There are certain cities that automatically come to mind when you think of being fashionably challenged. There are the usual middle America suspects, but I was actually pretty surprised to see major metropolises, like Manhattan and Los Angeles, make GQ’s top 5 worst-dressed spots. The men’s fashion mag polled its readers to get to the bottom of the really important questions in life, like which city has the worst sense of style? Read on to see if your hood fell in the top 5, and check out the full list at GQ.com.
“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
“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 -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
“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
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
“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: Phil Loftus/Capital Pictures/AdMedia/Sipa Press