Two days ago, we posted about Baltimore’s ranking as the third worst-dressed city in the United States in a Travel + Leisure reader’s poll. Of course, my instinct off the bat is to politely disagree. But, man, when I saw the reasons cited by one judgmental Baltimore resident — our city’s hipsters (who, according to her, “dumpster dive” their clothes) and Hons — I was all “Whaaa?”
Hipster-bashing is becoming an unfortunate national pastime, and Baltimore engages in its share. But you know Baltimore’s art scene — the one everyone here is so proud of? I hate to tell you this, but there are a lot of kids with weird hair cuts, tight jeans, and cut-up tank tops partially responsible for that. And as far as Hons go — where outside of Honfest do you regularly see anyone in a beehive, even in Hampden?
“If you’re going to take time to dress up in Baltimore, you better be on your way to somewhere specific,” eight-year Baltimore resident Erica Poniske told the magazine. “Otherwise you’re going to stand out, and you’re going to feel awkward.” Good advice. If them Baltimore fashion-primitives in Hampden see people wearing ascots and tennis bracelets, they tend to assume witchcraft and chase those people with torches. YOU DON’T WANT TO RISK THAT!
Travel + Leisure makes a last minute concession that “dressing well certainly has an element of personal taste.” You don’t say? Well, it also has an element of personal wealth, but of course the issue of class, which is inextricable from fashion — especially in such a generic concept as “dressing well” — is completely unacknowledged in the article.
But how can we take seriously any ranking that would fault residents of Anchorage, Alaska for their beards and flannel and parkas? Guys, they live in Alaska!
Hey, T+L, is it okay if I wear a helmet while riding my bike, or is that just not fashion-forward enough for you?!
And by the way, Baltimore is more than just “a convenient, affordable base for day trips.” How condescending!
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