Consider disgraced former mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his penchant for pinstripes, broad-shouldered suiting, and unbearably prideful cigar-chomping. A city weeps from hardship, while fat cats sully a once-proud town's blue collar grit with fat, ungainly lapels.—Sean Fennessey

Photo: Getty Images

30. Cleveland On a 2010 visit to Cleveland, then-Boston Celtic Nate Robinson tweeted, "Rondo said Cleveland is the worst dressed city in the nation! People can't dress in Cleveland I agree!!! #wordaapp." While anyone coming from Boston has little to brag about in the sartorial department (please click-through, Bostonians), and "word aapp" was the second most unfortunate thing Nate Robinson tried to foist on the world after his career, it's fair to say that the Mistake by the Lake isn't short on fashion faux pas. Look, we get that several decades of economic ruin and sports frustration can make anyone loathe to change out of sweatpants. But does West 6th Street really have to be turned into a Jersey Shore penal colony? Does everyone over 35 really have to look like Christopher Lloyd in The Dream Team? The biggest tragedy in Cleveland may not be the withdrawal of heavy industry, or the unending disappointment in sports. It may be that, after burning all those LeBron jerseys, there was nothing left to wear.—John B. Thompson
30. Cleveland

On a 2010 visit to Cleveland, then-Boston Celtic Nate Robinson tweeted, "Rondo said Cleveland is the worst dressed city in the nation! People can't dress in Cleveland I agree!!! #wordaapp." While anyone coming from Boston has little to brag about in the sartorial department (please click-through, Bostonians), and "word aapp" was the second most unfortunate thing Nate Robinson tried to foist on the world after his career, it's fair to say that the Mistake by the Lake isn't short on fashion faux pas. Look, we get that several decades of economic ruin and sports frustration can make anyone loathe to change out of sweatpants. But does West 6th Street really have to be turned into a Jersey Shore penal colony? Does everyone over 35 really have to look like Christopher Lloyd in The Dream Team? The biggest tragedy in Cleveland may not be the withdrawal of heavy industry, or the unending disappointment in sports. It may be that, after burning all those LeBron jerseys, there was nothing left to wear.—John B. Thompson

Photo: AP

29. Newport Beach You pretty much know what to expect from a town whose exuberant claim to fame is being the location of "The O.C." For Newport Beach residents, this dubious honor validated their overblown sense of significance, mistaking as they did the fandom of Mischa Barton with their international relevance. This ritzy coastal town is dedicated to money, showing off that money, year-round tans and a fundamental disconnect from reality. Newport's balls-out ostentation veers dangerously into gaudiness—all flashy excess and no style. (Look no further than "Fashion Island," a bayside destination promising an exotic catwalk of model muses, perhaps, and delivering: a mall.) The diamonds are huge, the Botox abounds (not just on the ladies), and the women are platinum-blonde-and-boob-job clones. Money can buy a lot of things—a hulking white Escalade, a trophy wife—but it sure as shit can't buy class.—Maxandra Short
29. Newport Beach

You pretty much know what to expect from a town whose exuberant claim to fame is being the location of "The O.C." For Newport Beach residents, this dubious honor validated their overblown sense of significance, mistaking as they did the fandom of Mischa Barton with their international relevance. This ritzy coastal town is dedicated to money, showing off that money, year-round tans and a fundamental disconnect from reality. Newport's balls-out ostentation veers dangerously into gaudiness—all flashy excess and no style. (Look no further than "Fashion Island," a bayside destination promising an exotic catwalk of model muses, perhaps, and delivering: a mall.) The diamonds are huge, the Botox abounds (not just on the ladies), and the women are platinum-blonde-and-boob-job clones. Money can buy a lot of things—a hulking white Escalade, a trophy wife—but it sure as shit can't buy class.—Maxandra Short

Photo: Getty Images

28. Burlington, VT Cool hat, stoner.—Sean Fennessey
28. Burlington, VT

Cool hat, stoner.—Sean Fennessey

Photo: via flickr.com

27. San Diego Woe to the city for whom taking a cue from legendarily-lapelled anchorman Ron Burgundy would be a sartorial step up. For San Diego though, some polyester suiting and un-ironic mustache action might act as effective defense against the one-two punch of the city's style heavyweights: college kids rocking their crustiest Trustafarian chic and the men (and women) whose fashion strategy is to appear perpetually on the verge of hitting the links. Sure, it's hot down there and most of you are inching towards retirement, but until then it's time to drop the country club outfits—you'll get there, we promise—and put on something a little more appropriate for the real world. And the pastels? Spare yourselves from looking like overgrown kindergarteners and save them for your next beach vacation or Easter egg pageant. So while we're not suggesting you all run out and grow some jaw-grazing sideburns, San Diego, maybe you could split the difference and stop dressing with such infantilizing abandon. Get yourself in that sartorial boxing ring, San Diego, we know you have it in you.—Maxandra Short
27. San Diego

Woe to the city for whom taking a cue from legendarily-lapelled anchorman Ron Burgundy would be a sartorial step up. For San Diego though, some polyester suiting and un-ironic mustache action might act as effective defense against the one-two punch of the city's style heavyweights: college kids rocking their crustiest Trustafarian chic and the men (and women) whose fashion strategy is to appear perpetually on the verge of hitting the links. Sure, it's hot down there and most of you are inching towards retirement, but until then it's time to drop the country club outfits—you'll get there, we promise—and put on something a little more appropriate for the real world. And the pastels? Spare yourselves from looking like overgrown kindergarteners and save them for your next beach vacation or Easter egg pageant. So while we're not suggesting you all run out and grow some jaw-grazing sideburns, San Diego, maybe you could split the difference and stop dressing with such infantilizing abandon. Get yourself in that sartorial boxing ring, San Diego, we know you have it in you.—Maxandra Short

