Get Over It!

It seems people are in a tizzy this week over Indianapolis being one of the “10 Worst-Dressed Cities in America.”

Fashion writers locally are scrambling to make suggestions and perhaps fuel a John Varvatos-clad revolution in the “crossroads of America.” 

Before they get their Calvin Klein briefs in a wad, here’s a few things I think they’ve lost sight of:

1. This is not a big deal:  Sure, Indy has been on its share of “bad” lists, including Indiana being the third most depressing state in America.  However, we’re not the “Murder Capitol of the US” (two other nearby cities have been given that distinction in recent years – Gary and Chicago).  We’ll never see a hurricane and earthquakes are extremely rare. 

The cost of living locally is quite nice, when compared to places along the East and West coasts.  All in all, we’re not in half-bad shape (at a time when places like Chicago and Detroit are struggling with financial and safety concerns).   

2. We have bigger problems than booming sales at Central Indiana Gap retailers: Gun control, violence and our youth, gay rights – these are just a few of the issues we deal with every day.  What guys are wearing to work or play is not a big issue in the grand scheme of Indianapolis history. 

3. Don’t make us something we’re not: One of the core pieces of measurement on this list was how men tend to favor khaki-and-polo-shirt combination for “business casual.” Well, that happens everywhere.  I lived in New Orleans for three years and let me tell you what I saw at my job daily: guys in khakis and polos.  Let’s face it – this is Central Indiana, not the coast.  People want comfort.  Trust me – I’ve seen my fair share of well-dressed men throughout my years as a journalist.  Men who are in the public eye can rock a suit with the best of them. But, if you’re an engineer and are behind a desk for eight hours, I don’t expect a Tom Ford level of style and neither should the community-at-large.  If you’re a doctor or nurse, you’re in scrubs – period. 

If you can’t afford a tailor, fine.  But, as long as you’re making the effort, then that’s what counts.  My husband is not a supermodel, but he does wear clothing that fits his body.  

4. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you: The local fashion group Pattern sent out a newsletter yesterday, picking on “The Indianapolis Star” (the exact words were “attempt to soften the blow backfired”).  I don’t find this assessment particularly fair.  For Pattern to jump to the conclusion that there was an initial “blow” I think is pushing it.  The newsletter goes on to praise a member of the “Star” staff for raising awareness on the issue via social media, which is all well and good, except they insulted the publication in the previous sentence! Don’t insult on one hand and then try to be gracious on the second.  It looks cheap and makes it seem as though you didn’t just get a slew of free publicity off this issue!

As for it being a “blow,” again, that’s a stretch.  Best and worst lists of cities in various categories come out on what seems like an hourly basis. 

Finally, it could be far worse – we could be Anchorage, Alaska!


About DevonD29

This is a spot where I muse about life, running, music, or whatever else strikes my fancy.
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7 Responses to Get Over It!

  1. Christy says:

    I still think guys should try to look nice and dress well at work. Tom Ford level of styling may never happen in Indy, but can we please put away the cargo khakis and the polos? A nice button down shirt coupled with a pair of properly fitting (non ass-sagging or ripped) jeans always looks nice on a man. A sport coat adds sophistication. I am also sick of seeing women not dress to their body type or size. So many women dress by a number. The number is like a mental issue they cannot overcome. If they cannot so easily button their size 12 jeans the will opt for a muffin top rather than going up to the size 14 and having it altered to fit properly. Make those changes to lose those 3 pounds or few inches to get back into your size 12 jeans. I mean no one wants to see your muffin top or love handles while you prance around eating a tenderloin at the state fair — no one! I promise you ladies, no one will know you went from a 12 to a 14 for a short time to get back to your fighting weight. There’s no reason that comfort and style can’t work well together. Speaking of comfort, ladies need to consider not wearing 6″ platform hooker heels if they cannot walk properly in them. Practice walking in a lower heel first.

  2. Steve says:

    While I agree that a nice pair of jeans looks better than junky khakis, most places will not allow jeans as business casual. So guys then are left with either khakis and the like or a pair of dress pants (which is not business casual either). Guys are extremely limited as far as choices when it comes to dress for work.

    • Christy says:

      I can see why you say that Steve and you bring up a good point. I forget that some businesses aren’t as casual with their dress code. I was thinking of my current and previous places of work, men have been allowed to wear jeans as part of the business causal dress attire. I don’t mind khaki pants on guys its the cargo khakis, they look so messy.

  3. Leah B. says:

    Good points all around. I found it a fun opportunity to toss around pictures of people who *do* take pride in their dress in and around the city. Also, I noticed the original article’s criteria was WAY out of wack. I mean, number of high-end stores? Like THAT is the only way people procure clothes. In any case, I had a good laugh, it’s clear that the fashion community in Indy is burgeoning and on the way up, and it really doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things.

  4. Great post! FWIW: I didn’t take any offense at Pattern’s comments about The Star’s coverage when they discussed our #IndyDressesWell campaign. In fact, I thanked them for their help in spreading the word! Their job is to cast a critical eye, and they posted many fair observations, as usual. Really, I’m just glad that many, many people in Indy do care about image – on a personal level, and as a city too … including the UltraVioletGucci blog!

  5. posherov says:

    Devon, you read a bit too much into the comment about the Star. We were not picking on them at all – the comment was actually meant to be humorous. Of course getting the 10th worst dressed “title” wasn’t a “blow” (the term was used tongue-in-cheek) – as you say in your post, there are plenty of other more serious issues. But it was fun to try and get people to submit photos of themselves and also to bring a bit more attention to the notion that personal style is something that this city could care a bit more about. We have an excellent relationship with Indy Star. They certainly weren’t offended by our newsletter – they in fact included it in their weekly roundup of local news. Thanks for your post!

  6. uvgucci101 says:

    I guess perhaps I did. I just felt like using language like “womp womp” (not actual words) came off as a bit snarky when (again, as previously stated) “The Indianapolis Star” did Pattern a big favor.

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