A Kings Response: GQ 40 Worst-Dress Cities in America

A Kings Response: GQ 40 Worst-Dress Cities in America
July 24, 2011 Curran

“I believe Philly has been a ghost writer for culture in America”

Everyone takes pride in the city where they are from. So it was a must that I give my take on this article GQ wrote pertaining to the 40 Worst-Dress Cities in America. First and foremost I totally disagree with Philly as well as other cities even being considered amongst the worst dressed cities in America. Although Philadelphia may get complacent in popular trends they still have the ability to introduce cutting edge style.  Philadelphia has even been considered the “Swagger Capitol”.  I honestly think that GQ isn’t in touch with style and culture in most cities judging by this elitist list & lack of journalism.  There isn’t enough press or street style photography in Philadelphia, due to the lack of a fashion network to capture the true street culture.

The comment about Michael Vicks Jersey’s and Cheese steak stains is an insult and proves ones lack of exposure to our world.  Every celebrity from Philadelphia has shown style and originality and unlike most this was embedded from their upbringing and not hand delivered by a stylist.  Philadelphia is not a little brother to New York nor the 6th borough, but rather Philadelphia has been able to inspire other cities as well as reinterpret what has been inspired to us. I believe Philly has been a ghost writer for culture in America, but because of our lack of press and tech saavy we do not get the recognition we deserve.

According to Wikipedia, ”a fashion city should be an object of inspiration for the professionals that live there and posses an active, vivid, strong and unique sub-culture that inspires not only fashion professionals but also the people in the city, turning the street style and street culture into an essential characteristic”. Based on the developments of fashion and street culture, Philly  has been a major influence in the Tri-state area which is a major influence to the rest of the world. Philadelphia clearly fits in the definition of a fashion city.  From Ye ole revolutionary times to present, from vintage Americana to contemporary, from tailored suits to street wear it it this mix of fashion, business, entertainment, culture, and leisure that positions Philly as an attractive and internationally recognized fashion center with a distinct and strong swag. –KRT

Stylish Men I captured on the Streets of Philadelphia:

More Perspectives on Philly being worst dressed:

Check me out on GQ during fashion week here

What are your thoughts on Philly style and us being considered worst-dressed?

Comments (22)

  1. What’s UP King I truly believe GQ did a poor job executing this article. The goal must have been to bash these specific cities and therefore targeted individuals who did not represent fashion. Good job highlighting-@TheDreamR

  2. Great perspective on such a sensational topic. I think that the list is a piece of sensational journalism and is based on stereotypes of the city and not actual interaction.

    I do believe that Philadelphia has a ways to go before it will be considered a fashion capitol. While we have a burgeoning (and growing) fashion community I think that the majority of Philadelphians are too susceptible to trends. There is an amazing independent fashion scene in the city that many are not privy to and I do feel the city (and promoters of Philadelphia) can stand to do a better job at promoting the unique offerings of the city.

    We are not NY, nor should we be. Philadelphia is diverse, has great indie boutiques and tons of stylish people that embody that artistic spirit.

    Great thought-provoking piece.

  3. Panda 9 years ago

    I think u did great job at explaining your side of the story, although I do have mixed feeling about people in Philly with truly original style. What I can say is that there are a bunch of original blokes out here who definitely deserve some spotlight and recognition for saving style in Philadelphia.

    We need to make sure our fellow creators, influencers and us alike, push the culture forward by not letting people become trendhoppers, but rather trendsetters. That’s the problem with Philly, there’s no vocal style originating from here and if it is it’s not respected or imitated until they see their favorite celebrity do it aka Streetwear & Big Sean.

    “I believe Philly has been a ghost writer for culture in America, but because of our lack of press and tech saavy we do not get the recognition we deserve.”

    I completely agree with the above statement, and this is definitely a major factor as to why Philly isn’t recognized as a Fashion Capitol. I do think that Philly needs to step up the creativity, and become more open-minded + ahead of the curve when it comes to Fashion. This is happening slowly, but definitely surely.

    Great post. Keep pushing forward homie.

  4. Isatta 9 years ago

    I think this article wasnt meant to be taking so seriously. I feel like it highlighted the worst of the worst in fashion in different cities. We’rent NY and LA on there? For the most part, im sure the article was just for laughs and to loosen up some fashion stiffs. I thought the article was funny and they did highlight a lot of fashion errors. I think they were spot on about Philly. Lets face it, yes there are some very fashionable folk in our city, but we are plaqued with sports fanatics and sloppy dressers. Miami, La and Boston were funny as well. It was the truth whether we agreed or not. Lol.

    • Author
      Curran J Swint 9 years ago

      I respect all of you guys opinion
      @Isatta: This is what GQ wrote above the article “Look around you. Better yet, look in the 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”

      This wasn’t a joke even though it was very funny. I think it all depends on the circle you travel with. I take pictures of fashionable ppl all the time so I look for it. I also attend many fashion events in the city so I know and have seen style at its best. I meet a lot of stylish ppl who never come out because they feel it is a waste of time but by way of my blog, arts, beats & eats etc they are starting to appear to me even more… and as far as sports fanatics & sloppy dressers, they are in every major sports teams city.

      @Panda everyone is a follower in Philly because ppl are scared to be themselves. Playing style safe keeps you from being criticize which most ppl flea from. A man stands on his own convictions but we let others opinion sway us. It takes guys like you & myself to show ppl that being yourself is ok.

  5. 215otc1 9 years ago

    This article is interesting. Like a lot of media outlets “GQ” has fallen victim to generalizing an entire self expressive city. I have been living in Philly my whole life and even though I haven’t up on fashion like I am now. I did get a chance to witness numerous fashion trends come and go to this city.