Photo: Courtesy of Dreamworks

26. Orlando, FL It's hard for a city to have a solid fashion identity when most of its population is just there for the weekend, living out of a suitcase in a discount resort hotel. But the fact is, something is sartorially awry both inside and outside the hallowed gates of Disney World. There's a saying about this part of Florida—that it's closer to Georgia than it is to Miami—and boy, is it ever obvious in Orlando. This is NASCAR country, really, less than an hour's drive from the track at Daytona, and you'd look right at home in a "Dukes of Hazzard" T-shirt (sans sleeves) and a rat tail. It's a wonder, really, because they sell new T-shirts and hats at every local neighborhood Disney gift store.—Mark Byrne
26. Orlando, FL

It's hard for a city to have a solid fashion identity when most of its population is just there for the weekend, living out of a suitcase in a discount resort hotel. But the fact is, something is sartorially awry both inside and outside the hallowed gates of Disney World. There's a saying about this part of Florida—that it's closer to Georgia than it is to Miami—and boy, is it ever obvious in Orlando. This is NASCAR country, really, less than an hour's drive from the track at Daytona, and you'd look right at home in a "Dukes of Hazzard" T-shirt (sans sleeves) and a rat tail. It's a wonder, really, because they sell new T-shirts and hats at every local neighborhood Disney gift store.—Mark Byrne

Photo: via flickr.com

25. Buffalo Once a sprawling steel city, Buffalo maintains the worst parts of its blue collar identity, sporting a look that's neither East Coast nor Midwestern while offering none of the big-shoulder swagger of its rust belt cousins like Chicago or Detroit. The Bills haven't won a Super Bowl in, umm, never, but this doesn't stop the leaden-skied town from donning team-colored cold weather gear from September to June. Look around next time you visit: you'll see endless repetition of the team colors—an off-putting red and a blue neither Navy or Royal. These colors are rocked on parkas thick as they are long, the long-thought-to-be-extinct Zubaz pants (here they're not terribly uncommon) and the occasional wrap-around sunglasses, shielding citizens' eyes from the glaring tundra, the gray wet sky, and finally, one another.—Cole Louison
25. Buffalo

Once a sprawling steel city, Buffalo maintains the worst parts of its blue collar identity, sporting a look that's neither East Coast nor Midwestern while offering none of the big-shoulder swagger of its rust belt cousins like Chicago or Detroit. The Bills haven't won a Super Bowl in, umm, never, but this doesn't stop the leaden-skied town from donning team-colored cold weather gear from September to June. Look around next time you visit: you'll see endless repetition of the team colors—an off-putting red and a blue neither Navy or Royal. These colors are rocked on parkas thick as they are long, the long-thought-to-be-extinct Zubaz pants (here they're not terribly uncommon) and the occasional wrap-around sunglasses, shielding citizens' eyes from the glaring tundra, the gray wet sky, and finally, one another.—Cole Louison

Photo: via flickr.com

24. Saint Paul, MN For the most part, Saint Paul takes after its namesake: an old, conservative white dude who doesn't care much for earthly fashions. Consider the haircut on one of its most famous denizens, F. Scott Fitzgerald. It's the kind of place where a Super Kmart doesn't seem like a superfluous eyesore, it's a gosh darn convenient place to purchase appliances, groceries, and yes—clothes—in one big time-saving trip. Meaning there's more hours in the day to watch Matlock or mow the lawn in a giveaway tee and Zubaz. Fortunately, for the few fashion-minded citizens of St. Paul, the much younger, hipper, boutique-strewn Minneapolis is just a bridge away.—Lauren Bans
24. Saint Paul, MN

For the most part, Saint Paul takes after its namesake: an old, conservative white dude who doesn't care much for earthly fashions. Consider the haircut on one of its most famous denizens, F. Scott Fitzgerald. It's the kind of place where a Super Kmart doesn't seem like a superfluous eyesore, it's a gosh darn convenient place to purchase appliances, groceries, and yes—clothes—in one big time-saving trip. Meaning there's more hours in the day to watch Matlock or mow the lawn in a giveaway tee and Zubaz. Fortunately, for the few fashion-minded citizens of St. Paul, the much younger, hipper, boutique-strewn Minneapolis is just a bridge away.—Lauren Bans

Photo: Getty Images

23. Dallas Forget J.R. Ewing. The 21st century Big D douchebag favors Fight Club frosted tips and whisked jeans over Stetsons and ostrich-skin boots. Regionally dubbed the ",000 Millionaire" for spending more than he makes, this breed of twenty-something male works as a Chipotle assistant manager by day and "Entourage" wannabe by night. Unlike his L.A. or New York counterparts, the Dallas Ker plies his trade in a cultural vacuum best known for putting a bullet in JFK's head and erecting a nine-story JumboTron at the Cowboys stadium. Frustrated but never self-aware, he wanders Dallas with mad-out credit cards, toned biceps, and a nagging sense he somewhere took a wrong turn.—Stayton Bonner
23. Dallas

