In this month’s issue, GQ has named San Francisco the 20th Worst Dressed City in America. Quite frankly I’m surprised we didn’t crack the top 10. You know why we get this ranking? No it’s not the hipsters running around the mission wearing holey tights or mom jeans (I blame American Apparel for this).
It’s the people who dress in “gear” instead of clothes. You aren’t thinking about style — whether an outfit matches, or is flattering, but your pants have more pockets than any human could possibly need during the work day. Oh and your t-shirt has special wicking properties that keep you dry and odor free.
What lies at the heart of this performance driven “style”? Cargo pants. I’ve hated cargo pants since middle school when I would see boys stuff them full with pencils, papers, calculators, you name it. I thought it looked ridiculous. And since the universe has a sense of humor I ended up working at a startup in the Bay where about 70% of the guys wear cargo pants on a daily basis. A few months ago I came across a blog devoted to cargo pants. This blog had a post about cargo pants with pockets designed to house iPads. Are.you.kidding.me? The best part was, several pants were tested and rated and the overall conclusion was
“Bottom line? You should keep your iPad in a case and use tactical pants for iPad 2 storage in emergency situations only”
Emergency situations?!? Why would there be any situation where you need to store an iPad in your pocket? The reviews are talking about how well the iPad fits, whether it might fall out or potentially get scratched and no one is mentioning how absolutely absurd it looks. How about situations where you don’t want to look like a total geek? Orrr situations where you want to be able to say…walk comfortably, which I think would be hard to do with that thing shoved in your pocket?
Last fall I went to Madrid with a fashionista friend from Oakland who had never been to Europe. She said to me, I just can’t believe how people dress here, it’s like what you see in fashion magazines. In the bay people don’t dress like that. Yes the aesthetic here is more Patagonia catalogue, less Vogue.
And I get it, these clothes are very useful and serve a purpose in the outdoors. But we are in the city people. This is the urban jungle. Trade in those Merrells for some heels, or a pair of ballet flats. Don’t worry you will not be kidnapped, helicoptered and dropped in the middle of the wilderness unexpectedly. Stop thinking about high performance and start thinking about aesthetics. Guys, I know you think those zip off pants are practical, but you practically have zero chance of picking up a girl if you wear those to the bar. Something to think about.