Ga-Ga Over Worst-Dressed List

GQ ranks Pittsburgh as the third worst-dressed city in America, and that's not good enough for PittGirl.

When men’s magazine GQ released this year’s list of the 40 worst-dressed cities in America, there seemed to be no major metropolitan center safe from the blistering criticism of the dozen or so authors assigned to skewer our preferred modes of dress.

Everywhere from Los Angeles (second worst-dressed for “regrettable headwear” and blind devotion to Ed Hardy) to Manhattan (fifth worst-dressed for the burgeoning “douchey style”) felt GQ’s wrath.

Most cities made the list for the very things that make them recognizable and memorable to the rest of the nation. Santa Fe (16th) was mocked for its showy peacock-esque displays of turquoise jewelry and belt-buckles, while Maui was lambasted for—you’ll never believe this—brightly colored island shirts. (That’s like making fun of a person for wearing a Spiderman costume to a Spiderman-themed costume party.)

With Miami, Atlanta, Austin and Boston all making the list, Pittsburghers shouldn’t have been at all shocked to find themselves there, too, as the third worst-dressed city in the country—at least according to the esteemed Gentlemen’s Quarterly, which once featured Al Gore, the epitome of un-funny, in its comedy issue. Maybe GQ was being ironic.

However, I didn’t smell any irony as they wrote that “no city on Earth could rival the utter sloppiness of Pittsburgh” and described our collective style as “meth-lab formal,” while deriding our penchant for wearing Steelers jerseys.

While I’m sure a few ’Burghers were upset by the dishonorable distinction, the most die-hard ’Burghers wondered aloud why we didn’t take first place with those descriptors. WE WAS ROBBED.

The rest of Pittsburgh brushed the negative accolade off as the inane jealous rantings of a bunch of nobodies—kind of like when Ravens fans start talking smack. Do you hear a buzzing sound? *swats at imaginary fly*

I’m a bit torn on my feelings about this. One on hand, the thing that makes the people of Pittsburgh great is that we’re comfortable in our own skin and don’t feel the need to head to the grocery store wearing Dolce and Gabbana skinny-leather pants with impossible-to-walk-in Gucci stilettos that cost more that an entire aisle of produce. We’re not judging each other with the same snotty attitude other cities might.

We go to the store dressed as regular people. We wear sneakers to walk seven blocks from our car to the office. Flip-flops are as Pittsburgh as chipped ham. I love that I can pretty much attend any event in the city wearing nice jeans and heels, which I’ve invariably purchased from Target—or, if I’m feeling fancy, Marshall’s.

I love the realness of putting our true selves out there and saying, This is me, and I’m not going to put a $700 façade over it just to keep up with the Kardashians.  We are who we are.  Take it or leave it.

Having said that, yes, on the other hand, Pittsburgh, there is one thing we could be doing a bit better when it comes to fashion. There’s a way to help us not be featured so often on the People of Wal-Mart website, where a middle-aged male ’Burgher was once virally pointed at and mocked for wearing a Steelers jersey with tiny hot-pink shorts: We could all do a little better in determining when is an appropriate time to wear our Steelers gear.

These are only suggestions. You can heed my advice, or you can just be all *swats at imaginary fly*. I won’t love you any less.

At work, you should only wear your jersey or black-and-gold gear on game days or Fridays before game days. Wearing your vintage Franco Harris jersey to meet the new CEO on a random Tuesday in April is a fashion no-no on par with wearing nothing but glitter and a fedora to court. Unless the CEO is Franco Harris—in which case, score! 

Church is another place we’ll spot black-and-gold gear in force, and, again, common sense should be the rule. As a Steelers fan (it’s true), God appreciates the display on game Sundays. I’ve seen entire families garbed in their black-and-gold finest singing their hearts out in worship hours before kickoff. I’ve seen those heads bent in prayer asking, God, I’m not saying I want Tom Brady to be injured; I’m just saying maybe he gets debilitating gas pains today? It’s a beautiful thing.

However, a Steelers jersey during Easter service? Not a beautiful thing. God will probably smite you with a losing season and reward Tom Brady with another ring.

Other places you shouldn’t don your Steelers black-and-gold merch include: funerals (unless it was specifically requested by the deceased prior to death), weddings (unless it’s a Steelers-themed wedding), meeting the girlfriend’s parents for the first time (unless her dad is Jerome Bettis), court (ever!) and Penguins games. Like I said, common sense is all it takes—and before you know it, we’ll drop to No. 5 or 6 on the list.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: PittGirl, didn’t I once spot you wearing a Steelers shirt to a Pirates game?


*swats at imaginary fly*

Categories: From the Magazine, Hot Reads, PittGirl