Forget J.R. Ewing. The 21st century Big D douchebag favors Fight Club frosted tips and whisked jeans over Stetsons and ostrich-skin boots. Regionally dubbed the ",000 Millionaire" for spending more than he makes, this breed of twenty-something male works as a Chipotle assistant manager by day and "Entourage" wannabe by night. Unlike his L.A. or New York counterparts, the Dallas Ker plies his trade in a cultural vacuum best known for putting a bullet in JFK's head and erecting a nine-story JumboTron at the Cowboys stadium. Frustrated but never self-aware, he wanders Dallas with mad-out credit cards, toned biceps, and a nagging sense he somewhere took a wrong turn.—Stayton Bonner

Photo: Getty Images

22. Wasilla, AK We could consider chic brands of snowshoes, investigate the most supple and effective parka, even offer a missive about the best gloves money can buy. But regardless of how you approach the style of the now-infamous Alaskan town of Wasilla, all you'll ever think about is Sarah and Todd and the whole Palin gang. And they are terrible. You'd think 0,000 later, there'd be an improvement. But no.—Sean Fennessey
22. Wasilla, AK

We could consider chic brands of snowshoes, investigate the most supple and effective parka, even offer a missive about the best gloves money can buy. But regardless of how you approach the style of the now-infamous Alaskan town of Wasilla, all you'll ever think about is Sarah and Todd and the whole Palin gang. And they are terrible. You'd think 0,000 later, there'd be an improvement. But no.—Sean Fennessey

Photo: AP

21. Houston Set in greater Houston, 1980's Urban Cowboy tagline was "Hard hat days and honky-tonk nights." While mechanical bulls have long since gone the way of the Disco ball, Houston's oil-refining outskirts still boast plenty of country-and-western watering holes. Usually sandwiched in strip malls between a Chinese buffet and Hobby Lobby, the modern-day cowboy meat market is home to concrete flooring, sexual tension, and Winnebago-sized Texas flags. For every Brooks Dunn number, the DJ spins a single by Ginuwine or Lil Wayne as women in Daisy Dukes and pearl-snaps gyrate on the dance floor. On the periphery, Stetson and Wrangler-wearing good ol' boys stand alongside a younger generation sporting flat-brimmed baseball caps and Eminem ear studs. The scene is a sartorial equivalent of Trace Adkins' "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk." Houston, we have a problem.—Stayton Bonner
21. Houston

Set in greater Houston, 1980's Urban Cowboy tagline was "Hard hat days and honky-tonk nights." While mechanical bulls have long since gone the way of the Disco ball, Houston's oil-refining outskirts still boast plenty of country-and-western watering holes. Usually sandwiched in strip malls between a Chinese buffet and Hobby Lobby, the modern-day cowboy meat market is home to concrete flooring, sexual tension, and Winnebago-sized Texas flags. For every Brooks Dunn number, the DJ spins a single by Ginuwine or Lil Wayne as women in Daisy Dukes and pearl-snaps gyrate on the dance floor. On the periphery, Stetson and Wrangler-wearing good ol' boys stand alongside a younger generation sporting flat-brimmed baseball caps and Eminem ear studs. The scene is a sartorial equivalent of Trace Adkins' "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk." Houston, we have a problem.—Stayton Bonner

Photo: via flickr.com

20. San Francisco Marked by uber-brains from the Silicon Valley/biotech/finance nerd trifecta, aging blue bloods, Midwest transplants San Francisco exists, in part, as the older, wiser, straitlaced counterpoint to the younger, flashier, bottle-service-vodka-swilling Los Angeles. Aggressively casual and understated, San Franciscans eschew sartorial frivolity of any kind (like color, for example) in favor of the highly practical and high performing, not surprising in a city known more for its brain trust than style quotient. And it's no accident that good old dependable American brands like Levi's, Gap and Dockers are comfortably headquartered here. Muted earth tones and grayscale reign, possibly a reaction to generally abysmal weather or to the unrestrained flamboyance of its southern brethren (see: Newport Beach, the afore-mentioned LA). But would it kill you, San Francisco, to give the fleece a rest and put on a blazer for a night? We get it though, it can't be easy to be the intellectual capital of the country—just know that there are options out there, and that a wardrobe bought entirely from REI is not a source of pride.—Maxandra Short
20. San Francisco

Marked by uber-brains from the Silicon Valley/biotech/finance nerd trifecta, aging blue bloods, Midwest transplants San Francisco exists, in part, as the older, wiser, straitlaced counterpoint to the younger, flashier, bottle-service-vodka-swilling Los Angeles. Aggressively casual and understated, San Franciscans eschew sartorial frivolity of any kind (like color, for example) in favor of the highly practical and high performing, not surprising in a city known more for its brain trust than style quotient. And it's no accident that good old dependable American brands like Levi's, Gap and Dockers are comfortably headquartered here. Muted earth tones and grayscale reign, possibly a reaction to generally abysmal weather or to the unrestrained flamboyance of its southern brethren (see: Newport Beach, the afore-mentioned LA). But would it kill you, San Francisco, to give the fleece a rest and put on a blazer for a night? We get it though, it can't be easy to be the intellectual capital of the country—just know that there are options out there, and that a wardrobe bought entirely from REI is not a source of pride.—Maxandra Short

