Ouch: Santa Fe 16th on GQ’s Forty Worst Dressed Cities

Santa Fe Style

Santa Fe Style (or lack of it) photo/Billie Frank

When I discovered via my Google Alerts that Santa Fe was named number 16 on GQ’s The 40 Worst Dressed Cities in America, I was steamed. Not so much that we made the list, we’re in some good company (if you don’t count Wasilla AK). Boston made number one. What got to me was that the writer was just plain mean. He was apparently channeling Mr. Blackwell. The truth: we’re not so fashionable here. Santa Fe style was hot in the 80s. Ask Ralph Lauren; he made a fortune on it. You’d be hard-pressed to find a haute couture designer label at any store in town. But, REALLY, “western like an Outback Steakhouse is Australian”? That hurts.

It’s not so much that we dress badly. In The City Different we dress, well, differently- from you and from each other. As befits a western town, it’s chock full of individuals. Yeah, you see outrageously great and expensive cowboy boots, tall Stetsons, concho belts and amazing silver and turquoise jewelry around town, especially when the big markets bring a lot of visitors in. But, that’s only part of the story. Dress is eclectic in this casual city. You’ll see anything and everything from broomstick skirts to linen pants, from western shirts to Polo. At the Santa Fe Opera and in some of the high-end restaurants black tie is sitting next to jeans and they don’t bat an eye, either of them. We all dress the way we want to here. It’s part of the charm and really, outside of a few capital cities around the world, most places belong on this list. They just aren’t fashionable and most people probably don’t give a hoot. And ultimately, who cares? But couldn’t GQ have put us on the list and called it a day?

Do you agree with GQ’s list? What cities would you add? Which would you remove?


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4 Responses to “Ouch: Santa Fe 16th on GQ’s Forty Worst Dressed Cities”

  1. Charles Higgins
    July 19, 2019 at 10:29 pm #

    Vegas was number 13 on this list…I’m not sure we should care, are you?


    • Billie Frank
      July 20, 2019 at 6:53 am #

      We were in some good company on that list. Guess they don’t like glitz. Las Vegas certainly has it’s own style and Viva Los Vegas!

  2. Nomadic Samuel
    July 20, 2019 at 5:54 am #

    I think you actually point to the diversity in the way people dress in Santa Fe which I would find interesting. My travels have taken me all over the world and I find it fascinating to see how different cultures/regions/cities have their own unique style and dress - none better than another just different :)

    • Billie Frank
      July 20, 2019 at 6:48 am #

      Dress in Santa Fe is definitely eclectic. A few weeks ago, right before International Folk Art Market, we were shopping at Whole Foods. Clearly, a van with the fair’s artisan vendors had arrived, All around the store we saw people of diverse ethnicities in traditional dress. It was wonderful. kind of like discovering an International Bazaar had arrived in your town.

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