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Old July 30th, 2007, 06:56 PM   #1
Urbanight
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How Fashionable is Chicago?

Not as fashionable as Krakow according to the Global Language Monitor. (If the Polish are so fashionable, we have more Polish in Chicago than Krakow, so what gives?). Krakow ranked 25th. Chicago didn't rank on the list which can be found here: http://www.languagemonitor.com/Fashion.html . The Trib also ran a story on this.

I don't really care about the rankings, but it made me wonder how fashionable is Chicago. Do Chicagoans have style? We are having a little luxury shop boom. A boom that will likely continue and grow as the more monied folks move into their new luxury condos. Are we too steak and potatos for haute coutour? A lot of the big names in fashion still venture to San Francisco, and even houston, boston, and Atlanta before opening shops in Chicago. Cook County is a pretty wealthy area, so if we have the cash, do we just lack the style?

I only been in Chicago for a year. So in addition to my above wonderings, I wonder how long has some of these high end shops been in chicago, like the ones on Oak, halsted/Armitage in Lincoln Park and the shops in Wicker Park/Bucktown? Is high end relatively new to Chicago?

I would like to see Chicago become more fashionable, but Chicago style of course, and that means without the attitude.

Vogue on folks!
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Old July 30th, 2007, 07:37 PM   #2
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This is something I've heard visitors and relocators from the coasts complain about, and in reference to a wide variety of kinds of fashion. Chicago is just not a real big fashion city. I'm pretty okay with that, although it's odd for 20-something visitors to come here and see that people have adopted styles at a considerable lag after they've hit the West Coast. I don't know about the heavily monied areas of fashion, although I've heard that the dress shoe selection here is not what one would hope for. With winter wear, it's hard to be fashionable when it's as cold and windy as it is here.
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Old July 30th, 2007, 10:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urbanight View Post
Not as fashionable as Krakow according to the Global Language Monitor.
Don't be so shocked. Ever buy a $7000 babushka on the Magnifiski Milski?
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Old July 30th, 2007, 11:02 PM   #4
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fashion is all subjective. chicago is the dive bar (a real dive bar, not some hipster douche bag equivalent) of the world's global cities. you either like that style or you don't, but it doesn't mean we lack style, we're just pragmatically casual about our style because suspicion of over the top showiness (aka phoniness) is a core midwestern character trait.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 12:45 AM   #5
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With winter wear, it's hard to be fashionable when it's as cold and windy as it is here.
I think this is where our fashionableness really comes through. Anybody can buy a nice coat and look good through whatever it is they call winter in LA or SF or NYC. But you see people here who actually make an art of stylishly putting together the many pieces of equipment needed for living through our winter, and that takes some real talent.

When it's warm, who gives a damn, it's just about exposing and enjoying as much flesh as possible in that brief window of time. It's not by mistake that I have more coats that shorts.

(welcome to my world of elaborate justification)
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Old July 31st, 2007, 12:50 AM   #6
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What the hell is Las Vegas doing on this list??!?

Chicago does have good shopping, but does seem filled with 300 pounders wearing stretch pants.... Chicagoans definitely are less concerned with their appearance than people on the coasts.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 12:57 AM   #7
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Chicago does have good shopping, but does seem filled with 300 pounders wearing stretch pants
Stretch pants are a Privilege, not a right!
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Old July 31st, 2007, 01:43 AM   #8
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I think the list is BS. No way does Rome rank above Paris, Milan, and London. I wouldn't even rank New York above Paris.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 02:23 AM   #9
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shopping in chicago is way better than Atlanta, Houston and many other cities in the country. I've been to nearly every city in the country and the only ones that have better shopping in the U.S. is NYC and L.A.(concentration of highend stores). Chicago is once again misunderstood in an area of culture. Most of the people on this forum don't really care about fashion but, it is important to a world or global city because most visitors from the U.S. or Overseas will notice how people dress and make a not so flattering judgement. It's a fact rather you believe it or not. The creative types do dress to reflect their personality and there's nothing wrong with it. I believe Chicagoans do dress well. It depends on where you are in the city. In the loop people usually dress for work. There's nothing special about what they wear. It's usually conservative and safe and could be better but it is what it is. On North Michigan Avenue people dress somewhat better, except the tourist from small mid-western towns. You can usually spot them very easy. European tourist dress a lot better and the well heel of chicago, young and middle aged dress better. People in European cities usually dress better than people in U.S. cities overall. Wicker Park/Bucktown is a very stylish neighborhood. Many small unique boutiques are located there and more are moving into this area (the latest announced is Marc Jacobs). The style in this neiborhood probably comes from the student artist and other working artist that started the neighborhoods turn around years ago. It has become one of the city's more interesting shopping destinations. Lincoln Park, around Halsted and Armitage Avenue has developed into one of the city's best shopping corridors. Women in this neighborhood do dress very nice. It may not be creative but, it very nice. The south loop is also becoming a place where the stylish and creative are concentrating. The next time any of you Chicagoans go out check out these neighborhoods and there vibe. Most tourist don't venture outside of the central area so they only see office workers in the loop and that's not a true representation on the whole city. In most parts of NYC outside of Manhattan or In L.A., outside of the trendy neighhoods, expecially Orange county, people dress very average. Yes ther are many people in this city who don't care about fashion but, there are many who do and that's why the amount of high end, upscale, designer stores have been growing here over the past 5 years.