Photo: Getty Images

19. Jersey Shore Quick word association game. We give you a name and you tell us the A grooming product it brings to mind: DJ Pauly D? That's right, Excite Deodorant Bodyspray. Vinny? Tough one: Thai Massage Shower Gel. Ronnie... Yes, Dark Temptation Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant. The Situation is this, folks: NOBODY grills cheese like they do each summer at the JerZee Showoah. Do we even need to explain? Your shorts are past your ankles, which makes them, well, pants. Except they've got enough rhinestones on them to make them, well, a tiara. Except, you're not a 4-year-old girl playing princess, you're a 24-year-old a guy named Vito who just did seventy diamond-hand pushups in the bathroom of da club. And before you left your parents' house this evening you shaved your tribal-tatted arms so as to "unholster your beach guns to maximum effect." You're also wearing a condom-tight T-shirt that reads 'D-Ball, Breakfast of Champions,' your hair reflects the sun, and you smell like Heat Igniting Citrus 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner.—Luke Zaleski
19. Jersey Shore

Quick word association game. We give you a name and you tell us the A grooming product it brings to mind: DJ Pauly D? That's right, Excite Deodorant Bodyspray. Vinny? Tough one: Thai Massage Shower Gel. Ronnie... Yes, Dark Temptation Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant. The Situation is this, folks: NOBODY grills cheese like they do each summer at the JerZee Showoah. Do we even need to explain? Your shorts are past your ankles, which makes them, well, pants. Except they've got enough rhinestones on them to make them, well, a tiara. Except, you're not a 4-year-old girl playing princess, you're a 24-year-old a guy named Vito who just did seventy diamond-hand pushups in the bathroom of da club. And before you left your parents' house this evening you shaved your tribal-tatted arms so as to "unholster your beach guns to maximum effect." You're also wearing a condom-tight T-shirt that reads 'D-Ball, Breakfast of Champions,' your hair reflects the sun, and you smell like Heat Igniting Citrus 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner.—Luke Zaleski

Photo: Splash News

18. Austin "The place looks like L.A. now," my old UT roommate grumbled after returning from a recent weekend trip to Austin. While he could have been referring to the newly minted high-rise condos, sushi bars, or deadlock traffic, I'm pretty sure he was talking about that most pernicious of invasive species, the Hipster. Long the domain of slackers, hippies, and blonde coeds—"The weather was too good, the dope was too cheap, and the girls were too pretty," Steve Earle once said of the Texas capital, "and there was no fucking way I was going to get anything done in a place like that"—Austin has emerged as a mumblecore mecca for coastal hipsters looking to get more bang from their day-job barista buck. Skin-tight black jeans and There Will Be Blood mustaches thrive despite the 100-degree temperatures. As one old-timer put it, "They're all hat, no cattle."—Stayton Bonner
18. Austin

"The place looks like L.A. now," my old UT roommate grumbled after returning from a recent weekend trip to Austin. While he could have been referring to the newly minted high-rise condos, sushi bars, or deadlock traffic, I'm pretty sure he was talking about that most pernicious of invasive species, the Hipster. Long the domain of slackers, hippies, and blonde coeds—"The weather was too good, the dope was too cheap, and the girls were too pretty," Steve Earle once said of the Texas capital, "and there was no fucking way I was going to get anything done in a place like that"—Austin has emerged as a mumblecore mecca for coastal hipsters looking to get more bang from their day-job barista buck. Skin-tight black jeans and There Will Be Blood mustaches thrive despite the 100-degree temperatures. As one old-timer put it, "They're all hat, no cattle."—Stayton Bonner

Photo: via flickr.com

17. Atlanta Atlanta is the Mecca of the promotional T-shirt. Everyone is a CEO or founder of a record label or a clothing line you'd have never heard of if it weren't plastered in size 96 Helvetica font on their chest. The pleats in Atlantan's pants are deeper than the Chocolate Rain kid's voice and their blazers look like hand-me-downs, because they are hand-me-downs. In the A, there is nothing wrong with wearing uncle Ned's seersucker suit to the shindig in October—fit, be damned.—Mark Anthony Green
17. Atlanta

Atlanta is the Mecca of the promotional T-shirt. Everyone is a CEO or founder of a record label or a clothing line you'd have never heard of if it weren't plastered in size 96 Helvetica font on their chest. The pleats in Atlantan's pants are deeper than the Chocolate Rain kid's voice and their blazers look like hand-me-downs, because they are hand-me-downs. In the A, there is nothing wrong with wearing uncle Ned's seersucker suit to the shindig in October—fit, be damned.—Mark Anthony Green

Photo: via flickr.com

16. Santa Fe Maybe we should blame Georgia O'Keeffe. Ever since her New Mexico paintings hit Manhattan, New Yorkers have clogged the City Different with New Age lameness and Yankee notions of how the American West should look (and it doesn't look good.) As a consequence, modern-day Santa Fe is western like an Outback Steakhouse is Australian. Leather cowboy hats with chin straps, designer buckskin jackets, and Botod grimaces wander adobe-lined streets in search of a Starbucks. Turquoise and concha belts clank like cheap radiators down the Whole Foods aisles. Never to be outdone, only Texans skiing atop the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Wranglers and cowboy hats—cigars placed firmly in mouth—can outgun a wannabe outlaw Yank in tackiness.—Stayton Bonner
16. Santa Fe

