Ouch: Buffalo Named The Least Fashionable City in America

Buffalo is the least fashionable city in America, according to a new ranking from Bundle.com
How did Bundle.com come up with this ranking? Did they just rank cities inversely to their Zubaz-density? No, the methodology was a little more complicated than that. 
Bundle used their data on retail transactions in the 50 biggest cities in their database. Using this data, Bundle created an index of “fashion-conscious households” which were defined as households that had at least four transactions at top-end designer merchants in the past 30 months. A city ranked 1.0 is perfectly average (by Bundle’s fashion-conscious metric). 
And perfectly average is where Flushing, NY ranks. To the surprise of hipsters everywhere, Brooklyn is slightly below average with a rank of .87. As for Buffalo, well, we rank dead last. 
From Bundle.com: 
Buffalo, NY ranked as the least fashionable city in America with an index of 0.10. This makes Buffalo ten times less fashionable than the average big city in America, and 32 times less fashionable than its downstate neighbor, New York, NY. Perhaps Buffalo’s lack of fashion can be chalked up to its abundance of snow days.

So here is what this “least fashionable city in America” ranking really means: fewer households in Buffalo have made at least four transactions at top-end designer merchants in the past 2.5 years than any other large city in America. 
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Irvine, California is the “most fashionable” city in America, according to Bundle’s analysis. And Irvine is followed closely by New York, Los Angeles and Miami. 
Buffalo, meanwhile, edges out Louisville, Jacksonville and Albuquerque in the race for last place. Remarkably, even kindred spirit Cleveland has 3 times as many households that have made high-end retail transactions as Buffalo. 

About the author  ⁄ Jackie Treehorn

86 comments
LouisTully
LouisTully

Don't pretend you care about anyone other than yourself. And, again, I don't know what the Crocs comment is supposed to mean.

ihatebuffalo716
ihatebuffalo716

this city is 25yrs behind everyone else. no sense of style, im originally from maryland. and wish i wouldve never left. This city should burn down and start all over again.

ihatebuffalo716
ihatebuffalo716

These people need to go to hell. with their overrated football team and their LOSER ways. its way to cold in this crappy city, no jobs, no money and a race problem that u wouldnt believe. FUK BUFFALO. dont waste ur time or LIFE going there.

Pegger
Pegger

Isn't it interesting that when it comes to the issue of Buffalo and snow, we are always dismissing it as bunk. Yet, in this instance, we are using it as a defense.

MikeFoligno
MikeFoligno

I'm an idiot, ugh? ....I guess being from Brooklyn makes you an authority on Buffalo; you are sensitive as if you actually grew up here.

Perhaps if you did, you might understand the hardship the city has endured, then maybe you might understand the point.

It great that you and your family come from a similar area in the same state as Buffalo. I can tell you first hand that most people outside of NYS admire Tom Brady or any popular sports figure for that matter and often give credence to what they have to say.

LI2Northpark
LI2Northpark

Outside of New England no one worships Tom Brady. As a matter of fact, most hate him. Anyone who does worship football players likely wouldn't have a problem with Buffalonians anyway as there are plenty of football worshipers here.

I am a native Brooklynite and lived for a while on Long Island as well and I can tell you for a fact your statement is ridiculous. My friends and family who visit here from NYC always have a great time and their only negative comments are usually reserved for the weather and abandoned homes.

You're an idiot.

MikeFoligno
MikeFoligno

You are wrong. I also traveled a great deal. In the

Southwest and midwest they live football. Tom Brady is a god to them.

They listen. The people are uneducated.

In NYC they think we walk around in bills jerseys with sandals

And knee high socks with no teeth.

Let's not get into Florida and SE.

In addition to being cold. Why would any of these people

Want to relocate here and start a life ?

You sound like you didn't get out much when you

Traveled.

MikeFoligno
MikeFoligno

Or the fact that he has a valid point. Are you wearing

A Sabres jersey?

momw
momw

This article brings to mind my pretenious cousin from Atlanta who is always whining about how lame Buffalo is when she visits. At the age of 36 she still feels the need to pump her chest and play the "i'm cool and you're not" game while her Buffalo family just sits around, rolls our eyes, and enjoys our greasy fish fry and 16 ounce beer. All the while, she sits there in her ematiated body, leather coat in the summer because its too "cold" here (note fashion diss), eating her iceberg lettuce salad. Who would you rather be? Us or her? Case closed.

ranjekna
ranjekna

Nothing says "I'm giving up!" more than pajama pants.

osirisascending
osirisascending

It's not ridiculous at all. I currently live in Minnesota, and have been here for four years. WNY gets much more snow than Minnesota does, but Minnesota usually has MUCH colder winters.

