Vancouver Ranked World’s Third-Worst-Dressed City

A recent article by Canada MSN Travel ranked Vancouver the third worst-dressed city in the world.  According to the article, only Maui (2) and Orlando (1)  have worse-dressed residents.  Vancouver even ranked worse than the Jersey Shore (10) – now that’s a low blow.

Vancouver may not be New York or Paris, but I hardly think we deserve the distinction of ranking among the world’s worst dressed.   The author of the MSN article singled out the city’s obsession with yoga pants as the reason for its dismal ranking.  But is Vancouver really defined just by lululemon?

I’d like to hear from you.  Do you think Vancouver is the third-worst-dressed city in the world?  Or are we we more than designer yoga pants?

Personally, I can list about two dozen cities off the top of my head that are far worse off in the fashion department than Vancouver.   I’d go so far as to say that Vancouver may well be among North America’s more fashion-conscious capitals.

Yes, there is plenty of lululemon on the streets.  But you only have to walk through Yaletown after dark to realize that there’s a lot more going on in the haute couture department (You might want to skip Granville Street, though, unless you think halter tops are high fashion).

In fact, I wonder whether the author of the MSN article ever visited Vancouver.  I doubt it.  My guess is she heard about lululemon and just stereotyped the whole city.   In case you’re curious, here’s what she had to say:

“We blame you, Vancouver, birthplace of a certain, insanely popular yoga gear brand which will go unnamed, for spawning a street trend dreaded by all women with wobbly bits and fat deposits in the wrong places. Really, what gives with the whole wearing of bum hugging workout gear to every other place except the gym?”

And here’s the picture that illustrates the Vancouver section of the article:

What do you think?  Does that image really sum up the city’s fashion?  Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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23 Responses to Vancouver Ranked World’s Third-Worst-Dressed City

  1. Krista Edwardson

    I work in the Waterfront area of Vancouver in the business district. I love to see what all the professionals are wearing each morning, nicely tailored suits, pencil skirts, sharp blousses and stiletto heels. Dress for success is the name of the game, and with our housing prices you better be runway ready each morning.

    Keep it Classy Vancouver!

  2. e186911

    Yoga pant is just an example, it was talking about majority, of course, waterfront, yaletown high end area, there are some fashion going, but in gerneral, I don’t find people dress taste is appreciatable.

    Also yoga pant is not a point, some chick wear pretty nicely, the point is if 8 of 10 girls dress the same way, no matter of their own figure, than it is tatse problem.

  3. macncheesy

    Uh, I’d say it’s a fairly astute observation…
    Take a look on Google Street View–Robson, Yaletown, 4th Ave, and although it’s not all LL-yoga pants, it’s more hoodies, sweatshirts, jeans, ball-caps, sneakers, than high fashion. And these pics are from Spring, so no excuse there….
    I think Vancouver has an identity problem. It’s pretty, but take away the high property values and there’s not much left to put it on par with more sophisticated, older cities. Any kind of fashion seems to be nouveau riche or hipster trust-fund fashion, copied from elsewhere….
    What’s left but to embrace that not-so-fresh-from-Bikram-Yoga feeling, and be proud of what Vancouver really is…? Eventually we’ll come up with something–isn’t Grunge about due for a comeback?

  4. maxthedog

    “The author of the MSN article singled out the city’s obsession with yoga pants as the reason for its dismal ranking.”

    I consider myself amongst the poorest dressed in this city, perhaps at a distance easily confused for a DTES vagrant who’s wandered into Yaletown. I make plenty of money – I can afford fancy, uncomfortable clothing, and I clean up quite well – but I’ve absolutely no need for it in my job.
    Who exactly do I need to impress? Indeed, the vapid, sartorial veneer of LA is exactly what this city *doesn’t* need, thank you very much. I’d much rather go snowboarding.

    There are some fine, beautifully well proportioned “yoga pants” in this city. To that point, I challenge any other city to wear their yoga pants as well as Vancouver.

    If you’ve got a funeral, wedding, or other social event for me to attend, expect me looking as sharp as they come. I’ll do it, because it helps put everybody else as ease. Otherwise, … yeah, whatever.