Maybe we should blame Georgia O'Keeffe. Ever since her New Mexico paintings hit Manhattan, New Yorkers have clogged the City Different with New Age lameness and Yankee notions of how the American West should look (and it doesn't look good.) As a consequence, modern-day Santa Fe is western like an Outback Steakhouse is Australian. Leather cowboy hats with chin straps, designer buckskin jackets, and Botod grimaces wander adobe-lined streets in search of a Starbucks. Turquoise and concha belts clank like cheap radiators down the Whole Foods aisles. Never to be outdone, only Texans skiing atop the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Wranglers and cowboy hats—cigars placed firmly in mouth—can outgun a wannabe outlaw Yank in tackiness.—Stayton Bonner

Photo: via flickr.com

15. Provo, UT Faraway in the foothills of Mormonia, there lives a band of eager young men of even-temper, impossibly smiley countenances, and just about the worst gosh-darn uniforms on the planet. We are gonna give them a break for the obvious—the undies are divinely ordained—and skip ahead to the big picture. When you are selling one hell of a far fetched story, billowing short-sleeved shirts, monster-width ties, and painfully-visible undershirts don't make things easier to swallow.—Andrew Richdale
15. Provo, UT

Faraway in the foothills of Mormonia, there lives a band of eager young men of even-temper, impossibly smiley countenances, and just about the worst gosh-darn uniforms on the planet. We are gonna give them a break for the obvious—the undies are divinely ordained—and skip ahead to the big picture. When you are selling one hell of a far fetched story, billowing short-sleeved shirts, monster-width ties, and painfully-visible undershirts don't make things easier to swallow.—Andrew Richdale

Photo: Everett Collection

14. Martha's Vineyard We have no problem with pleated red chinos, big straw fedoras, and blazers the color of sorbet. We're fine with it, so long as your name's Andre 3000. But since Three Stacks is not one of the 60,000 who pack the island every summer, we have a problem. Located seven miles off Cape Cod—where the Kennedys kept summer kosher with rolled-up oords and cut-off khakis—Vineyard style offers a more extreme and ridiculous alternative that might be called aggressively preppy, an incongruous mix of not classic but ancient summer "style" and new money. What's this look like? Put it this way: in "historic" Edgartown, there's a Sunglass Hut on Main Street. No where else will you find buffed alligator loafers paired with big-assed khakis belted with something that looks pulled off a ship's rigging or the rack of a Provincetown SM shop.—Cole Louison
14. Martha's Vineyard

We have no problem with pleated red chinos, big straw fedoras, and blazers the color of sorbet. We're fine with it, so long as your name's Andre 3000. But since Three Stacks is not one of the 60,000 who pack the island every summer, we have a problem. Located seven miles off Cape Cod—where the Kennedys kept summer kosher with rolled-up oords and cut-off khakis—Vineyard style offers a more extreme and ridiculous alternative that might be called aggressively preppy, an incongruous mix of not classic but ancient summer "style" and new money. What's this look like? Put it this way: in "historic" Edgartown, there's a Sunglass Hut on Main Street. No where else will you find buffed alligator loafers paired with big-assed khakis belted with something that looks pulled off a ship's rigging or the rack of a Provincetown SM shop.—Cole Louison

Photo: via flickr.com

13. Las Vegas Las Vegas is known as a place people go to behave badly. But it should also be known as a place people go to dress badly. Think: Elvis in his blue (pill) period. This air-conditioned Mecca of unsustainability is the ground zero for white Midwesterners de-boarding the plane dressed in Phil Mickelson-esque pleats, tucked polos and visors and leaving the hotel in more gold jewelry than a Saudi oil baron on a junket in Dubai. The only sure bet in Vegas is that it's never going to run out of three things: hookers, hair gel, and dads wearing square-toed shoes with boot cut jeans and untucked, loudly patterned "Saturday Night" shirts. The town's patron saint of style is Wayne Newton fer Chrissakes! On the GQ Cheese Factor scale Vegas makes LA look like Omaha. Nothing is too garish in this desert city of 250,000, the clothes seem designed to camouflage who is a sex-trade worker and who is a sex-trade worker's "work." "What happens in Vegas..."? Yeah, we agree. Keep it there.—Luke Zaleski
13. Las Vegas

Las Vegas is known as a place people go to behave badly. But it should also be known as a place people go to dress badly. Think: Elvis in his blue (pill) period. This air-conditioned Mecca of unsustainability is the ground zero for white Midwesterners de-boarding the plane dressed in Phil Mickelson-esque pleats, tucked polos and visors and leaving the hotel in more gold jewelry than a Saudi oil baron on a junket in Dubai. The only sure bet in Vegas is that it's never going to run out of three things: hookers, hair gel, and dads wearing square-toed shoes with boot cut jeans and untucked, loudly patterned "Saturday Night" shirts. The town's patron saint of style is Wayne Newton fer Chrissakes! On the GQ Cheese Factor scale Vegas makes LA look like Omaha. Nothing is too garish in this desert city of 250,000, the clothes seem designed to camouflage who is a sex-trade worker and who is a sex-trade worker's "work." "What happens in Vegas..."? Yeah, we agree. Keep it there.—Luke Zaleski

Photo: Everett Collection

12. New Orleans Back in the '90s when the Saints were the chronically ill Aints, a genteel New Orleanian would never wear a baggy black jersey emblazoned with a golden fleur-de-lis. But now? Drew Brees leads the team to its first Super Bowl victory and suddenly the whole city is dressed like they're in the Superdome on a Sunday afternoon. What happened to all the older bearded gentlemen that made bushy hair and sideburns so graceful? The ones at Jazz Fest taking the big easy in khaki shorts, loose linen shirts, and straw hats? The ones strolling the grass in sandals and nursing a to-go cup of Abita and forking a fried oyster? We're afraid that another Super Bowl victory might very well turn y'all into black-and-gold Zubaz pant-wearing maniac keg guzzlers sucking Buffalo wing meat clean off the bone. Oh, no, wait, is that ranch dipping sauce in your beard? Seriously, it's scary.—Christopher Swetala
12. New Orleans