LI2Northpark
LI2Northpark

You are wrong. First of all, paying any attention to what a pampered athlete thinks is foolish. I have spent a good deal of time traveling this country and most peoples' perception of Buffalo is of an old industrial city that's inhospitably cold. I've never heard anyone mention any lack of style or fashion. Few people outside of LA and Manhattan would really care anyway. The reason people won't relocate here is the lack of jobs, ,NYS taxes and the idea that it snows for half the year. (I bought into that last one myself before I moved here.) You've got a bit of an inferiority complex Foligno as do a lot of Buffalo residents.

whatever
whatever

paulsobo>"I dont think Buffalo has more snow or is colder than Minnesota. Thats just ridiculous."

Then apparently sometimes reality can be just ridiculous.

I don't know if it affects how much trendy expensive fashion is purchased, but according to NOAA, Buffalo since 1981 has averaged more snow than any large U.S. city except Rochester.

(That's if we want to consider Roch as 'large'. The fashion purchasing ranking doesn't. If not, then we're #1 for large city average snowfall.)

We've averaged 40" more yearly than Minneapolis, over double the snowfall in Boston and Chicago, and over triple that in NYC.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some people like having a lot of snow.

http://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/US/snowiest-cities.php

Average annual snowfall for the snowiest large US cities (Inches)

Rochester, New York 99.5

Buffalo, New York 94.7

Cleveland, Ohio 68.1

Salt Lake City, Utah 56.2

Minneapolis, Minnesota 54.0

Denver, Colorado 53.8

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 46.9

Boston, Massachusetts 43.8

Detroit, Michigan 42.7

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 41.9

Hartford, Connecticut 40.5

Chicago, Illinois 36.7

Providence, Rhode Island 33.8

Columbus, Ohio 27.5

Indianapolis, Indiana 25.9

New York, New York 25.1

(As to your view about out of shape unshaven guys in sweat pants & t-shirts, I will vote 'present' in the fashion of the dog taster in chief, leaving it to others to react to that if they wish. Some might just wish they had never read what you wrote about it, lol ...not that there's anything wrong with that!)

paulsobo
paulsobo

I dont think Buffalo has more snow or is colder than Minnesota. Thats just ridiculous.

Maybe I havent traveled to the appropriate parts of the city to see people dress like this but I have never seen these half T-Shirts and Zebra pants that everyone keeps talking about.

True Buffalo is not a wealthy city ... and in many ways ... Im kind of greatful Buffalo has never been that shallow snobby kind of city (like our wealthier neighbor Rochester for example).

Buffalonians are still quite an attractive lot with alotta heart. Id rather have the heart than the designer luggage.

I guess its different for guys than girls. Guys that are outta shape and wear sweatpants and T-Shirts and unshaven can still look pretty darn attractive.

Outta shape girls...no makeup...uncombed hair...spandex tights that went out with flashdance in the 80s...well not so much.

Nicholas Tyler Miller
Nicholas Tyler Miller

This list seems fundamentally flawed. Since when is having fashion sense only equivalent to shopping at high-end retailers? You can shop at Saks Fifth Avenue or Neiman Marcus and still look awful. Fashion catalogs are riddled with 'worst dressed' celebrities who are wearing designer outfits that cost thousands of dollars. Being fashionable has a lot more to do with what you buy than where you buy it or how much you spent.

I also find the assumption that cold = unfashionable very odd. Cold weather allows for all kinds of clothing options that are impossible in warmers climes; scarves, boots, sweaters, hats, etc. It snows in New York City, Paris and Milan after all.

MikeFoligno
MikeFoligno

Oris and Northpark:

The fact of the matter is that the entire country believes we act and look like the man in the picture above. That is the short version.

Tom Brady publishes in the Wall Street Journal that Buffalo is a dump; the landscape, hotels, stadium etc and the country believes it.

There is a huge connection of our national perception, the weather, the way we look and dress that discourages people from wanting to relocate here.

A corporation, a professional athlete, whomever will avoid Buffalo at all costs based on what they hear and see on the news.