  5. Weronika

    Having spent most of my life in Europe, I can certainly concur that Vancouver doesn’t seem to have much fondness for fashion – not as much in a sense of sophistication or high fashion, but even for creative self-expression through clothing. This doesn’t necessarily mean people dress poorly, or that yoga pants is a fashion blunder. My impression is that the importance of art and refined taste is not as central element of Canadian lifestyle as it is of Europeans. Looking at Vancouver’s background it’s not surprising that people choose o embrace different values… after all yoga pants simply makes more sense here than in Paris.

  6. cabin.crew

    It is true. Being a Vancouverite myself and a frequent traveller living in another country, I’ve come to realize that Vancouver fashion isn’t really up to date with the rest of the world. The clothes I ended up bringing from VanCity when I moved ended up collecting dust in my closet because it’s so boring and bland. And the hoodies and t-shirts and sweatpants are really a last resort, not so much as a statement. There is not enough fashion scene going on in this awesome city and even less effort to put on a decent outfit….unfortunately.

  7. Sarah

    I just hate it when girls dress “sporty” who you can tell obviously are NOT sporty girls. It’s a life style not a fad. Plus why pick on just the girls? Some guys out here are have attire that is less than desirable too. But I have a feeling it comes down to the “All work, no play” cycle that we’re forced into living here in BC, no time for high fashion ;)

  8. Very interesting comments. I think the most interesting thing seems to be that Vancouver is self-aware of its fashion shortcomings and either a) doesn’t care or b) acknowledges that the city has a long way to go to catch up with fashion capitals in Europe and the US.

  9. I think the real issue, if there is one, is more related to the ‘casual dress code’ that does indeed exist in Vancouver. Vancouverites don’t tend to dress up in the same manner as citizens in Montreal or Toronto, much less New York or in European cities, whether it’s to work or to play.

    While I prefer to dress up with I go out, even casually (unless it’s to the gym!), I don’t think it’s really about being ‘badly dressed.’ In my humble opinion, it’s more ‘informal versus formal.’

    That said, shorts, socks & sandals in winter should be outlawed. There’s just no excuse for that kind of fashion horror show. ;)

  10. kevin

    well I go to university in vancouver. 90% of the girls wear super tight yoga pants. and proudly exhibit their butts. yes yoga pants are comfortable but also very revealing. it’s actually funny when you see guys turning their faces to check out girls’ butts in those pants. yoga pants grab attentions and that’s why many girls wear them. you could see their thongs lines and sometimes their skins under those pants. that’s how tight they wear.dont tell me that they dont know what they are doing. they are very aware of the fact that they are exhibiting their booties. just look how much mainstream culture is emphasizing a round buttocks. yoga pants are like ultimate solution for Vancouverites who are confused by what to wear partially due to the multicultural nature of the city.

  11. Jassy

    Yes. that’s absolutely true. i’m very very disappointed how ugly most people dress themselves. The absence of taste and unique style makes people similar terribly gray mass

  12. Brenda

    First of all, who cares which cities are the best-dressed? Vancouver rocks above other cities in probably all the other categories that count! I mean with the mountains, the ocean, the laid back environment, the great transportation, multiple cultures, and much more, Vancouverites have so many more interesting things to care about than keeping up with the fashion of other more crime-ridden, dirty, materialistic cities!

  13. dudeloves classywomen

    Walk down vancouver downtown…and 80% of the women are wearing tight workout pants and supremely tight jeans….
    Ladies..I dont want to see your ass.
    You can be dressed nicely and be attractive in something other than skin tight wear.

  14. Lee

    I just moved here, from Toronto. And I do have to say the city does offer amazing aspects of living! But Fashion I’m sorry to say NO. I’m hoping that can be changed just a little in time, especially or such an amazing place to live. I love to work out, but please keep you gym clothes for gym!! The better you feel, the better you should look.

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  20. Jaime

    Vancouver is a horribly dressed city. People are very confused about fashion. Canada competes with America for the worst dressed country.

  21. jake

    Vancouver is as interesting artistically and creatively about as much as a suburban housewife with a glue gun and glitter. The women here dress like wanna be Californians (yoga pants, taupe sweaters over white and black layered shirts with big buy eye glasses topped off with that,”I’m so bored” look when they are really wearing that, “I’m so boring and vain” look. The men fare no better. However I do not think it deserves 3rd worst city in the world. It deserves the worst dressed city and most boring place on the face of the earth.

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