Back in the '90s when the Saints were the chronically ill Aints, a genteel New Orleanian would never wear a baggy black jersey emblazoned with a golden fleur-de-lis. But now? Drew Brees leads the team to its first Super Bowl victory and suddenly the whole city is dressed like they're in the Superdome on a Sunday afternoon. What happened to all the older bearded gentlemen that made bushy hair and sideburns so graceful? The ones at Jazz Fest taking the big easy in khaki shorts, loose linen shirts, and straw hats? The ones strolling the grass in sandals and nursing a to-go cup of Abita and forking a fried oyster? We're afraid that another Super Bowl victory might very well turn y'all into black-and-gold Zubaz pant-wearing maniac keg guzzlers sucking Buffalo wing meat clean off the bone. Oh, no, wait, is that ranch dipping sauce in your beard? Seriously, it's scary.—Christopher Swetala

Photo: Getty Images

11. Brooklyn Don't get us twisted. Brooklyn is home to some of the most ahead-of-the-curve pros in the country. But living among them are some of the most indefensible style terrorists known to modern man. They're easily identifiable. Just head to Bedford Ave. and look for a D.A.R.E. T-shirt, a handlebar 'stache, and disintegrated Chucks. Or, should you be hard of sight, let your nose lead the way. They wear their ripe stench with disaffected pride.—Andrew Richdale
11. Brooklyn

Don't get us twisted. Brooklyn is home to some of the most ahead-of-the-curve pros in the country. But living among them are some of the most indefensible style terrorists known to modern man. They're easily identifiable. Just head to Bedford Ave. and look for a D.A.R.E. T-shirt, a handlebar 'stache, and disintegrated Chucks. Or, should you be hard of sight, let your nose lead the way. They wear their ripe stench with disaffected pride.—Andrew Richdale

Photo: via flickr.com

10. St. Louis In a city that conflates fashion and fandom, the question isn't whether you're going to put on sweatpants; it's whether you're going to put on the "good" pair. (You know, the one without the ravioli stains.) How to spot an out-of-town St. Louisan: Beanies with brims.—Raphael Kohan
10. St. Louis

In a city that conflates fashion and fandom, the question isn't whether you're going to put on sweatpants; it's whether you're going to put on the "good" pair. (You know, the one without the ravioli stains.) How to spot an out-of-town St. Louisan: Beanies with brims.—Raphael Kohan

Photo: via flickr.com

9. Miami A bachelorette party Mecca, Miami hosts a perennial "fleet week" of wasted, self-hating bridesmaids who grope blindly for washboard abs. No wonder so many South Beach dudes look like they're between shifts at Night Train. Third buttons hold on for dear life. Acid-washed jeans constellate under the black lights in the club. And those pointed-toe loafers...faux-alligator? The world's your music video, bro.—Robert Fischer
9. Miami

A bachelorette party Mecca, Miami hosts a perennial "fleet week" of wasted, self-hating bridesmaids who grope blindly for washboard abs. No wonder so many South Beach dudes look like they're between shifts at Night Train. Third buttons hold on for dear life. Acid-washed jeans constellate under the black lights in the club. And those pointed-toe loafers...faux-alligator? The world's your music video, bro.—Robert Fischer

Photo: via flickr.com

8. Salt Lake City Deep in the heart of socks-with-sandals country, Salt Lakers still look psyched to serve as "ambassadors" for the 2002 Winter Games. It's an understated look: promotional fleece vest, active-wear turtleneck, ill-fitting generic jeans, plaster-of-Paris-grin concealing a lifetime of repression. You know how there was something creepy about that outdoorsy deacon with the soul patch next door? Yeah, that's the look.—Robert Fischer
8. Salt Lake City

Deep in the heart of socks-with-sandals country, Salt Lakers still look psyched to serve as "ambassadors" for the 2002 Winter Games. It's an understated look: promotional fleece vest, active-wear turtleneck, ill-fitting generic jeans, plaster-of-Paris-grin concealing a lifetime of repression. You know how there was something creepy about that outdoorsy deacon with the soul patch next door? Yeah, that's the look.—Robert Fischer

Photo: via flickr.com

7. Maui Face it. Dressing down has become code for looking awful. Most tourist cities are a safe havens for poorly dressed saps who've spent thousands of dollars to chill. Maui's beaches and bars are an eyesore, saturated with oversized floral print shirts and linen drawstring pants. The most stylish person from the state of Hawaii is The Rock and, well, it shows. If you're headed to the Aloha State anytime soon, check out this link first.—Mark Anthony Green
7. Maui

Face it. Dressing down has become code for looking awful. Most tourist cities are a safe havens for poorly dressed saps who've spent thousands of dollars to chill. Maui's beaches and bars are an eyesore, saturated with oversized floral print shirts and linen drawstring pants. The most stylish person from the state of Hawaii is The Rock and, well, it shows. If you're headed to the Aloha State anytime soon, check out this link first.—Mark Anthony Green

