Milwaukee Makes Another Worst-Dressed List
The seemingly subjective is quantified and ranked.
Real estate website Movoto.com has ranked Milwaukee ninth in their "10 Worst-Dressed Cities" list. And just under a year ago, our city ranked 43rd out of 50 cities in Bundle's "Most Fashionable" list. For a city that seems to throw a "fashion show" every few weeks, this might be alarming. So, what are we doing wrong?
According to Movoto, we have very few "high end" jewelry stores, shoe stores and clothing stores per capita. To determine what exactly "high end" means, they used Yelp's price ratings. They found that there were five cities with zero high end stores, including Wichita, Kan., while the city with the most was Miami, clocking in at one for every 13,625 people. For the ten worst cities, including Milwaukee, these numbers are inconveniently unavailable.
They also accounted for the number of schools offering fashion programs and the number of local tailors. We still think Mount Mary's fashion program, as well as the Art Institute's, are nothing to scoff at. These fashion programs, the company said, "are going to attract fashionable people to the surrounding community." Duly noted.
One aspect Movoto doesn't consider is the amount of fast-fashion chains like H&M, Zara, Forever21 and their ilk - for each city. These stores are in no way selling luxury, but they're agile enough to mass-produce (or reproduce) runway looks extremely fast. Milwaukee has a handful of those stores, and while they're not high-fashion by any means, they imitate it well. And that should count for something.
Milwaukee also has a slew of independent stores that carry clothing and accessories in a range of prices. It is possible to find patent leather Jimmy Choos and Diane Von Furstenberg dresses right here in Milwaukee. And the 2015 arrival of Nordstrom - which will be the priciest department store in town - will make our selection even broader.
Last year, when news of this nature hit, local fashionistas and fashionistos were dismayed. In the comments of our Daily Mil story about the topic, one commenter said,"Being fashionable doesn't necessarily require high-end purchases. Perhaps Milwaukeeans are simply better bargain-hunters than those in New York or LA?"
"Hello, you can be fashionable without spending gobs of money!" said another.
Therein lies the distinction: the difference between high-fashion - the kind seen on Paris runways and in the pages of W Magazine - and personal style. And we may have personal style for days, but we've got a ways to go before we hit that high-fashion mark.