Chic City

I don’t usually call things a “sham,” but THIS article on Huffington Post is exactly that.

The article, entitled “Most Fashionable Cities In America: Did Your City Make The Stylish Cut?,” proposes to identify the most stylish cities in American based on the percentage of the population that purchases luxury labels.

This is of course absurd.  Seeing as style and money are in no way synonymous.

Now, I am not going to get into my opinion on the style of each city listed (because, a) I am not familiar with every city on the list b) That would open up a whole other debate), but I do want to acknowledge how silly their algorithm is.

(Can we all just take a moment to acknowledge that I used the term algorithm on a fashion/lifestyle blog??? …And they say we are all dim and inane!)

Anyways, we are all undoubtedly familiar with the phrase ‘money can’t buy you class’ and that is also true of being stylish.

The suggestions that a city’s stylishness can based on their purchases doesn’t account for other means of creating a stylish wardrobe.  A stylish person may thrift/consign, shop on a budget, hand-make clothes, or a slew of other possibilities.

It also doesn’t consider how the purchases in these cities are being worn.  After all, how you pair your wardrobe speaks to style more than what you own!

Clearly, the math here should be questioned.  So, tell me, what do you think makes a chic city?


  1. I agree with you Alexis. Just buying luxury brands isn’t an indicator of style. I think style is about how a person puts their clothes together, matching colors, prints, styles, accessories…the whole shebang. Expensive clothes do not equal style.

  2. I can’t stand all those “most this or that cities” lists. You can easily get the results you want in these types of “studies” (as I recall from a college statistics class – though I seem to have forgotten all the terminology. Congrats on the “algorithm” usage BTW! )

    I think a chic city is truly in the eye of the beholder (no matter how corny that may sound!). My kids have been re-watching “The Lord of the Rings” and I find Rivendell quite chic and would move there immediately if I could!

    {True Chic to me: access to natural, out door areas, good museums, good library system, a coffeehouse which also serves a variety of *teas*, and honestly – a big box store (such as tacky old Costco) where I can purchase books, brie, and tp all at once. (This is what happens to you once you have 5 kids!)}

  3. At least you has style 😛 I don’t. I’m glued to jean’s and t’s & I loves them!

  4. Money = fashion? So, so silly! I think true fashion involves a level of innovation, so just buying the designer brands doesn’t necessarily mean you’re fashionable or trendsetting!

  5. There are far more fashionable places than those listed. Style is about how you wear the clothes not the clothes themselves in my opinion.

  6. Haha first of all I totally appreciate that you used the word algorithm. That’s brilliant. And secondly, I totally agree with you. That notion is absurd. Thanks for telling us about this article. I hadn’t come across it.


  7. I so agree with the saying ‘money can’t buy you class’ …. but then again, what is class?

  8. So true! High end labels do not equate to being stylish. It’s not what you wear, but how you wear it! I think that creativity and innovation are what makes a city stylish. Are there new and emerging designers? A vibrant art community? Diverse shopping districts? There are so many ways to gauge how stylish a place is :)

  9. There was a recent article somewhere about how people like Princess Catherine could spend all the money they want and still wear budget and high street brands…I think that is more stylish.

  10. Haha, loved your intro. “After all, how you pair your wardrobe speaks to style more than what you own!” That statement alone is fact. I know many folks who have the funds to buy pricey items, but lack actual “style.” However, also some who have style with financial ease. I do agree, style goes further than how much something costs! Much of the key ingredients to style are also the “hows” … how you wear it, how your confidence is exuded when worn, and how it may look almost effortlessly You!

  11. buying a lot of designers brand doesnt make u a”class” people or society and at the same time define u as being stylish.its how u blend your look and carried yourself with such positive attitude which to me define classy is

  12. Great argument!!

    A person can be stylish no matter the money they make. Trust me, I have seen it.

  13. What a disappointment. I couldn’t agree with you more Alexis. I know far more individuals with barely a penny to their name that have loads more style than the wealthy patrons of these supposedly top stylish cities.

  14. Creativity leads to style. Maybe they should have written an article titled “The Most Creative Cities in America.” I don’t have millions of dollars to spend on clothes – as much as I would like to and pretend that I do – because I am a poor grad student working for just above minimum wage. That doesn’t mean that I am not stylish. Get over yourself, Huffington Post.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  15. I totally agree with you. I’ve seen the ladies on the O.C. Irvine might spend the most on their clothes, but they definitely don’t have the best style.

    Style is not about how much your dress cost, but about how you wear that dress. I can’t believe they didn’t think about that before they wrote that stupid article.

    Yay for your use of the word algorithm on a fashion blog! :)

  16. So many people think that style equals money and money creates style, but it’s not true at all! Money helps, of course, but it doesn’t make anyone immediately stylish. So what makes a city chic? I’d say if the people who live there care about their appearance and the appearance of their city. San Francisco is a stylish city even though the people who live there dress very casually.

  17. I always thought that a stylish woman just knew how to put both high and low together effortlessly. I never thought it meant the sum dollar amount of her entire ensemble. I think the art of dressing and being stylish is about expressing yourself so yeah, I would say this is total bunk.

  18. I love that you are mentioning this. I think a city can be chic and sometimes that’s different than stylish. I’m all for the places where people aren’t afraid to be original (and by that I don’t mean tacky)–that’s what makes fashion exciting to me. Hope you’re having a great week Alexis! Thinking of you here in Berlin.

    xo Mary Jo

  19. agreed x

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