It's great that we have had some much need rehab projects downtown, but there are still no companies moving here. There are no private equity firms, consultants, tech companies, investment firms, real business development type jobs. Why ?

ladyinwhite
ladyinwhite

Real life disasters that cost lives ....stupid ass comment. What felt better, writing that or sliding your feet into your crocs?

AKBuffalo
AKBuffalo

This ranking is about as pointless as the attention we're giving it. What's the point? If you write an article like this, you expect reactions to it, but are the reactions you're getting worth the reputation you're helping to fortify? Give it a rest with the 'Buffalo sucks at this, Buffalo is inferior at that, Buffalo is a bunch of unfashionable pigs' jargon and just let people move on. It really gets old.

osirisascending
osirisascending

National perception that we're a bunch of farmers?

You haven't a clue, my friend.

The perception the rest of the country has of Buffalo is the same it has been for nearly four decades, that of a nearly dead, rusted-out blue collar city.

"Farmers" indeed. Where do you get this stuff?

(For the record, it's no secret that NYC perceives the whole of Upstate as a someplace scenes from "Deliverance" might have been filmed... Buffalo included.)

Dan
Dan

Think about this: if people don't care about their appearance, they're probably less likely to care about the appearance of the city or town where they live.

Outside of the City of Buffalo and its Green Code project, planning and zoning is firmly trapped in the 1970s.

Dan
Dan

There's a sale at the Chess King in Boulevard Mall, right next to Sibley's. Half off Z. Cavaricci and Members Only!

LI2Northpark
LI2Northpark

That's one of the most asinine comments I've read on here. Dress better so people around the country like us and our city will grow. How about fixing the schools and regionalizing the government? How about electing a real Mayor? I moved here from the Metro NYC area in 2005 (plenty of high end ridiculously expensive retailers there) and I can tell you I never gave a single thought to how the people in Buffalo dressed before I moved here. No one really cares. The cited article and this blog entry are total crap. Who gives a f**k what people in LA think about us? What is wrong with you?

MikeFoligno
MikeFoligno

It adds to the national perception that we are

a bunch of farmers. Any good marketing company

Will tell you that you must change your "image" before

things will progress.

Our marketing departments at city hall not proactive

Buffalo takes insults from the rest of the country on national news

and no one fires back; we just sit back and take it.

Change the perception/image of the city and you may see more growth

Dan
Dan

What an authentic, genuine, gritty and real comment! Not superficial or plastic, like what someone from Charlotte or Phoenix would day.

grad94
grad94

why complain that outsiders stereotype us harshly when dan will do it for them?

grad94
grad94

sheesh, when was the last time we actually had a snow day? winters have been so mild for the last decade that entire chiropractic firms have gone out of business for lack of back injuries from shoveling the walk. [kidding! just kidding!]

paulsobo
paulsobo

I wonder if not being fashion conscious makes Buffalonians more grounded and real and perhaps some depth.... and less superficial and shallow that we typically associate with fashion types.

Ellzy
Ellzy

Being fashionable or stylish or what-have-you, is simply a state of mind. Either you embrace it, or you don't. So what if Buffalo isn't perceived as a fashionable city. I will say that I was at the airport in Tampa Bay recently, and I crossed paths with the Canisius High School Baseball team heading home after a tournament. Every single member of the team was in a shirt/tie with a sportcoat, carrying their equipment bags branded with Buffalo, NY. They looked sharp, and people took notice.

BFLOwatch
BFLOwatch

Theyre a mecca because of the online business. Anyone whos ever had to deal with their haughty shop clerks would run the other way. Get over yourselves youre shop clerks.

Dan
Dan

Because Cleveland and the surrounding metropolitan area is bigger, that's why. A whole host of reasons why Cleveland grew to be bigger than Buffalo; better strategic location and more entrepreneurs that didn't sell their businesses to out-of-town interests are the biggies.

BFLOwatch
BFLOwatch

Irvine most likely has Neiman's, Nordstrom's, Saks, etc.. hence fashion.

Dan
Dan

You know that "third poorest city" applies to the city only, not the region as a whole, and that it's just among major cities, right?

Dan
Dan

Some likely reasons behind the numbers. My apologies if others have mentioned some of these.

1) Lack of high-end national clothing chains compared to peer cities. Hard to judge sales at high-end boutiques when there aren't any of the kind being tabulated.