Last edited by urbanpln; July 31st, 2007 at 02:28 AM.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 03:23 AM   #10
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People in New York are the most stylish I've seen, although I have yet to go to Paris.

I tend to view style and fashion as more important than people give it credit for. It's certainly important to look good when you go out. If one doesn't care about how he looks, then he might as well spend all day on the toilet.

I noticed that the 20 somethings out and about at night dress well in Chicago, as well as the downtown office workers, but other than that, everybody seems to be wearing sweat pants.

That's cool though--people value comfort, I guess. That certainly won't be me though, whenever I eventually get to town
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Old July 31st, 2007, 01:58 PM   #11
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Does anyone know what factors (other than Neiman Marcus) gave Dallas its role as a major fashion center which far bigger Chicago, apparel mart and all, never achieved?
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Old July 31st, 2007, 02:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanpln View Post
I've been to nearly every city in the country and the only ones that have better shopping in the U.S. is NYC and L.A.(concentration of highend stores). .
I'd agree with the "better" for both NY and LA. As far as "on paar" with Chicago...I'd easily say San Francisco.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 04:33 PM   #13
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Chicago is all about classic style and tradition. But, avant garde boutiques are also well represented here because our tradition of arts is strong.

But what Chicago does not have(thankfully, in my opinion) is glitz and ostentatiousness. For example, Italian clothier Versace ultimately bit the dust in Chicago. The former Oak St. boutique was mostly patronized by the Chicago Bulls. Yet, traditional styled Ralph Lauren operates the country's most sucessful store on the Mag Mile.

Midwesterners are conservative and conspicuous consumption is considered mostly vulgar. You'll rarely see obvious displays of wealth in Chicago which is common in other large metro areas(LA, Dallas, Las Vegas, Miami). As a result, Chicagoan's style is understated and tailored.
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Old July 31st, 2007, 07:27 PM   #14
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Hey, long time lurker here, but this topic compelled me to finally register. I'm from Dallas and about to move to Chicago and I do think that Dallas is much flashier and concerned about apperances, fashion, etc. I think one factor that led to Dallas being a fashion center is the Market Center which has an Apparel Mart, Dallas Market Hall, etc. Obviously the Merchandise Mart is much larger, but Dallas' focus was long apparel. However, Neiman's was such a big deal because it introduced a fairly new city with a lot of new money to luxury goods.
I like the shopping in Chicago, but it's a different experience. Here, you drive to the mall, buy your stuff and leave. In Chicago, you get to walk from store to on Michigan Ave, window shop, etc. I do think that Chicago is much more toned down than Dallas, however. When I went out during visits up there, I always felt overdressed.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 03:39 AM   #15
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I think this picture, posted elsewhere by Sevens, best displays how your average Chicagoans dress (note, this is not representative of everybody, but just your average, run of the mill Joe Schmoe Chicagoan):

WARNING: YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE SOME INCREDIBLY BLAND STYLES. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED

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Old August 1st, 2007, 05:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Urban Politician View Post
I think this picture, posted elsewhere by Sevens, best displays how your average Chicagoans dress (note, this is not representative of everybody, but just your average, run of the mill Joe Schmoe Chicagoan):

WARNING: YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE SOME INCREDIBLY BLAND STYLES. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED

Give me a break, Urban. They obviously have just parked their cars and are headed to a $200,000 black tie only wedding at the Peninsula or Four Seasons for which they are impecably, trendily, and most appropriately dressed! Paris, New York and LA: eat your hearts out!
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Old August 1st, 2007, 05:48 AM   #17
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technical difficulties....... please stand by.

thread will be reopened shortly
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Old August 1st, 2007, 05:50 PM   #18
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I think this picture, posted elsewhere by Sevens, best displays how your average Chicagoans dress (note, this is not representative of everybody, but just your average, run of the mill Joe Schmoe Chicagoan):
That may show how run-of-the-mill midwesterners dress on vacation, but I bet you those aren't Chicagoans. That photo was taken in Grant Park in the middle of the day just steps from Buckingham Fountain and the Art Institute (with what looks like Lollapalooza rising in the background), a place with very few actual Chicagoans this time of year.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 08:34 PM   #19
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I didn't know Versace once had a store here. I wonder if it will ever attempt to open another one.

But, anyway. I believe a stronger sense of style is growing in Chicago and a stronger, larger industry to support that style. Much to your chagrin or delight I believe the days are numbered when we can write of this question about style with a simple reply of "we're just casual", or "laid-back" or "not pretentious like the people on the coast" or "the dive-bar of the midwest" (that's a new one, I like it). The sucess and growth of high-end boutiques like Marc Jacobs, True Religion and Nanette Lepore opening up outside of downtown area says a lot. It kind of signifies that these brands are not relying on tourist for sales; these store are for Chicagoans. And style is contagious, so it won't be long until Hoosiers and Badgers are running around in Marc Jacob drainpipe trousers.
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Old August 1st, 2007, 08:37 PM   #20
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what the hell is the "Global Language Monitor", and who on earth did they survey?
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