Ah, Los Angeles. A world capital of billionaires and red-carpet style. And yet it would be hard to find a sloppier city when it comes to men's fashion.
Our theory goes something like this: In L.A., the most powerful man in the room is the one who's most casually dressed. At a table lined with entertainment lawyers in Canali suits and $1,000 loafers, it's the guy in flip-flops and board shorts who's really getting paid. (Right, Matthew McConaughey?). He dresses that way because he can.
And, in L.A., being dressed somewhat formally, from valets to sommeliers, really means you're just the help. Or Mexican. Or both. Which leads us deeper into the world of L.A. men's style …
… which is a strange combination of $200 sunglasses, $300 jeans, $60 shoes (anyone wearing box-toe Aldos should be shot, by the way) and, stereotypically, at least, cheap t-shirts from L.A.'s own French transplant, Christian Audigier.
Sure, no one will mistake you for the help. But you need help.
Which leads us to GQ's new ranking of “The 40 Worst Dressed Cities in America.”
At No. 2, L.A. was robbed. Boston came in at No. 1. Maybe because of all the baseball gear they wear. But really nobody out-douches the male Angeleno. From Ed Hardy to 45 millimeter watches, nothing says I'm trying too hard like a guy with a spinner on his wrist.
Angelenos wage a fierce, daily battle against time and taste so effective it would be admirable if the results weren't so obnoxious. Ground zero of this war against time is strongest in the thrumming hub of mind-blowing sartorial choices of the few neighborhoods nestled on the axis of Sunset Blvd. You know you're getting close when you start seeing a profusion of regrettable headwear, and once you spot a raffia porkpie, you have arrived.
Close, GQ, but we're at the top of this heap. Strange too, because L.A. probably sees more clothing manufactured here and coming through its ports than even New York. And Hollywood is supposed to be a style model.
Too bad actors don't keep those threads they wear on set. We once read these words (or something like them) from a designer in GQ:
You're a grown ass man. Dress like it.