Billed as the key reason why romance novelist Danielle Steel skipped town, the city has no sense of high style. In fact, GQ just declared San Francisco the 20th Worst-Dressed U.S. city. Which...fine. We get it. We do. We're a bit lackadaisical when it comes to attire. Or are we? By and large, the city's key demographic goes to great lengths to dress with the right amount of affected insouciance or brightly-colored wan. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the Mission arrondissement where men look like bike-riding sheep (black pants, black shirt, hoodie, Giants cap) while the ladies tend to fashion themselves as third graders (rompers, Etsy jewelry, hairdos riddled with flyaways, cupcakes) so as to appear nonthreatening to men.
Oh, don't forget about the hostile Silicon Valley look (which, good grief, totally borders on homophobia!) that won't seem to die.
GQ's gloriously named Maxandra Short writes:
"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."
Touche. But before you light that torch and grab that pitchfork, this alleged 40 Worst-Dressed Cities in America list ranked noted fashion capitol Manhattan as the 5th worst-dressed city. (We blame Patricia Field and Sex and the City.) So, you know, grain of salt.