    Just recently I have been beginning to redefine myself through my “Image”. As I look for clothing now, I first have to like how it looks, then I have to try it on. Sometimes I will goto five different stores and only pick out one or two things that fit my style. I agree with you Curran, that more ppl have to step out of that box of “Subconscious” fear from doing what they truly want to do.

    Right now I do see a shift of a more mature male fashion presence in Philadelphia, with traces of ppl still clinging onto old immature styles. The saying “To each his own” could be used in the context of this discussion, but there comes a time when a person must look in the mirror and love what they see and not give life to a predetermined image, “Ego”, thats was given to them by social factors…

  6. New Orleans was also on the list, pretty bummed about that but the article did have some good points. That said I think we have loads of stylish men here, I think our guys sometimes (and maybe always) usurp the girls when it comes to personal style.

  7. Linda 9 years ago

    I understand why you are insulted. I have no idea if people in your sity dress well or not. But each city has it’s “face” or some kind of general feel about it. So there probably are cities where lots of people walk the streets looking god awful. That doesn’t meean all, but nany enough. I believe that there are some nations with predisposion to bad taste, since it’s in their genetic code to combine risky coulours, which are harder to do well.
    There are some very ugly stereotypes, for example about Swedish or Finnish women who are fat, ugly, wear only t-shirts, shorts, flipflops and doesn’t shave. Well, there certainly are some like that, but were I from there, I would not be pleased to hear this.
    And there are huge minority of rusions in my country who have a thing for fake designer stuff, for exmple D&G all over their butts. It is a major trashy trend, like it or not.

  8. Art Grandy 9 years ago

    I’m affected by this article in a couple of ways. Being from Philadelphia, I can understand the reasoning but not the method in which this conclusion was drawn. ‘Fashion City’, no but, definitely not ‘Worst dressed’. Looking @ the pic used to represent Philly is a key determiner that this article is a complete fallacy in opinion. I feel that all of the areas of opinion were not sufficiently grounded in truth because they didn’t poll the real heart of Philly society.
    On the other hand, I can’t understand how many of us here consider to be up on fashion simply because of the labels worn. Fashion is ultimately a characteristic generated by creativity, intelligence, authenticity and individual image not the designer on the label. Be aware people!

  9. June 9 years ago

    It’s a good try to take the opposite perspective to check the fashion of that city,a nice job at least I get very pleased to see their unharmonious but awfully cute dressing styles.To be honest,I find their dressing styles pretty funny,and I am certain that they inspire the city to move forward and help other gain happiness!They are part of the card that represent the multi-culturism in this highly developed metropolitan.They are adorable!Btw,the camera did work to make special visual effects.lol……

  10. Tristan Alexander 9 years ago

    I commend you on your well spoken response to the article. I must say I was highly offended when I read the article GQ wrote about Philadelphia. You mentioned in your response “There isn’t enough press or street style photography in Philadelphia, due to the lack of a fashion network to capture the true street culture.” I agree with you 100%. To capture the true ability of the fashion in Philadelphia you would actually have to travel the streets and witness the different styles and fashions of the city. But of course, we do not have the adequate resources for it. I am from New York originally but I was partially raised in Philadelphia as well. In my opinion, you can’t even compare the two cities because the fashion is so different. When you hear Philadelphia you think of soul and originality. That’s what Philadelphians’ fashion is all about. New York is more of a follower city in my opinion, yes it’s one of the fashion capital of the world, but also there are a lot of people who look up to that title and base their style on the runway fashion or what a celebrity may be wearing.

    As mentioned you do have some people who are complacent here in the city afraid to blossom and show their individuality, but at the same token you also have the very fashionable people. I love to get dress and look at other fashions. Myself personally, wasn’t really into fashion but I know I had the capability and thus brought forth from my lovely sister Andrea. From then on I would wear the bright colors, riding boots, blazers, Skinny jeans, etc, the normal fashions society does not agree with for a man. In my opinion I’m showing the world a piece of who I am. Most people give you the title you’re a homosexual if you wear this or that, but the term metro sexual still exists lol.

    I apologize for the rant. I support you on your line, website, company, and everything you stand for. Thank you for speaking up for us and letting the world know who we are and what we represent. As you stated “Sometimes you may not want to talk but they need to hear your voice,” opportunities only knock once. As you speak to the world may you also speak to those within our city that give us a title basically judge us for our sense of style and originality. Also for those that think fashion is all about the labels, but it’s about the style, design, and how you are able to make things compliment one another. The same principle applies, “the colors don’t make the man, the man makes the colors.”

  11. Lia 8 years ago

    I feel that Philly needs to showcase their street style, since most of the designers within our borders aren’t high-end boutiques. We also need these people who have style to start blogging about them. New York and Cali are getting too much exposure.. lol joking.

    My friend and I just started a fashion/street style/ootd blog. We’re from Philly and we really want to get our names out there, to rep philly.

    So if you can, please support us! 🙂

  12. Lakesha 8 years ago

    I hardly drop remarks, but I browsed a few of the remarks here A Kings Response:
    GQ 40 Worst-Dress Cities in America | Kings Rule Together.
    I do have a couple of questions for you if you tend not to mind.
    Could it be just me or do some of the responses appear
    like they are written by brain dead people?
    😛 And, if you are posting on additional online social sites, I’d like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post. Could you list of the complete urls of your social sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?


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  9. […] knew my name & brand rather then just my face. It also bought up thoughts of the GQ article on Worst Dressed Cities in America and Philadelphia being #6. I am not only representing myself  when I travel but for all the […]

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