Photo: via flickr.com

6. Philadelphia Philly had a moment back in Ye Olde Revolutionary times. This was the home, after all, of the Constitutional Congress and Ben Franklin—admittedly not a keen dresser, tending toward a look we'd describe as "Grandma watching tennis on TV while waiting for her wig to dry," but a fine statesman nonetheless. Heck, the town was once the capital of These United States (when "These" meant all 13, but still). Today P-Town is in a funk. The less successful little brother to its northerly neighbor, New York City, Philly is the sartorial nation's capital of three things: Mullets, (see: Daulton, Darren; Bacon, Kevin; Public, John Q.), ironed jeans (see: Rendell, Ed), and that favorite accoutrement of swashbucklers, ballplayers, and lion tamers alike, the groomed goatee (see: Croce, Pat). Add two million Vick jerseys, cheesesteak-grease stain as hoodie accessory, and Stallone's grey sweatsuit and black Cons and you've pretty much covered the city's entire contribution to the style community.—Luke Zaleski
6. Philadelphia

Philly had a moment back in Ye Olde Revolutionary times. This was the home, after all, of the Constitutional Congress and Ben Franklin—admittedly not a keen dresser, tending toward a look we'd describe as "Grandma watching tennis on TV while waiting for her wig to dry," but a fine statesman nonetheless. Heck, the town was once the capital of These United States (when "These" meant all 13, but still). Today P-Town is in a funk. The less successful little brother to its northerly neighbor, New York City, Philly is the sartorial nation's capital of three things: Mullets, (see: Daulton, Darren; Bacon, Kevin; Public, John Q.), ironed jeans (see: Rendell, Ed), and that favorite accoutrement of swashbucklers, ballplayers, and lion tamers alike, the groomed goatee (see: Croce, Pat). Add two million Vick jerseys, cheesesteak-grease stain as hoodie accessory, and Stallone's grey sweatsuit and black Cons and you've pretty much covered the city's entire contribution to the style community.—Luke Zaleski

Photo: via flickr.com

5. Manhattan Yes, it is home to some of the greatest and most vital minds in the fashion universe. And yes, on any given day, the people walking Madison Ave. or Soho or Harlem can appear as if they've leapt off the pages of GQ. But for every strike of greatness, there is an equal force of evil at work. Consider the Nine-Bro. You know, the pack of nine guys who walk down the street in unison, should-to-shoulder, outfitted in tacky black "Go Out" button-downs, embroidered denim, and product-inspired conflagrations on their head. These are the men that are sapping one of fashion's capitals, stride by douchey stride. This island is only so big.—Sean Fennessey
5. Manhattan

Yes, it is home to some of the greatest and most vital minds in the fashion universe. And yes, on any given day, the people walking Madison Ave. or Soho or Harlem can appear as if they've leapt off the pages of GQ. But for every strike of greatness, there is an equal force of evil at work. Consider the Nine-Bro. You know, the pack of nine guys who walk down the street in unison, should-to-shoulder, outfitted in tacky black "Go Out" button-downs, embroidered denim, and product-inspired conflagrations on their head. These are the men that are sapping one of fashion's capitals, stride by douchey stride. This island is only so big.—Sean Fennessey

Photo: Everett Collection

4. Chicago Chicagoans like to hedge descriptions of their style with, "It's not New York, and it's not LA..." It's self-conscious Midwestern. Lucky for them, harsh 11 ½-month winters serve to excuse a look that screams third-coast-insecurity: The Parka Pierogi. Ingredients: Blown-out Nikes; torn cargoes; favorite novelty T-shirt; Bears/Bulls/Blackhawks hoodie—all wrapped up in a totally nondescript parka. Are those things municipal-issue?—Robert Fischer
4. Chicago

Chicagoans like to hedge descriptions of their style with, "It's not New York, and it's not LA..." It's self-conscious Midwestern. Lucky for them, harsh 11 ½-month winters serve to excuse a look that screams third-coast-insecurity: The Parka Pierogi. Ingredients: Blown-out Nikes; torn cargoes; favorite novelty T-shirt; Bears/Bulls/Blackhawks hoodie—all wrapped up in a totally nondescript parka. Are those things municipal-issue?—Robert Fischer

Photo: Courtesy of NBC

3. Pittsburgh The citizens of Pittsburgh—that hardened, blue-collar town on the banks of the Monongahela River, long ago described as "Hell with the lid taken off"— indulge a style that could be referred to as "Game Day Casual" (or "Meth Lab Formal," depending on your preference.) It stems from their love of a certain NFL franchise and an utter indifference to their personal appearance and what you think of them. Game Day Casual can be observed in other cities, the spirit is strong in Boston, the entire state of Florida, and parts of the Tri-State Area, to name a few. From foot to crown the standard ensemble goes like this: high top sneakers, preferably Converse, worn loosely tied; white tube socks; distressed jean shorts, worn long and with a sag in the keister; Pittsburgh Steelers jersey, size XXXL, preferably black; facial hair, preferably goatee or chin strappy beard; baseball cap, preferably something in a florescent shade of camouflage or a piece that reflects a strong allegiance to a NASCAR driver. The ensemble varies slightly depending on the season. During the blustery winter months, Pittsburghers will often apply heavy winter coat. But there is no city on Earth that can equal the utter sloppiness of Pittsburgh.— Gil Mansfield
3. Pittsburgh