2) Large elderly population compared to peer cities. Lime green polyester pants ordered from the Blair catalog is considered high fashion among that crowd.

3) Buffalo still has a good-sized blue-collar workforce, where fashion is mostly irrelevant. Carhartt, Red Wing, Dehner, Oshkosh, and other workwear brands are big sellers in the area.

4) Sports fanaticism. When I lived in Denver, during a time when the Broncs were winning Super Bowls, and the Avs and Rockies were having good seasons, I saw very few people wear Broncos/Rockies/Avalanche/Nuggets gear outside of playoff season. In Buffalo, you'll see clothing with Bills logos year 'round.

5) Hairstyles are 5-15 years behind the times in Buffalo, although with the Internet, things are catching up. As a test, I scanned photos from my 1984 high school yearbook (Buffalo Public Schools), and a 1984 yearbook somewhere else in the country, and asked people to guess the year the photos were taken. For the other school, most people guessed mid-1980s. For photos from my 1984 yearbook, mid-to-late 1970s. Whenever I return home, I'm surprised to see as many mustaches and feathered hair as I do among those in their 30s and 40s.

As another poster said, at airports in other cities, I've noticed it's easy to pick out the gate with a departing flight to Buffalo. Some of it is fashion (Bills logos, sweatshirts and sweatpants, etc), but there tends to be a much larger number of senior and elderly passengers.

That being said, Buffalo is known as a fashion mecca among a niche crowd into "trad" or classic Ivy League style, thanks to the presence of O'Connell's.

Dan
Dan

Buffalo ranks at the bottom of a list.

Response from BR posters: "They're wrong! The methodology is flawed! These lists are stupid! Who cares? I'd rather be here than in (insert name of growing Sunbelt city here)!"

Buffalo ranks at the top of a list.

Response from BR posters: "The secret is finally out! Buffalo is #1! This is just one more sign of the region's renaissance!"

Can't have it both ways, where the lists, flawed as they might be, are right when Buffalo is presented in a favorable light, and wring when Buffalo ranks towards the bottom.

not so common tern
not so common tern

I don't know about you, but Janet Snyder and I are at The Walker Center just about everyday buying sweatsuits with Juicy on the butt, ugg boots, northface jackets and a whole lotta designer jeans — take that unfashionable Buffalo... at least we look good.

brownteeth
brownteeth

Apparently you've never been to South Buffalo or Lackawanna?

laldm
laldm

I was all ready to be offended by this, but after reading the article, this is actually a back-handed compliment.

It shows:

- Buffalonians are frugal ie. not big believers that buying expensive things gives you status. This could have something to do with it being a poor city, but note that Cleveland is poorer and is more "fashionable". Maybe we look at all the Canadians that come over and buy expensive crap at the Galleria and are inspired not to be like them...

- Buffalo doesn't have many high-end national retailers to start with. It does have high-end retailers, but they are all local businesses on Elmwood and Hertel. So, any high-end transactions that happen in Buffalo won't be counted into the ranking. Thus, when people do buy high-end things here, the money goes back into the local economy, which is a very good thing.

I would be offended if there weren't people with good fashion sense in Buffalo, but there are, as you can witness from a walk down Elmwood.

rustbeltcity
rustbeltcity

The big joke is in airports. The Buffalo gate is always the easiest to find. Just look for PJ's a pillow or ancient Bills sweats.

Jesse
Jesse

Hey genius, if you go to Target, et al, you're NOT shopping at one of the "top-end designer merchants" that this stupid-ass ranking is looking for.

It seems more likely to me that people in Buffalo don't have the money to waste at "top-end" shitholes.

Preservationguy
Preservationguy

I was about to say the opposite. I'm impressed with the relative lack of overly defensive or thin skinned comments up to this point.

MikeFoligno
MikeFoligno

Buffalo is half the size of Cleveland ? How, why?

It's virtually the same city

MikeFoligno
MikeFoligno

Any way you slice it, too many people wear Bills and

Sabres jerseys down town. Feather hair and mustaches went

out of style longtime ago. It's no big secret that Buffalo

is stuck in the 80's.

Lego1981
Lego1981

My pet peave is pajama pants. I never see anyone wearing them out in public unless I'm in downtown Buffalo. Why do people think it's okay to walk outside in pajama's? And why is this not illegal?????

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