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Help! Somebody call the fashion cops!

I see GQ magazine has ranked Toronto as Canada’s best-dressed city. This, apparently, is of much concern to Montreal, which thinks of itself as this country’s big thing in fashion.

The same survey, done in partnership with MSN Travel magazine, put Ottawa among the 10 worst-dressed cities in the world. Too many boring navy suits and too much “matchy matchy.”

Poor Ottawa was lower than Pittsburg, but higher than Vancouver, which, according to GQ/MSN, has way too many yoga pants. (“Really, what gives with the whole wearing of bum hugging workout gear to every other place except the gym?”)

Vancouver may be the yoga-pants capital (above) but they've been spotted in Kamloops, too.

To my knowledge, Kamloops wasn’t included in the survey, but it would have been instructional to hear what the judges had to say about us.

Rather than matchy matchy, we are mishy mashy. The only things we try to match, in my opinion, are all those beige buildings decreed by City Hall.

Take our politicians, for example. With the possible exception of MP Cathy McLeod, their fashion sense is, well, a work in progress.

I once wrote that Chief Shane Gottfriedson shows up to every public event looking like he just came in from doing chores. However, I ran into him on Victoria Street yesterday and he looked uncharacteristically spiffy with a bright red shirt.

Mayor Peter Milobar once took to the podium for the official opening of a hotel wearing baggy blue jeans and a rumply shirt. Maybe he’d just gotten back in town from taking his kids to a swim tournament.

Terry Lake has improved, but still favours sports jackets and sensible shoes, while Kevin Krueger makes a statement — I’m just not sure what it is.

City councilors? Don’t get me started.

The one group that seems to have it together most of the time is our lawyers. Every lawyer needs a nice suit to go with his Audi. I’m told one local barrister bought five pairs of identical $450 wingtips so he could rotate through a different pair each day of the week.

There was a brief setback when he discovered they all squeaked. There’s nothing worse than walking into a courtroom with squeaky shoes, but the story goes he got them fixed and it’s all good.

For the average Joe or Josephine, however, everyday wear begins with a comfortable pair of sneakers, unless you’re a cowboy, in which case you opt for Ropers, jeans with plenty of stack, and a plaid shirt as you hop into your 4X4 pickup.

Fundraising-gala nights are a study in diversity. Women go for everything from long gowns with sparkles and low backs to show off the tattoos, to short skirts and plenty of cleavage, while the guys range from tuxedos to shirt sleeves, all at the same event.

Prize for the worst dressers in town, though, goes to the folks in the media. Raffelina Sirianni at TV7 has a pair of plastic shoes she’s especially fond of for summer, while NL’s Angelo Iacobucci is fond of Hawaiian shirts and sun glasses, even on the most overcast day. His idea of dressing up is to put on a ballcap.

We at The Daily News, of course, of impeccable dressers.

Kamloops might never make the GQ list, but whatever style we do have is all ours.

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About Mel Rothenburger (6751 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on Help! Somebody call the fashion cops!

  1. Murray Dennis // September 24, 2011 at 4:10 PM // Reply

    You forgot hats, Mel. Many Kamloops men, of all ages and socio-economic standing, insist on wearing their ball caps wherever they go. I’m not talking stetsons or fedoras, I mean ball caps. They wear them at the theatre, in restaurants, classrooms and coffee bars, everywhere indoors. It doesn’t matter what the politicians and newsmakers are wearing; the hat-loving men of Kamloops are the true indicators of sophistication in this small town of ours.

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