The citizens of Pittsburgh—that hardened, blue-collar town on the banks of the Monongahela River, long ago described as "Hell with the lid taken off"— indulge a style that could be referred to as "Game Day Casual" (or "Meth Lab Formal," depending on your preference.) It stems from their love of a certain NFL franchise and an utter indifference to their personal appearance and what you think of them. Game Day Casual can be observed in other cities, the spirit is strong in Boston, the entire state of Florida, and parts of the Tri-State Area, to name a few. From foot to crown the standard ensemble goes like this: high top sneakers, preferably Converse, worn loosely tied; white tube socks; distressed jean shorts, worn long and with a sag in the keister; Pittsburgh Steelers jersey, size XXXL, preferably black; facial hair, preferably goatee or chin strappy beard; baseball cap, preferably something in a florescent shade of camouflage or a piece that reflects a strong allegiance to a NASCAR driver. The ensemble varies slightly depending on the season. During the blustery winter months, Pittsburghers will often apply heavy winter coat. But there is no city on Earth that can equal the utter sloppiness of Pittsburgh.— Gil Mansfield

Photo: via flickr.com

2. Los Angeles You've got your standard-issue hipsters to the East and your nouveau surfer class pedaling to the bar on their beach cruisers to your West, but it's what's in between that defines, no, dominates LA style. Angelenos wage a fierce, daily battle against time and taste so effective it would be admirable if the results weren't so obnoxious. Ground zero of this war against time is strongest in the thrumming hub of mind-blowing sartorial choices of the few neighborhoods nestled on the axis of Sunset Blvd. You know you're getting close when you start seeing a profusion of regrettable headwear, and once you spot a raffia porkpie, you have arrived. Fantasy-dressing reigns: men dress like boys, women like tweens, and middle-aged women like the trophy wives they once were. Remember: Los Angeles' most enduring sartorial contribution to the planet is leggings. And their sequel, the still-confusing jegging. But let's be fair: a city never known for its subtlety or restraint, why expect anything different from its residents? Why should we expect Angelenos to ever recover from the aesthetic thrill of Ed Hardy? It's smart if you think about it, why actually get a full body tattoo when you can buy the sartorial equivalent of one, with rhinestones?—Maxandra Short
2. Los Angeles

You've got your standard-issue hipsters to the East and your nouveau surfer class pedaling to the bar on their beach cruisers to your West, but it's what's in between that defines, no, dominates LA style. Angelenos wage a fierce, daily battle against time and taste so effective it would be admirable if the results weren't so obnoxious. Ground zero of this war against time is strongest in the thrumming hub of mind-blowing sartorial choices of the few neighborhoods nestled on the axis of Sunset Blvd. You know you're getting close when you start seeing a profusion of regrettable headwear, and once you spot a raffia porkpie, you have arrived. Fantasy-dressing reigns: men dress like boys, women like tweens, and middle-aged women like the trophy wives they once were. Remember: Los Angeles' most enduring sartorial contribution to the planet is leggings. And their sequel, the still-confusing jegging. But let's be fair: a city never known for its subtlety or restraint, why expect anything different from its residents? Why should we expect Angelenos to ever recover from the aesthetic thrill of Ed Hardy? It's smart if you think about it, why actually get a full body tattoo when you can buy the sartorial equivalent of one, with rhinestones?—Maxandra Short

Photo: via flickr.com/redwolfoz

1. Boston Boston is like America's Bad-Taste Storm Sewer: all the worst fashion ideas from across the country flow there, stagnate, and putrefy. To be fair, it's hard to be a fashion capital when half of your population is made up of undergraduate hoodie monsters, including those unfortunate coeds who don't realize that leggings-as-pants were supposed to be paired with tops large enough to conceal their cameltoes. Yet when they graduate, they can wear their Uggs and still fit in at the country's largest frat party on Lansdowne behind Fenway, where they can take breaks between body shots to admire just how long boot-cut jeans can stay in style in one place. And any classy lady from Beantown is bound to be impressed by formal sportswear. "But Boston is the epicenter of prep style!," you say? That's true, but it's with a little extra that ends up ruining everything: Khakis!—with pleats. Boat shoes!—with socks. Knit ties!—actually, no one in Boston seems to have ever seen one of these. For the more proletarian-minded, there are the modest little burgs of Cambridge and Somerville, where everyone dresses like the proprietor of his or her very own meth lab. If you wonder how a people can live like this, well, it's Jurassic Park for fashion troglodytes: life finds a way.—John B. Thompson
1. Boston

Boston is like America's Bad-Taste Storm Sewer: all the worst fashion ideas from across the country flow there, stagnate, and putrefy. To be fair, it's hard to be a fashion capital when half of your population is made up of undergraduate hoodie monsters, including those unfortunate coeds who don't realize that leggings-as-pants were supposed to be paired with tops large enough to conceal their cameltoes. Yet when they graduate, they can wear their Uggs and still fit in at the country's largest frat party on Lansdowne behind Fenway, where they can take breaks between body shots to admire just how long boot-cut jeans can stay in style in one place. And any classy lady from Beantown is bound to be impressed by formal sportswear. "But Boston is the epicenter of prep style!," you say? That's true, but it's with a little extra that ends up ruining everything: Khakis!—with pleats. Boat shoes!—with socks. Knit ties!—actually, no one in Boston seems to have ever seen one of these. For the more proletarian-minded, there are the modest little burgs of Cambridge and Somerville, where everyone dresses like the proprietor of his or her very own meth lab. If you wonder how a people can live like this, well, it's Jurassic Park for fashion troglodytes: life finds a way.—John B. Thompson

Photo: via flickr.com



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